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Hitting back at rumours and speculation that have started to spread in the election build up, the Councillor for the Coast, Martina Scheurer, would like to confirm that she is not charged in any cases of corruption. Scheurer explains that the courts are investigating the case of the Chiringuitos contract as a complaint was raised with them, but there are no charges against anybody at this time. Similarly, Scheurer has hit back at claims that her Los Verdes colleague, the Mayor of Orihuela, Monseratte Guillén, has “abandoned” his position, pointing out that he had suffered a serious heart condition that required urgent medical treatment and has been certified sick since that happened. Neither Scheurer or Guillén will be standing for election in May.

Analysis of data for waste collections has been concluded by the Orihuela town hall, revealing that 350 tons of seaweed is now being collected from the beaches of the Orihuela Costa for disposal, compared to the 7,000 tons paid for in 2010. However, the conclusion is not that there is less being collected, but, according to the Councillor for the Coast Martina Scheurer, the difference now is that the seaweed is left to dry before transportation, the lighter load being due to the fact that the taxpayer is no longer footing the bill for the weight of the sea water collected with the seaweed. Previously, when the operation was run by a private company on behalf of the town hall, there were no checks carried out on the weight invoiced, which is apparently also the case for the 15,000 ton difference in residual weight from the 62,000 tons normally billed to the now 47,000 tons which is collected, despite the same number of people being resident and their continual poor recycling practices.

As part of the improvements to the Orihuela Costa the latest stretch of handrails is now completed, with others still ongoing, providing added security and assistance as well as improving the aesthetics of the area. Meanwhile, the team of workers who are on the current short-term employment scheme are in the process of creating the first network of connected bicycle lanes on the coast, linking from the main route that runs along the N-332. There will also be around 30 bike parking facilities installed along the route of the new cycle paths, whilst department of employment are preparing the next project which will create more bike lanes to connect to the existing and newly created network connecting urbanisations and parks.

Plans are coming together for a bumper year of events on the Orihuela Costa. The next will be the St Patrick’s Day parade, which will be supported by the Orihuela town hall with the coastal department and tourism department providing a band each. Later, then St George’s day event will also be supported as well as a full calendar of events on the coast and the beaches. The first major national event will be Easter with a bus from the coast on the Thursday to the city for the solemn, night parade, as well as one on Good Friday and Easter Saturday. During the summer there will be concerts on the beaches, zumba, snorkelling, kayaking and inflatable features in the water. A full information leaflet will be created promoting the events, as well as an information leaflet offering general advice. Lifeguards and Chiringuitos will start the season in Easter, part of the continual contract arranged last year, with new adaptations and features to assist in access to some of the beaches. Checks will be carried out to ensure the company fulfil the contract terms.

Clean up work on the La Glea micro reserve has stopped due to the weather conditions. It will continue in March with the support of the municipal teams. Some of the rubbish bins have been removed and signs will be provided to ask people to take their rubbish home instead of throwing it into the overflowing bins or onto the green area. This is an unusual initiative but one which the environment department hope will solve the problem of overflowing bins, which are difficult to access and clean, by removing one of the problematic features. The work should be completed in time for Easter, as will the beaches.

The coastal department of Orihuela has also contacted the provincial coastal department in Alicante to ask if they can have more sand transported to the beaches and spread over some of the areas where nature has taken it away. The request was following a major sand moving initiative in neighbouring Pilar de la Horadada and San Pedro. The coastal department of Alicante has now allegedly opened an investigation into what happened further south as there was no permission granted to do any kind of sand moving work.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46500/

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