In the wake of the new appointment of José Manuel Dolón of the Los Verdes as the mayor of Torrevieja, ousting the Partido Popular after 27 years, the new government has started to lay out its plans for the future, detailing some of the priorities that they intend to focus on during this first term of a “new Torrevieja”.
Primarily, the new government wants to create an era of openness and cleanliness, reaching out to the citizens of the municipality, making the city a vibrant and new destination, with concerns for the environmental impact, and bridging the gaps between the city and the surrounding areas.
Some of the changes to the General Plan will be reversed, such as plans to allow the destruction of protected land for the construction of a new DIY store, and the creation of a rubbish tip, also on protected land. Recently, Torrevieja has seen more than 100 changes to the General Plan altering plots of land ad their designated use, more than any other municipality in Spain.
Concluding the problems with street cleaning and waste disposal is also a priority, partly to finally terminate the illegal contracts that had been allowed to run, and partly to take on board the recommendations of the municipal technicians who had also been ignored in the past.
There have been many problems in the past with the relationship between the police and the town hall. Sometimes these have been seemingly petty problems like a street where a councillor lives having the parking restrictions altered, immediately after receiving a parking ticket, to major problems with shifts and shift patterns, which has left the municipality under covered at times, and officers in a vulnerable position.
The police have for a long time been trying to open dialogue with the town hall, but had not managed to make any progress.
The fact that José Manuel Dolón received a standing ovation in his first presentation to the police this week is indicative perhaps that they can finally see a better future.
There has been speculation that the Foreigner´s Office is to close; this has been denied vehemently by the town hall. They say that the office is an integral part of the town hall and they couldn´t close it if they wanted to. But, it is their intention to make it better, providing more staff and better help and communication, especially to foreigners, as they have been neglected in the past.
The new government do however accept that there will be no miracle cure for Torrevieja that will solve the problems overnight. Each councillor is now looking at their own departments and seeing what changes can be made.
They also accept that some departments are grossly overrepresented, and others are falling short, and so they aim collectively to ensure the balance is corrected.
It is a new era for the management of the municipality, once which they promise will be free of corruption. In fact, the government has already started to identify lots of issues which were jus “swept under the carpet” by the PP, which they will no deal with.
They have vowed to denounce through the courts ever case of corruption that they find. They also aim to be a more personally accountable government. For example, the mobile phone scandal that rocked the previous government could not happen again, as all of the councillors have opted to use their own personal mobile phones, which they will personally pay for, thus ending another extortionate drain on public money.
For his part, the mayor has also announced a cut in his salary, as he is retired and has a pension, and so he does not need to drain the public purse any further for his own benefit, that money also being able to be put back into public services.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47695/