CLARO Press Release…….
The announcement that the sorely needed Emergency Services Centre in Orihuela Costa was to be further delayed was met with disbelief and indignation by residents on the coast.
10 years after work was commenced and 8 years after construction was paralysed by the builder’s bankruptcy and a highly visible rusting skeleton has been a constant reminder of incompetence and indifference to the needs of Orihuela Costa, the news that the Valencia government was reducing the amount of the agreed subsidy and that Orihuela Town Hall would have to be responsible for tendering and supervising construction of the project was totally unexpected.
It is all the more shocking since it was only two weeks ago that a petition signed by over 2,200 people was presented to the Valencian and Orihuela authorities claiming the urgency of completing the project after the tragic death of a young boy on La Zenia beach and the delay of some 40 minutes in the arrival of an adequately equipped ambulance. It is all the more disturbing since the time for accessing the subsidy and completing the project will run out next year.
Now Orihuela Costa will no doubt witness the blame game in which the Orihuela Town Hall will say the Valencia regional government is at fault and the Valencia regional government will say Orihuela Town Hall delayed submitting revised plans for many critical months.
The main blame no doubt rests with the successive local governments in Orihuela which have failed to give sufficient importance and priority to this vital project which Orihuela Costa needs to meet the security requirements of a population equal to that of the city and many times greater in peak tourist periods.
We need facilities for adequate local and national police services, ambulance and fire brigades situated on the coast not dispersed elsewhere. The equipped ambulance which finally arrived to treat the boy suffering cardiac arrest on La Zenia beach came from near Orihuela, 30 kilometres away.
Orihuela Costa is and has for ever been ignored and abandoned by the municipal governments located in Orihuela city.
Residents living on the coast contribute some 60% of the municipality’s income and receive probably less than 20% of expenditure. The priority of politicians in Orihuela City is the local population which votes for them and whose support can be bought by projects which leave those living on the coast jealous of the superior facilities and services enjoyed by city residents.
When it suits them, the Orihuela government can sort out with Valencia problems delaying projects like the Health Centre in Rabaloche and taking back the building previously housing the law courts to name just two recent examples.
If the Emergency Services Centre was located in Orihuela city and for city residents it would have been completed years ago. It is the misfortune of those living on the coast that we are of such little importance to successive municipal governments. And, at the same time, it is our fault for not exercising our right to vote and sending our own elected representatives to the Orihuela Town Hall.