In an exclusive interview with the Leader, PSOE candidate for mayor in Pilar de la Horadada, Pilar Samper, spoke of her excitement and ambitions, as she follows in the footsteps of the well-liked and much admired mayor Ignacio Ramos, as she leads the party into the Municipal Elections.
How do you feel about taking over the candidacy of mayor following in the footsteps of such a popular figure as Ignacio Ramos? What encouraged you to do so?
Of course it is a great responsibility but it is also a great honour for me to be the successor of a person as dear as Ignacio. As I have watched him work over many years, his advice, his manner, the direct contact that he enjoys with people regardless of their political persuasion, their creed or their colour, are all values that I also hold dear and that I want to continue with in the future. I know that I can work for all of the people of Pilar de la Horadada and continue building an efficient and successful municipality.
What are your plans for the coming legislature?
It is important that we are able to maintain continuity in projects that we have either in place or in the process of implementation during the coming term, continuity in our work and efforts for the benefit of all residents. We have a number of large projects earmarked for Pilar de la Horadada, projects that will help reduce seasonality, and create more jobs.
What about the most important challenges that Pilar de la Horadada will achieve in the next four years?
Of course we can’t look at the past and all the good works that we have accomplished, we need to move forward into the future. It is essential that we are able to complete big projects like the second institute and the fourth school. We also need to encourage the creation of new hotel beds as well as provide greater support for the businessman of Pilar de la Horadada. And we must also include Pinar de Campoverde. There are many challenges that we have set for ourselves that we are extremely confident will all be met.
Will there be a councillor for foreign residents if you are elected as mayor?
Of course there will. Practically 50% of our population is composed of foreign nationalities who need an individual, apart from the mayor, who will listen to their concerns, work on their behalf and provide them with the relevant information and answers to ensure their continued contentment in the municipality.
What is the role of the foreign community that is resident in Pilar, and what do you propose to do in order to improve the integration of these residents into the social fabric of Pilar de la Horadada?
The role of foreign citizens in our municipality is very important. They do a magnificent job through their associations, they bring us cultural richness that we enjoy being part of. But it is important that we achieve a greater communication between them and the administration. There must be less formality and we must also achieve a greater knowledge and understanding of their traditions.
One of the problems that the foreign community has is with accessibility to public services, mainly because of the language issue. How can you improve their situation in this area?
I will introduce a series of Informative lectures so that they know the structure and the functioning of the administration. This will enable them to better understand the processes and procedures that they must carry out. We will also make every effort to encourage as many foreign residents as possible to learn our language.