NO CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION
Staff Reporter / 2008-08-03 15:26:36
The recent PP video release on YouTube, detailing the improvements made to the coast by the ruling PP party in Orihuela during the first year under leadership of Mayor Monica Lorente, has left a sour taste in the mouths of the many people who continue to live in Orihuela Costa without basic public services.
While PP councillor Jose Antonio Aniorte Grau and Mayor Monica Lorente were patting themselves on the back for a job they feel has been well done, many citizens of the coast were enduring yet another day in searing temperatures without electricity.
The PP propaganda video, together with their lack of any real investment or improvement on the coast over the last year, has now prompted many Spanish residents to speak out for the first time. These residents, who have so far been quiet in comparison to their European counterparts, are now seeking the help of PSOE opposition councillor, Rosa Martinez, who has worked tirelessly on some of the most important problems facing residents and homeowners on the coast, including access to basic services, habitation certificates, health and safety and padron issues.
Rosa Martinez said: "What is clear from the contents of the video is that during Monica Lorente's first year as Mayor, the PP once again has failed to get its priorities right. The change at the helm has not heralded a new PP, but more of what we have come to expect after 22 years in power. The video does not mention the many people who are currently living without an electricity supply, or who cannot get access to basic services because the PP have allowed their constructor friends to leave countless urbanisations in an unfinished state. Despite their recent press conference, the PP councillors for the coast and urban planning have failed to deliver any solution to these people who are living in unbearable conditions. One year on, and we are still being ruled by the same people who allowed this chaos to happen in the first place. More than anything else, the video highlights the many failures of the ruling PP, because in reality there is very little to celebrate."
While the PP spent valuable time making a video about a few minor improvements, residents of Los Balcones continued their battle to resolve a recent change to their street plans which have left them, and the post office, in confusion. They had already sought assistance at the town hall at Playa Flamenca, but thanks to the inaction of the people employed to help them, they have now asked PSOE Councillor Rosa Martinez to take matters forward. The recently imposed plans have led to one street being carved in two, with one half having been renamed altogether, and residences having been given new addresses which bear no relation to where their post box or front entry is situated. One resident said: "A neighbour now has a new address which relates to where the back wall of his garden stands - there is no entry or post box for the new street name they have given him, so unless the postman throws the mail over the garden wall, he won't be receiving any. It is clear that whoever drew up the new plans has never actually been here." Councillor Martinez has submitted evidence to the Statistical office at Orihuela Town Hall, which claimed that one street needed to be renamed because half of it was in Torrevieja, a claim Councillor Martinez described as absurd.
Councillor Martinez is also trying to help residents of La Regia who have had to endure the sight of a rubbish tip, which is the size of four or more football pitches, on private land behind their properties. The disgusting tip attracts rats and other vermin, and local Spanish residents confirmed that lorries continue to dump there. They want the Town Hall to put pressure on the landowner to clear the dump, but it is well known that the PP does not put pressure on private landowners to clean up their act. The same residents are also appealing for improvement works to their local beach at La Regia, Campoamor. The small natural beach, a favourite with Spanish families, is surrounded by rock which is in a dangerous state of erosion, and has an access path built some 22 years ago by local people. One Spanish resident said: "We built the steps down to the beach when we were younger men, and in 22 years, nothing has changed, except the handrails we installed are now loose and dangerous, and the rock erosion has worsened. Most days there is debris on the beach which has fallen from the cliffs." Councillor Martinez said: "It is quite amazing that the PP has been in power for 22 years, and in all that time, they have failed to maintain even basic health and safety standards on many sections of the coastline. The PP have made a lot of noise about recent improvements to other beaches and Blue Flag status for some, however, considering they have had 22 years in which to bring what is essentially a short stretch of coastline up to standard, their record is extremely poor."
Moving to another area of Orihuela Costa, Councillor Martinez has also been approached by residents of Urb. Valencia, near Villamartin. Perhaps one of the most attractive and well-built urbanisations in Orihuela Costa, residents have had little cause for complaint, until recently. A damaged sewage pipe, which lies next to the canal road adjacent to the urbanisation, has been leaking, and during the last rains, contaminated water ran into the gardens and streets of the urbanisation. Rosa Martinez explained: "The canal road is designed for service traffic only, but is now being used frequently by drivers who wish to avoid Villamartin, because the road next to Villamartin plaza is in an appalling state of disrepair. Heavy lorries which use the canal road have caused a sewage pipe to fracture, and residents are now concerned that any future rain will bring sewage spills straight to their doorsteps."
Rosa Martinez visited the three affected areas during just one day this week, a routine which is becoming normal for this PSOE opposition councillor. She will be making formal denuncias on behalf of these residents, and will continue to pressurise the ruling PP to sort their priorities out and do what they are paid by the taxpayers to do. Her ever increasing workload, and the recent emergence of dissatisfied Spanish residents, provides yet more evidence that the PP ruling party could better spend their time attending to the real problems on the coast caused by their 22 years in power, rather than wasting time producing YouTube videos.
With the Spanish holiday season now officially underway, Councillor Martinez will be taking a well earned break, but the PSOE committee on the coast will continue to open its office at Asturias restaurant every Friday from 11am until 1pm in anticipation of the many people who will be arriving from Madrid and form al over Europe for their holidays to find their holiday homes have no electricity, and for the many who have to live with the problems all year round.
Tags: Orihuela-costa, Orihuela Costa, Monica Lorente, Psoe, Paritdo Popular, Politics