At a meeting in the Orihuela Costa Town Hall on Wednesday, coordinated by C.L.A.R.O., the Sports Councillor gave explanations as to why, after nearly a year since it was first closed, the Sports Centre has still not been fully reopened. As a sign of the strength of feeling on the subject, the meeting was full to overflowing.
The councillor explained that some facilities have been progressively reopened due to the presence of Town Hall Janitors, but the swimming pool remained closed.
It could not be reopened without qualified life guards who could only be recruited in the context of a new overall contract for the management of the centre. He could not say when a new contract would be concluded.
After his explanations, there was widespread dissatisfaction over his failure to say clearly when the centre would be reopened and fully functioning. Heated protests came from Spanish and non-Spanish residents alike.
They expressed real concern that elderly people needing the pool for therapy would be deprived of this facility, essential for their health, for well over a year. In any case, the lack of facilities for the disabled to use the pool had to be corrected. It was outrageous that school children had to go to neighbouring municipalities to have swimming lessons.
It was made clear that the Town Hall could act when there was a will. Life guards were recruited for duty on the beaches during Easter and summer. As one participant said, the excessive and unnecessary delay was because people in Orihuela Costa were considered second class citizens.
On Friday, in Orihuela the issue was followed up in a press conference with C.L.A.R.O. President Helene Akerman and Javier Gracia, a councillor from the Cambiemos-Podemos-Claro group. They denounced the continuing delays in having a fully functioning municipal sports centre.
Helene Akerman described the indignation expressed at the meeting on Wednesday in Orihuela Costa and the real sense of deprivation felt by residents. Javier Garcia said his group had been denouncing the fraudulent contract well before it was cancelled a year ago The government had had ample time to plan to fully reopen the centre.
He revealed that according to the Town Hall’s own plan for future contracts, a new contract for the management of the sports centre in Orihuela Costa would not be possible until October at the earliest.
The anger and frustration at the Town Hall’s management of the municipal sports centre in Orihuela Costa seems, unfortunately, likely to continue for most of the rest of the year. It comes on top of the anger and dissatisfaction at the state of Orihuela Costa in general, dirty streets, inadequate rubbish removal service, potholes everywhere and parks and gardens which are mainly a disgrace.