Transparency that is a myth

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June 14

Orihuela council and its mayor seems not to believe in transparency. We are being fed deceiving information through associations or the council’s own press releases on how much work they are doing here on the coast. Also there was the sudden release of the district mayors (alcaldes pedaneos), which also backfired so badly – there are allegations of residents being blocked and one district mayor was accused of being xenophobic towards the residents of Orihuela Costa.

Leading up to the last council elections, we advised Ciudadanos that if they wish to gain the trust and confidence of the people of Orihuela Costa, they need to be seen in person, one day a week at least, and talk to us in person and hear our views. But, like everything else, our advice fell on deaf ears and now their popularity is in free fall.

When you think of all the events organised by local groups and charities, which hundreds of Orihuela Costa residents attend to support each other and raise much needed funds to help those in need, including the victims of the September 2019 flooding crisis, and subsequent storms. Did any councillor attend? I very much doubt it.

The contracts for €3.3 million, apparently for the coast, are for pot holes, pavements, road markings, traffic signs and beaches, BUT can anybody say they have seen any real improvement in any of the above? I don’t think so! Then there is the company receiving €75,000 a month for parks JUST FOR ORIHUELA COSTA without a contract. Can we say that our money is well spent?

At the end of the last financial year, our illustrious council finished the year with a surplus of just over €20,000,000. In the words of our Mayor Bascunana: “The accounts of Orihuela Town Hall have never been so healthy.” Add to that the revenue from the sale of several plots of land here on the coast raising another €21,000,000, yet we all keep asking why the coast is treated like a second class colony? A serving councillor said to me a few years ago: “It is difficult for a council to see what is happening when they have their backs turned against the coast.”

I would hazard a guess that the bulk of that surplus is revenue that is raided from the piggy bank of Orihuela Costa, or revenue raised by the sale of land here on the coast – revenue that was promised for improvements to the infrastructure and to build a cultural centre to accommodate a library and auditorium for cultural events.

It’s about time and only correct that some or most of that money, OUR MONEY, should be directed/refunded back to the Coast to help support businesses to recover after the pandemic, but also to start updating the infrastructure, roads, etc. Also it’s about time the mayor and the inept coalition council got off their backsides and got to grips with the missing footbridge over the AP-7. They have a budget for the feasibility study and construction of our cultural centre, but because it’s for the coast it is deemed not important. Why?

Some time ago there was a book day, but not for the coast. Putting the lockdown aside for a minute, where could any of our 4,000 children go to read books or borrow reference books for their studies and exams? It’s easy for those in Orihuela, as they have several libraries open till late at night. All we had was the reading point in Lomas de Cabo Roig, which was run by a great team of volunteers, and if you know the building it is still not clear if it is structurally safe to use due to storm damage, or if it will ever open up again.

Whether it’s the PP or C’s, no party in Orihuela will ever look after the coast, we have to be self-reliant and for that we need to unite as one.

Whatever your nationality, we are all residents of Orihuela Costa and we all have a vested interest in the future and at the next council elections in May 2023. We need to vote and get representatives from the coast to make our voices heard and start our journey towards independence, be like our neighbours in Pilar and break free from the chains of Orihuela. WE CAN TOGETHER, TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER.

Peter Houghton.
Partido Independencia Orihuela Costa.

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