We cannot say we were not warned. In a New Year message, the Popular Party Mayor, of Orihuela set out his priorities for 2016. Most striking was the complete absence of a mention of Orihuela Costa. Other party leaders in similar messages showed the same lack of concern for the area of the municipality with a population equal to that of the city which contributes over 60% of the income of the municipality via taxes.
In a recent meeting of the Executive Committee of Mayor Bascuñana’s Popular Party, they congratulated themselves on winning back the prized control of Orihuela Town Hall in May last year and their performance in the December 2015 General Election. They openly put it down to their success in recapturing votes in three small villages surrounding Orihuela city, Correntias, Molins and La Aparecida. These three villages have a combined population well short of just one of the major urbanizations in Orihuela Costa. The difference is that they vote and their votes count in getting favours done for them whereas only small numbers of non-Spanish residents and taxpayers in Orihuela Costa register to vote and vote in local elections.
An illustration of how the Orihuela Town Hall favours selected areas of the municipality and not Orihuela Costa can be seen in the decision this month to allocate €330,000 to improvements in a main city square, Santa Lucia, and certain surrounding villages. In Santa Lucia square the cobble stones will be replaced by tarmac. According to the Spanish press, the cobble stones were placed only 7 years ago for €600,000. What waste and extravagance! Orihuela Costa needs improvements to the streets and pavements of innumerable urbanizations!!
In another decision in January, this time by Torrevieja Town Hall, together with funds from the provincial government in Alicante, they allocated €826,145 to improvements their seaside walkway (Paseo Maritimo), so important to residents and tourists. In contrast, the Cala Capitan section of Orihuela Costa’s equally important seaside walkway remains closed for the third year due to failure to repair the damage and danger to pedestrians from cliff falls. (See photo above)
In an interview in January, one of the three recently appointed political assistants (pedanías) to Orihuela Costa’s Coordinating Councillor presented an ambitious list of all the things needed in Orihuela Costa. He is whistling in the wind. In the present political context, there is no chance of correcting the problems of deficiencies in the areas of health, sports and education which he cited, or, as he continued, meeting the need for a second health centre, a nautical sports centre, increased local police, an emergency Services Centre, and parks and gardens which would be the envy of La Manga de Mar Menor and Benidorm, plus a mega natural park in Cala Mosca. All of these are admirable ambitions for which C.L.A.R.O. has been fighting for years. But the sad fact is that his political masters in Orihuela and the other Orihuela political parties simply do not listen and pay heed to what C.L.A.R.O. or the Coordinating Councillor for the Coast and her team of political assistants proclaim as the needs of Orihuela Costa. No votes, no voice!!