Local News (7th September 2017 issue)
Alcudia and the Budget Law
At a press conference last week, the mayor of Alcúdia, Antoni Mir highlighted the situation the council faces with some basic services in crisis while it has €56m in the bank, with no authority to spend it, “it does not make sense that having €56m in the bank that we are not allowed to invest in essential works such as: sewerage in the neighbourhood of Manresa, a municipal warehouse despite having space in the industrial estate, a new Police Station between Alcúdia and the Port, an increase of the staff to give more service...”.
He went on to explain that he had sent a letter to Cristóbal Montoro of the Ministry of Finance that stated the situation and the need to modify the Law of Budgetary Stability so that “healthy municipalities can invest their surplus.”
After a month with no reply, the mayor is proposing a platform of municipalities that are in the same situation to protest against the government. Mir wants that platform to meet with all the state leaders “to be imposed in Madrid as the PP does not have an absolute majority and force him to change this unfair law.”
Alcúdia has experienced growth, which calls for services to be adapted. In 2001, the town’s population was 12,942. In just five years this has increased by 53% and the municipal register of 2016 indicates that there are 19,763 people living in Alcudia. Furthermore, in the summer season, estimates put the population at a whopping 90,000.
This causes other demands to rise as, for example, work records went from 60 in 2001 to 275 last year, an increase of 358%. Noting that the town has only one architect three days a week to report those files, the mayor is clearly concerned. He added that the situation is
“very precarious because the council has only 13 workers to carry out the maintenance of the town when in fact we would need double and we are not allowed to hire them.”
The terrace story is not a new one, Alcudia had their crisis in the Old Town a season or two ago. Now Puerto Pollensa has its own version. Much has been said about the restriction of seating at Bar Bonys in the square in Puerto Pollensa. In fact, so much was said that TOTN went straight to the council to find out what went on and why. Quite simply the Ordinance on Occupancy of the Public Way was passed in 2002 and Bar Bonys was informed in 2015 that the bar exceeded the permitted tables on the square. In 2016, at the beginning of the season, he was informed that he would have to comply with the ordinance as all the other bars and restaurants in town. On both sides, all was amicable. It was just a law being enforced.
Bar Bonys is allowed 64 chairs on its terrace. In recent police checks the bar had roughly triple the authorized amount (over 180). The owner was asked to remove them or else the police would have to do so. But, what is key in this case is that the Council didn’t ban tables and chairs, nor did it close the premises. Furthermore, there were no complaints from Grupo Boulevard or any other local business. The action of the council was, according to Tomeu Cifre Bennassar, “not to harm Bar Bonys, but simply enforce the regulations as it has done with all premises in the town.” He added that “The legislation was approved in 2002 and is nothing new. The decision that Bar Bonys and all the premises of the town complied with the regulations was a commitment of the whole government team and a legal obligation, otherwise it could be a crime of prevarication by municipal officials.”
Bar Bonys is clearly extremely popular. Visitors to the port return there year after year and it is a place as much for children as it is their parents who enjoy dinner, drinks and cocktails from Happy Hour onwards. The good news is that this is not going to stop. Bar Bonys goes on, just a little bit smaller than before but of course, with the same smile.
Official Visit in Pollensa
The President of the Government, Francina Armengol, visited Pollensa last week and met with local officials and businesses. One of which was the new head of the military aerodrome of Pollensa, Miguel Angel Falla Piñero. The new military command has been in Mallorca for more than a decade and has extensive experience of international missions. He was head of the Squadron 801 of the Air Force on the base of Son Sant Joan.
President Armengol also visited Teixits Vicens and had a guided tour of the factory where the “robes de llengües” is made. She used the occasion to announce the Government’s commitment to promote local businesses and artisan companies, stressing that they represent an added value for the economy. Armengol also highlighted the quality of the product and praised the company for the quality jobs they create.
Parking at Playa de Muro
Carpark saturation along the stretch of the Arta road that crossed the Play de Muro area is causing great concern even for the neighbouring authorities in Santa Margalida, whose mayor Joan Monjo stated it “is a serious danger that seems won’t be fixed until a misfortune occurs.” The road runs in front of the natural park es Comú, whose virgin beaches attract many visitors. The small neighbourhood of the Ses Casetes dels Capellans (Muro) and the first streets of Can Picafort (Santa Margalida) are the only place where visitors can park to visit the beaches.
In response to residents of ses Casetes dels Capellans, the Council of Muro, has placed billboards at the entrance stopping any cars from entering. Neighbours insist that “they are only placed when the parking lot is full” and lately they have been used. However this means that more people are parking on the road, filling them with cars and people cross continuously. A real danger on such a busy road.
Martí Fornés, mayor of Muro, shares his neighbour’s opinion and explains “Capellans has to close when it is full otherwise there is chaos.” He added, “parking on the road is strictly forbidden. The management of the natural park posted posters every 200 meters at the beginning of the year to further strengthen the ban, but it is not respected.” But it is the
Ministry of Interior who are responsible. Fornes is confident that if it were municipal would already be arranged because in an afternoon they would place blocks in to prevent parking.
Back To School
The town councils are announcing their adult education courses ready to start in October. Pollensa has published their list and as usual there is the Castella per a Estrangers – Spanish for Foreigners. Having heard great things about the course in the past, it is well worth a try. Also on offer is beginners Catalan starting at A1 level. Language is the first way to integrate with the community you live in, so give it a go. Register this month at the Town Hall to start the course in October. More information at www.ajpollença.net.
Citizen’s Register in Pollensa
The Council of Pollensa are calling for people who want to play an active role in town hall activities to sign up for the Citizen Registry.The register will collect details of all those who have explicitly indicated their interest in being informed of the municipal activity and to participate in the processes that the council carries out.
Those on the Citizen Registry will be informed of the participatory processes, and can be selected and assigned in the workings and processes on an individual basis. All interested individuals should visit the municipal offices and sign up giving name, telephone and email.