WHAT TO DO WITH THE €4.4 MILLION TO BE OBTAINED FROM THE SALE OF LAND ON ORIHUELA COST
Another subject of importance was a vote in the plenary in November on the use of funds obtained from the sale of land in Orihuela Costa. C.L.A.R.O. had objected to the sale of land arguing that there was too little municipal land in Orihuela Costa and with so few municipal facilities for residents, it was a mistake to sell it for house-building. The protest was in vain and the government proceeded to sell land for a value of €4.4 million. Although they had pledged to use 40% of the proceeds for investments in Orihuela Costa it soon became apparent that this was a false promise. The Socialist leader in charge of planning has already earmarked over €3.3 million for prestigious, vote-winning projects in Orihuela and surrounding villages, leaving at best less than 25% for Orihuela Costa. However, to use this money for whatever purpose requires majority approval in the Council plenary which the government does not have. This provided an opportunity for PP-CLARO to take the initiative to save the 40% for the coast and to allocate the remaining share equally to Orihuela city and its surrounding villages. This proposal was approved in the plenary against the wishes of the government and C.L.A.R.O. Councillor Bob Houliston stated in the debate that it would allow Orihuela Costa finally to have a proper civic or multi-use centre with theatre, cinema, library and rooms for the many associations on the coast which have to pay to rent rooms in private premises for their important social activities. With a share of the total equal to €1.7 million, there would be enough also for an important initiative enabling senior citizens living on the coast to have social services and facilities, similar to those enjoyed by senior citizens living in Orihuela. Over to you government, for action.