Opposition claims more than half are “not urgent and smell of electioneering”

The Local Government of Orihuela (Partido Popular and Ciudadanos) today approved €6,057,963 of spending on projects for the city, Orihuela Costa and the countryside villages. the money has come from a surplus that is allowed to be used for financially sustainable investments.

They include €500,000 for the planned Ciudad Deportiva sports complex, €900,000 for new rubbish trucks, and €700,000 to repair dilapidated houses around the Sierra de San Miguel.

Councillor Sabina Galindo said these projects are urgent and cannot be put off and are promises they have made.

There is €200,000 to asphalt roads in places all over the municipality, €100,000 to “reposition” parks and gardens, and €1.6 million to work on historic municipal buildings, including the Castillo de los Moros (Moorish Castle), Horno de Santa Matilde (Oven of Saint Matilda) and Casa de los Mineros (Miners House), among others; as well as €500,000 for historic water works: the Norias Gemelas (Twin Water Wheels) and the Molino de la Ciudad (City Mill): and €200,000 for the Palacio Sorzano de Tejada.

None of the opposition groups voted in favour of these investments. Foro Demócrata and Cambiemos abstained. Cambiemos councillor Javier Gracia said he did not agree with many of the projects and called them a “toast to the sun” (pointless gesture).

Socialist (PSOE) Víctor Ruiz said many of the projects are neither urgent nor cannot be put off but “smell more like electioneering”.

Cambiemos and PSOE criticised that there is half a million euros for the sports complex when the Town Hall “does not know what land it is going to put it on and does not even have a project”, and the situation is much the same for the Social Centre in La Murada.

Ruiz said there is only 56% for Orihuela Costa and only 24% for historic assets, when “they need more to carry out the work that needs to be done within two years to qualify for European EDUSI funds”.

The meeting also approved payment of bills totalling €603,270, most of which were from 2017 but were presented this year, €110,000 was for bills the auditor had objected to but which council workers had signed anyway, and €500,00 were bills registered after the deadline.