Budget 2013 - and Participatory budget

Budget contraints

On Wednesday December 19th The Councillor for Finance, Oscar Anton, presented Xàbia's municipal budget for 2013 to a the Citizens Forum. The budget was severely affected by cuts because of the reduction in IBI. The meeting also served to choose projects that are part of the participatory budget.

The reversion to 1994 property values in the calculation of IBI has meant a decline in revenues for municipal coffers to the tune of 7.6 million euros, with subsequent adjustments that the situation demands. The Governing coalition has however reserved a portion of the 2013 municipal budget upon which the citozens can vote.

Specifically, it is a real investment heading of about 589 000 euros and depends on the sale of municipal assets and reserves for subsidized housing. 120,000 euros are already within the budget. Approximately 289,0000 euros should result from the auction of a municipal plot in Mar Azul, and 300,000 euros from - PMS – money which was previously assigned exclusively for social housing, but which can now legally be spent on other investments.

Although the amount allocated to the participatory budget is almost double that of 2012 and nearly 17% of the municipal budget for next year, (35 million euros), many people were not happy about the hurried presentation and lack of opportunity to consider the projects.

The Councillor for Citizen Participation, Cesc Camprubí, apologized explaining that, although the plan was to start proposing projects in March, the annulment of the “Catastrazo” forced them to redefine the city's economic situation and until now it was not known if there would be a participatory budget. However, the citizens would have liked to have had at least a memo about the projects, even if it had been just a week in advance, to know what they were voting on.

Anton explained that despite the adjustments, Xàbia ended the year with only a 2.5 million deficit by controlling costs and increasing revenues from properties registered by the Office of Urban planning. The current law requires that the budget must balance next year, and once the exercise is finally closed the exact amount must be known, meaning there will be definite cuts in municipal departments to obtain the necessary sum.

So, 1.4 million euros will be obtained by reducing municipal boards, amortizing posts and spending on personnel which is budgeted at 13.6 million euros for 2013, representing 38% of the total. It is noteworthy that Javea has 310 employees on its payroll, while Calpe has 430 and Denia has 610.

They aim to reduce total current expenditure (15.6 million euros) by 1.3 million euros, but without damaging the most basic and fundamental services, such as cleaning, and helping those most in need through the Social Services and Commerce departments which have actually had their allocation increased.

One key to savings is renegotiating large contracts such as Iberdrola and Cespa. For example, street cleaning and rubbish collection during the winter could be done less frequently, saving expense, but without affecting the service in the summer.

Another strategy is to reduce rented facilities, such as the Port library, which will soon move to the new municipally-owned building, saving € 60,000 per year and the Civil Protection headquarters, which is now located in the EPA (Adult Education Centre) building.

Similarly, with regard to the agreement with associations, in 2013 200,000 euros will not be ear-marked for the Mediterranean House, and agreements with clubs will be reduced by 15%, for those which have a training activity, and by 20% for those which do not have a municipal school.

Fiestas has been cut by 50% since 2011. Spending in that year was 1.1 million euros, only 600,000 euros has been set aside for 2013. And, "each councillor may spend what they have been assigned, not a penny more," said mayor José Chulvi.

As for the repayment of the Town's loans, in 2013 they will have to pay 3.1 million by law, but they have budgeted 3.6 million, an extra half a million euros in order to reduce interest payments,

As regards the expected 20 million euros revenue for 2013, about 55.4%, is obtained from IBI and 355,000 euros from other fees. A pleasant surprise for the coming year has been and increase in the transfer from the State (the State gives money based on the census) by 5%, i.e. more than 900,000 euros.

The mayor publicly praised the efforts of all departments and municipal employees to contain costs while continuing to meet obligations. He also said that the first few months of the year would be difficult, as they will have to deal with the deficit without yet having income. They have considered requesting an advance of the transfer from the State to ensure payments to suppliers. The town hall generates work for many small businesses in the municipality.

Custom Payments

The Councillor for Citizen Participation and New Technologies, Cesc Camprubí announced in passing that the Town is about to debut a new custom payment system, (a pioneer in Spain), which will allow citizens to pay their taxes as and when they see fit. e.g. some businesses earn more during the summer and paying then would be easier for them. People can split payments and decide how much to pay each time. Moreover, payment can be done by credit card and bonuses of up to 9% will be given for those who settle their rates bills in January.

Participatory budget.

The projects given the highest rating within the participatory budget were the rehabilitation of a windmill on Plana and the “Surco” building used by several musical groups rehearse, and the Central Cinema, the recovery of which has a budget of about one million euros.

In this context, the mayor reported that Xàbia has an arrangement with Alicante through which the provincial body will pay 60% while the remaining 40% will come from the municipality. For this reason it is proposed to make a reservation of 200,000 euros in 2013 and again in 2014.

The projects presented were based on requests that citizens groups, associations and clubs had made to the Town Hall throughout the year. Although they correspond to real needs of citizens who have spent years asking for these investments, lack of communication and planning when preparing the Forum caused unrest among people who were unaware of these requests, and hadn't had the opportunity to express theirs.

In total there were 18 projects which together totalled € 960,000, so the priority was to choose projects adding up to the €589 000 participatory budget. Everyone at the meeting had to vote for three projects, giving 3 points to the project with highest priority, two to the next, and one point to the third. The final tally of votes was:


  • Central Cinema, 87 points. € 200,000
  •      Windmill, 44 points. € 20,000
  •      Rehabilitation of the “Surco”, 35 points. € 30,000
  •      Replacement and maintenance of playground equipment, 23 points. € 60,000
  •      Lighting windmills on La Plana, 19 points. € 20,000
  •      Completing development of the intermediate segments of Augusta Avenue, 19 points. € 60,000
  •      Consolidation of Granadella Castle, 18 points. € 15,000
  •      Conversion of ​​the site of the old barracks of the Guardia Civil into an outdoor public area, 13 points. € 15,000
  •      Repair sidewalks in Avenida del Puerto, 12 points. € 100,000
  •      Installing an awning for the Mesquides football field 10 points. € 7000


Initially outside the budget ceiling:
Rehabilitation of Casa de la Candelaria (100,000 €), the construction of a roundabout between Avenida del Pla and Juan Carlos I (€ 300,000), recovery of the Cala Blanca path (15,000 €), a marquee for the football field (15,000 €), a landscaping project Llavador Pont (10,000€) fix the racquetball court (15,000 €)

From XAD: Los cuidadanos...

Quote from Oscar Anton Facebook:
August 2nd 2013

The current financial climate makes the disposal or development of municipally owned plots very difficult, but once in a while an opportunity exists to sell some land but recently we sold a plot located in Calle Barraca in Portixol for over 300,000€ plus IVA. The income generated by the sale will go to fund a number of the investments the residents of Javea selected last year as part of the participatory Budget forums. Many of the projects I managed to include in the regular budget for 2013 but some were linked to the sale of Municipal land so now we can use this money to improve the general health and welfare of our residents and to help encourage tourism. We will use local tradesmen and businesses.

The Port area will receive 100,000€ for the new paving scheme, 20,000€ building a new playground on the site of the old Guardia Civil barracks in Admiral Basterreche and 40,000€ on repairing and lighting the historic windmills at la Plana. 60,000€ will be spent on long outstanding repairs to Via Augusta outside the school with 110,000€ to repair the roof and make it safe as part of the ongoing renovations to Casa Candelaria. There will also be improvements made to some of the childrens play parks around Javea.

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