Meeting with residents after Granadella fire

English version of a report on the meeting as shown in Xabia al Dia

Residents whose properties were badly affected by the Granadella fire had a fiery meeting with town hall and regional officials on September 19th 2016

The meeting was attended by Isabel Fuentes, a representative of the Directorate General of Civil Defense and Emergencies of the Prefectures in Alicante which distributes aid for those affected by such events and invited everyone to fill out a benefit form which is available on the OAC (Deadline October 13.)

Types of aid:

1. House totally destroyed: a maximum of 15,000 euros
2. House damaged without structural elements destroyed: maximum 10,000 euros,
3. Parts of the house: maximum 5,000 euros
4. Housing goods: appliances, kitchen, beds, basic necessities: maximum 2,500 euros.

These grants are governed by a royal decree and are also conditional on the applicant being on the "padron" and having the following income:

1 and 2 members of the household: maximum 26,000 euros per year
3and 4 members of the household: maximum 33,000 euros per year
more than 4 members of the household: maximum 41,000 euros per year

Following the intervention of the expert and explanation of the peculiarities of the regulating royal decree, residents took the floor criticized neglect of plots that burned alongside their homes properties provoking damage. Those who spoke stressed that they had submitted complaints to the Council about the abandoned state of these, now burned plots, some of which are municipally owned while other area other private. All agreed that there had been no response to calls or letters from the Town Hall. The mayor, José Chulvi, responded highlighting the efforts made by the Town Hall with more than 200 execution orders that have been sent and recalled that "until you have the owner's permission can not go onto a plot. " He added that there have been cases where a judge has allowed entry e.g. Club Tosalet. He also recalled that there are brigades for forestry work. The councillor for Services, Kika Mata said that in recent years there have been various actions against fire such as as a firewall in Cansalades but acknowledged that "it is never enough."

One of the attendees asked why they had not asked for the area to be declared a disaster area. Chulvi said that legal figure no longer exists, an aspect that was confirmed by the government representative who said that since 2007 such a declaration no longer applies and state aid for this type of disaster is based in a royal decree.

One of the attendees at the meeting decided to leave after intervening having been disappointed by what they had heard. Another of the attendees commented they had a plot in another municipality and every year they received a letter asking them to clean it or else they would have to pay. They suggested Javea Town Hall should do the same, and also said the administration "has the tools to declare something an emergency, to intervene and clean up those plots that are dirty and abandoned, like the one I have next to my house and contributed to its loss". This resident now lives in a rented house.

At another point in the meeting, another owner strongly expressed the feeling of many of those present. "They should be ashamed to summon this meeting, nothing is ready, I am ashamed to have this council, you have come here to tell me nothing I do not know, they should hang their head in shame, shame of Javea and politicians" he said vehemently. This resident said he was "wasting his time at that meeting" and decided to leave.

Another question was if you have have lost your garden to the fire, and have to fell few trees will you have to pay the license fee for cutting them ? (about 92 euros).

The Mayor answered that tree cutting requires a license request for minor works and stated that fees are charged because they are required by law. The resident asked if the Town Hall planned to exempt owners from paying the the fee if the trees in question had been burned. The head of Urban Development, replied that the law "does not distinguish between trees" and warned that if someone tears them down without license "the same disciplinary proceedings would be opened".

Note: On September 21st Mayor Chulvi issued the following notice: "Xàbia has suspended by mayoral decree the rate of minor work for 30 days. This way we avoid that the owners that have to do cleaning chores at the plots affected by the fire should pay any municipal canon. The suspension will run from September 26th to October 26th."

Another question was that since the fire they had used lots of water to clean the terraces and the garden, and asked if the municipal water company of Amjasa, would write off those bills whose consumption could therefore be excessive. Chulvi explained, that the company would carefully consider the case of each one of those affected and their consumption of potable water during the last month.

Following interventions by the residents, the mayor invited them to future meetings.

Report from Mayor Chulvi's Facebook


About 200 residents affected by the fires were yesterday able to learn at firsthand the financial assistance available from the Government Delegation.

At an open meeting in the multipurpose room at Portal del Clot, the Head of the Civil Protection Unit from the Alicante Government, Isabel Fuente, the Mayor of Xàbia, José Chulvi, and the Councillor for Urbanisations, Environment and foreign residents, Doris Courcelles, explained the requirements and conditions relating to the financial aid available.

The aid is granted only for primary residences and for incomes not exceeding 26,000 euros per annum for households of two people; 33,000 euros per annum for households of 3 or 4 people and up to 41,000 euros per annum for households with more than 4 people.

The deadline for submitting applications for aid ends on October 13th. Xàbia Town Council will assist all those residents who need to process their applications to the Government Government.


One of the aspects on which the meeting was focused, was the requests by residents that both public and private plots be kept clean. In this respect, the mayor, José Chulvi, explained that since the implementation of the local ordinance for cleaning plots in 2014, there have been more than 200 cases reported against individuals who did not meet their obligation to keep their land in good condition. The head of the local police, José Antonio Monfort, explained that in the event of an owner failing to keep their plot clean, the Town Hall cannot carry out the work, but must meet the notification procedure (sometimes in practice impossible, in the case of deceased owners, or bankrupt companies) and until legal deadlines have elapsed before obtaining an injunction to carry out the cleaning.

In addition, the Councillor for Services, Kika Mata explained that after the inaction of the past 20 years, since 2011 the cleaning of municipally owned plots has greatly increased. "It is difficult to reach everywhere in a municipality of 68Km2 and the amount of forested zones in Xàbia, but we have made a great effort to maintain our plots and clean the public forested areas". In 2015 alone 22 major activities took place, including clearing vegetation in Granadella, cleaning barrancos, mountain areas and municipal green areas. Also, despite the inactivity of the Hydrographic Confederation of Júcar, the Department of Services has begun cleaning the Gorgos riverbed to minimize risks in the event of heavy rain or fire.

Nevertheless, the Town Council recognises that much work remains to be done and that it must be a priority to keep the entire municipality in good condition for safety, health and image reasons.

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