October 2015 News Headlines

Council rejects "Huertos del Montgó" project

October 30th
The Town Hall plenary session has rejected the development project for the Huertos del Montgó (Montgó 3 and 4) (see story below) on the grounds that it consists of a complex of houses with barbeque, swimming pool and garage, as well as social club, but no mention anywhere of a doctor. It therefore does not comply with the basis of the adjudication of the plan which sought the construction of sheltered accommodation and only 16 houses. From XAD: Urbanismo asegura...

Xàbia Town Hall activates a transparency portal to make municipal information more accessible to citizens

October 30th
The Town Hall has launched a transparency portal (in Spanish) to make it more accessible and easier for citizens to check all public information. Easily accessible on the municipal website (www.ajxabia.com), it is organized into five sections, one with economic and financial information (budgets, agreements, grants, public property of the town, and reports), another section on urban development (with current legislation and its amendments) and a third of an institutional nature that collects data from public officials, with their responsibilites and remuneration and how to contact them; and the internal organization of the Corporation and its objectives, in addition to the minutes of the plenary sessions, once they are approved. The fourth focuses on strengthening the virtual relationship with citizens, facilitating the location of news or linking to social networks from which queries or complaints are addressed, in addition to accessing the current channels of citizen participation, and a new discussion and debate forum which will be activated soon. The last section contains all legislation relating to transparency, a challenge within the codes of good governance to which Xàbia Town Hall wishes to give full weight and importance. From Press Release and English version on Facebook. For full text see: Transparency portal

Amjasa appoints manager for the next four years

October 28th
The board of directors of the municipal water company AMJASA has endorsed the appointment of Josep Lluis Henarejos as manager for the next years, despite efforts by Xàbia Democratica (XD) and the Partido Popular (PP) to have the appointment annulled, questioning the legality of the selection process. ..For the first time, the process to select a new manager had to be conducted through interview selection according to a decree issued by Central Government and, being the first time, the system used by the Provincia de Alicante to select the manager of the Costa Blanca Tourist Board was adopted. For full story see: Javeamigos

Status of Citizen Participation in Xàbia

October 25th
Last Thursday people who had been involved in Citizen Participation met in the Casa de Cltura to discuss a re-launch. Only few people turned up, so the meeting agreed to seek methods of engaging citizens and encouraging them to participate. A Powerpoint summarising the current status of citizen partiocipation in Xàbia, and its recent history was shown. An english version can be seen here: Citizen Participation Status October 2015

"Huertos del Montgó" to remain green - at least for now

October 25th
One of the last, large building areas left in Xàbia, "Los Huertos del Montgó" .. just outside Xàbia on the flanks of the Miontgó, will remain undeveloped for a while at least. The Town Planning Commission, has rejected a development plan which was previously considered in a favourable light, through a technicality of wording. A few years ago, a plan to build houses on this area was rejected. Any building on the area would be subject to the use of some of the land as an ecological buffer with the Montgó Park, and an ecological corridor with another green zone. Subsequently a new plan was submitted for a residential complex aimed at senior citizens with 162 dwellings in three phases, with specialist services such as doctor, physiotherapist etc.. (Ed's note: somewhat similar to Ciudad Patricia in Benidorm ?). In February 2013 The concept was widely accepted as being a good one, and by July that year the developers had permission to go ahead. Gradually , all the requirements such as sewerage and electricity and water connections were overcome…but last Monday the Planning Commission said "no" on the basis that Xàbia's land use planning for that area specified "hospitals or similar" not houses.The issue will be discussed at next week's Council Meeting. From Xàbia al Dia

Port Fiestas rated "Good"

October 21st
Almost 250 people took part in the special on-line survey commissioned by the Xàbia Town Hall which asked residents to rate as well as offer opinions and suggestions about the fiestas which honour Mare de Déu de Loreto in the port during the late summer. The results, which are shown below, returned a general approval by the majority of the respondents whilst the work of the Fiesta Commission, the "bous a la mar" and the firework display were rated as "Very Good". It became clear that the sensitivity towards the use of animals in these celebrations is on the increase and several respondents questioned the practice. There was also a request for an increase of cultural events and concerts whilst there were calls to bring an end to the early morning "despertaes" - the noisy wake up calls - the mobile discos. For full report and results see: Javeamigos

Spanish Entrepreneurs take off

October 14th
The Spanish start up scene is thriving as witnessed last week when 12,500 people attended The South Summit in Madrid, one of the biggest start-up networking events in Europe. Just over half (53 percent) of startup founders in Spain are first time entrepreneurs with the survey showing that one in three startups failed within the first year. By far the majority of entrepreneurs are educated to at least Masters level, with only 20 percent not having tertiary education. And nearly half (47 percent) have studied business. A whopping 76 percent claim to be fluent or advanced in English. Full story on The Local: Inside Spain's Startup World See the Survey results here: Startups made in Spain
Eds Note: Xàbia Townhall is running a workshop for would be entrepreneurs during the first week of November.

Record year for tourism in Spain

October 22nd
Spain has broken yet another tourism record after receiving 54.4 million international visitors up until September of this year, according to a new survey released by the Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry.
The new figure is 3.8% higher than calculations taken at the end of September 2014 for the same nine-month period. Last month, Spain broke its all-time record for the number of foreign tourist arrivals up to August when it registered 47.2 million visits – a 4.1% rise from the first eight months of 2014. Madrid showed the biggest improvement with an 11% increase in visitors. The latest figures from the ministry’s Tourism Border Movements Survey (Frontur) show that once again most visitors came from Britain, Germany and France – which together make up more than half of all tourists. Full story on : El Pais in English

Risk of Gota Fria until the end of November

October 19th
Professor of Geography, University of Alicant, and Head of the Institute for Climate Analysis, Jorge Olcina warns that the recent rains in the Marina Alta have not diminished the danger of torrential "Gota Fría" stroms along the coast. Although now the thermometer is dropping slightly, the sea is still warm, one of the factors which fuels the risk. "We must not lower our guard, and keep an eye on the weather forecasts," he warned. from La Marina Plaza: La Univesidad...

Valencia Government to spend €2 million on dredging ports

October 18th
The Valencia Department of Public Works has awarded the contract for dredging port areas which it directly manages with a tender price of €1,990,949 and an execution period of four years. This covers 16 ports accomodating fishing, sport and commercial fleets managed by Valencia along its coast including Denia, Javea, Moraira and Calpe. In Javea, the work is subject to the private re-organisation and modelling of the port - a project in which a concessionaire must invest 8.2 million euros from La Marina Plaza: El Consell...

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Licenses for new builds exceed rehabilitation for the first time since 2008

October 13th
During 2014, 34 building licenses for new properties were granted in Xàbia, while there were only 20 for rehabilitation works. This compares with 2008 figures of 88 and 56 respectively. Starts of new properties have been fairly steady over the past three years, while the number of rehabilitations have fallen. From: La Marina Plaza.

British nationals buy one in eight properties in Spain, and one in five of those sold to foreigners

October 8th
Brits are number one for house-buying in Spain at the moment, particularly in the Balearic Islands, the Canaries and the Comunidad Valenciana. Property purchasers from the UK make up one-fifth of all foreign buyers, and 12.7% of the total, according to recent figures from the College of Registrars. For full story see: ThinkSpain

"Hablemos" language practice groups to be revived

October 7th
The Department of Foreign Relations of the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia has decided to reactivate the free language practice programme called 'Hablemos Más', an initiative that brings together people from different mother tongues in groups based in cafes, shops or bars so that they can practice languages at a conversational level without having to leave the municipality. Those residents are interested in participating in this initiative should register with the HelpDesk through the month of October which can be found within the OAC offices at the Portal de Clot building in Avenida Trenc d'Alba. The desk can also be reached by telephone on 96 579 05 00 extensions 1308 and 1316 or via email on gro.aibaxja|pleh#gro.aibaxja|pleh. Full story on:Javeamigos

Xàbia to re-activate Consultative Committee of Planning and Environment

October 7th
The Department of Planning at the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia is to reactivate the Consultative Committee of Planning and Environment this month, an advisory body in which relevant issues would be discussed before being put before the monthly plenary session for decision. Associations and groups that were represented in the committee in the last legislature, drawn from residents, businessmen and professionals in the sector, have been asked to nominate at least one representative and one or two deputies to sit on this advisory body. This can be done so in person at the OAC offices in Portal del Clot, Avenida Trenc d'Alba or via email to the OAC on moc.aibaxja|cao#moc.aibaxja|cao. For full story see: Javeamigos ( Ed's Note: Agenda21 had a representative J.A. Rodriguez a couple of years ago. In the absence of any new nominations (we haven't had an Agenda21 meeting in months ) He is to be invited to sit on the committee.)

Valencia expects to produce 220,000 tonnes of kakis

October 7th
Valencia's Regional Councillor for Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change and Rural Development, Elena Cebrián, has shown appreciation for the "good work" carried out in the production and international promotion of Valencian kakis and has defended the "sustainable success" of this fruit. Cebrián made these statements during the presentation of the campaign for the Designation of Origin Kaki Ribera del Xúquer. In 2014, Valencia's production reached 180,000 tonnes and this year it is expected to reach 220,000, according to Cirilo Arnandis, president of the DO, who pointed out that 75% of the production is intended for export. for Full story see: FreshPlaza

Xàbia Town Hall resumes forestry maintenance work on La Plana

October 6th
Xàbia’s department of Environment is working in the area of La Plana, within the Montgo natural park, carrying out forestry maintenance tasks after last year’s fire, and to tackle the plague of drilling insects which are damaging the pines that survived the fire. Councillor Doris Courcelles explained that the ravages of pests like Tomicus or Ortotomicus are to be expected, since the trees were greatly weakened after suffering the flames, and due to the lack of rain last spring and summer. The situation is "complex" stated the municipal department, acknowledging that a few weeks ago they began coordinating a municipal brigade to withdraw both trees affected by the plague of pine borers, which completely dries out the trees in just a few days, and the remaining burned trees. This new phase will initially last for two months, the Environment department commented on the good effects of the September rains which in addition to providing moisture to the pines thus making them more resistant, is favouring the regrowth of undergrowth. (From Chulvi Facebook)

Health Care in the Marina Alta suffering from Job cuts

Ocober 6th
The "Marina Salud" company which runs Denia Hospital has, according to the Unions destroyed 12% of all jobs lost in the health sector in the Valencian Community with savings of €5.7 million. The department has 7.3 employees per thousand inhabitants , well below the regional average of 9.2. The company's Works Council (comité de empresa)warns that loss of staff impairs the quality of patient care. For example 4 radiologists were lost in the space of 8 months, while the population increased, and the Emergency Services were overstretched during the summer with 5 staff members resigning. The Works Council is to meet the regional Minister for Health . From: La Marina Plaza.

The "Riuraus"dentified as strategic for promoting tourism

Oct 2nd
The rural tourism in the Marina Alta is to be promoted through the 'Ruta dels Riuraus', a tour of twelve participating municipalities established in 2014 in which visitors are encouraged to visit the structures which were a part of the 19th Century raisin industry in the region and discover other architectural features as well as the cultural attractions of each municipality. The 12 municipalities which started the project have been joined by Dénia, El Verger and Orba, and an association has been formed. This will be involved with promoting the initiative, managing a web site and social media. From Las Provincias.

Mayor Chulvi takes over responsibility for Tourism

Oct 1st
Xàbia's Mayor Chulvi has decided to take on responsibility for the town's Department of tourism. The reason given is the strategic importance of the sector in the local economy. As Mayor he also has a cross departmental overview. Chulvi was Councillor for Tourism in a previous coalition under the mayorship of Monfort soem 7 years ago. In addition, he sits on the Costa Blanca Tourist Board which manages provincial tourism and his membership of the Diputación de Alicante enables him to identify subsidies. A regional tourism policy is seen as a must, and as mayor he can add more weight to this. The previous Tourism Councillor, Pilar Zamora, will continue with her other responsibilities (Heritage and the Arenal) and also manage the Office for Consumer Affairs and Health. From : La Provincias

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