The Old Town Demands

On 27th August 2008, the Association of the residents and businesses in the Old Town had an extraordinary meeting, at which they approved a document to be presented to the next Plenary Town Council meeting on August 29th.

Among their demands were :

Thursday Market back at the Plaza de la Constitución:

This attracts people and is important for the revitalisation of the old town business. The problem is that there is now less space for the stalls. It is suggested that the Montaner Park (above the Plaza), Calle Sanchis Guarner and perhaps even the space near the Mercado de Abastos (covered market) could be used. The possibility of having the market on the ring roads (Ronda Nord, Ronda Sur ) was rejected because it would be senseless to stop traffic on the main arterial roads of the town.

Smoothing of pavement edges:

The pavement edges of the ring roads were dangerously sharp and the people wanted them lowered or sanded down, an option which is in the works contract.

Traditional paving around the church:

In this part of the Mediterranean it is traditional to use cobble stones to pave the area around the church, and nobody wants to abandon this particular charm. However the current works use Chinese paving blocks because the company wasn't able to guarantee reproducing the original. According to the Councillor for Works, the blocks were the only way of completing the works before the end of the year. (Note: If works are not completed by then, the EU grant is lost). This decision had been approved by the Council. The people disapproved of anything which did not resemble the original and complained that no-one considered their opinion.

Surface parking

700 surface parking places had been eliminated to create 900 places in the new underground car parks and the people wanted compensation. They wanted free parking outside and a monthly charge of €30 to use the underground car parks (current charge €85)

Loading and unloading

They wanted more loading and unloading places, because now it is difficult to stop on the ring roads without blocking the traffic, not to speak of the chaos caused when someone decides to do up their house

Open Shopping Mall project

They wanted to make sure that this draft project would get approval by the Council. The project would include business strategies, aid for improving shops, signs and street furniture, and a more frequent shuttle bus service. Curiously there was less enthusiasm when it was suggested that the shops should open on Saturdays to compete with Dénia or the Ondara shopping centre….

Rates Freeze

They wanted some kind of compensation for traders who had been most affected by the works, though there was disagreement as to how this could be fairly done.

Residents' Access

They wanted special rights of access to pedestrian areas for residents so that they could unload their cars.

What about this old wall then?

A short piece of old wall had been unearthed on the Principe de Asturias (as you go down hill from the Post Office on the left side of the road). Apparently it's actually a bit of an 18th/19th Century storm drain. For some reason this had been classified as an important bit of cultural heritage and had been built up with additional concrete. However its location disrupts the traffic. It was suggested that the original structure should be preserved by re-burying it and covering it to allow proper use of the road.

Aid for rehabilitation

The people wanted help to rehabilitate the facades of the historic centre and the old cinema; and for remedying damage caused by the works.

There were more complaints about the quality of the works: thousands of faults, pipes being connected back to front, aesthetic result leaves much to be desired, and that it didn't look much like the pictures in the leaflet distributed three years ago. However, this was not the time to discuss them

The demands will be presented to the spokesmen of the political parties today, but it is too late to be included on the agenda of the regular Council meeting on Thursday. They can only hope it is presented as an urgent motion.

Freely adapted from Xabia al Dia
Los ciudadanos quieren que el pleno apoye su moción - 27th August 2008

For a map of the places listed in the peoples' demands see below.

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