How does Margalló see the state of the municipality from an environmental point of view?
First of all, what is clear is that there is increasing environmental awareness among citizens. What we miss is that this environmental awareness is not picked up by the politicians themselves, who we think are always a bit in tow of citizen demands, when it should be the opposite. They would precisely have to be the promoters of social initiatives and environmental initiatives many times. If it is not for the existence of critical groups that demand things and improvements, they would not be carried out.
Elche is a town with a large municipal area, what are the priorities?
One of them, of course, would be the Vinalopó River, which in its northern part presents a very good environmental status and has sufficient values to demand its protection. Then in the urban area you come across a concreted riverbed that has great possibilities of being able to recover. And then a southern part of the river totally degraded, in a terrible state of conservation and that also ends up unfortunately in a hazard. It is a situation of degradation that we have to start thinking about reversing, because it is not acceptable that a city like Elche that is running as a candidate for European Green Capital for 2030 maintains a river in these conditions. Another great problem and the other great axis that we think would have to be worked on and a lot is the issue of waste management. It has been very bad in the last 30 years and we think that it will not improve with the measures that are being promoted by our City Council. Let’s hope of course that initiatives such as reviving the river as it passes through the urban area will serve to awaken our political representatives and so that they begin to become aware that it is necessary and to implement more long-term actions.
What is your opinion of the new garbage contract?
We already warned at the time that the first thing, before awarding a multimillion dollar contract of more than 300 million euros for the next ten years, was to carry out a preliminary study of the needs and tools to be able to comply with current legislation. It is something that we have demanded, we have not been listened to and now that new contract will have to be readapted to these demands, because today that study is mandatory from this year. We think that precious time has been wasted on this matter and that things could certainly have been done much better.
Should the Clot de Galvany have a higher protection category than that of a municipal natural area?
We believe that it has a suitable figure and is sufficiently protected. It is in a very good environmental state due to good management in the last twenty years. The problem is the environment. El Clot has become the park for use and recreation of all the urbanizations that are around our crushed coastline. It is not only a question of preserving redoubts, islands in the territory, but of protecting the territory and the landscape and this is a measure in which we will have to start thinking because the new General Management Plan is currently being drafted Urbana (PGOU). We have to say by the way that a draft of this PGOU has already been presented to the social agents and we have been excluded. It is one of the things that environmental groups do not like very much. Neither have they sent us the information nor have we been invited to participate in these informative and preparatory meetings. We think that with attitudes like this from our political representatives we will certainly not be able to come to fruition. From here we throw the glove and we are ready to fully collaborate with our political representatives, but gestures are also necessary on their part.
And what about the Fondet de la Senieta?
It is a part of the Clot de Galvany and we cannot dissociate it from all that wetland. It is a flooded area that in ancient times was intended to be urbanized, which would have been a real aberration. It is a place that we think needs not only a degree of protection, but also includes all the surroundings and preserves it from urban development and the concrete that has prevailed.
What do you think of the government team’s bike lanes policy?
We have been very critical of some actions that have been made over the last few years of bike lanes, but we are certainly seeing a change in the policy of developing these bike lanes. I believe that the issue of the arrival of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan will lead to an improvement in future facilities, in the bike lanes that can be installed. It seems to us a brave bet that has been made in the case of the bike lanes of José María Buch and Juan Carlos I, a bet that we have also demanded, we have fought for years and we are also of the opinion that the problems that arise may be generating at present, in a while we will see them as very distant, they will of course be able to be solved and will ultimately contribute to a much more sustainable city and urban area.
Do you see feasible getting Elche European Green Capital 2030 by the steps that are being taken these years?
The truth is that we are quite skeptical of this from the beginning and we think that steps are being taken in the opposite direction. Actions are being carried out that go in the opposite direction, such as filling everything with concrete, even in dividing areas, in parks and gardens, etc., with the excuse that in this way we get rid of maintenance. In other words, you are betting on less nature, when we are really at a time when we would have to bet on the opposite.
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