The Pilar de la Horadada City Council already has final budgets that will come into effect shortly after their official publication. The municipal accounts of the third city by number of inhabitants of the Vega Baja amount to 38,690,787.58 euros and have been approved in the plenary session of January without the opposition groups of the PSOE and independent of Neighbors Por el Pilar have presented allegations and after January after rejecting the allegations presented by the CSIF union “which – in the opinion of the PP government team – have caused a significant delay in their application.” The government team initially approved the 2021 budgets in an extraordinary plenary session the first week of December, “achieving a historical record that responds to the work led by Councilor Mari Carmen Gracia and her team from the Finance Department.”
According to the Councilor for the Treasury, these budgets for 2021 respond to the estimate of income and expenses in a way “quite conservative and prudent”, taking into account the pandemic in which we are immersed, even so, “they have been prepared thinking that the situation will improve, and if it does not happen, the law establishes mechanisms to modify them.”
Regarding the income forecast, they have been calculated as a mere forecast of the amounts that will be settled throughout the year 2021. For example, according to the government team, in the case of the construction, facilities and works tax, the ICIO, “has been calculated taking the average of the amounts collected in the last five years “, although the opposition has questioned this criterion considering the economic crisis caused by the health crisis. In addition, the increase in any municipal tax is not planned.
However, the budgets for 2021 do not include the income from the two large urbanizable areas of Pilar de la Horadada, which for almost 20 years have been completely stopped: in reference to the “Urbanization of Lo Romero Golf” and the “Execution Unit Nº1 ”, known among citizens as“ UE-1 ”. The “Urbanization of Lo Romero Golf” that began in 2001 “has now been unlocked in the month of November, and it is expected that this urban development will increase the expected data”. The second EU-1 will also be unlocked in the coming months, and it will foreseeably cause the same effect.
The collection estimate of 10,855,904.20 euros is also included, which corresponds “to the possible sale of five municipally-owned plots, one of them located in the RV and the rest in the Hotel Golf Residencial Lo Romero sector”.
The disposal of urban land with residential uses in other municipalities of the Vega Baja, as is the case of Orihuela, have not gone ahead in other municipalities of the Vega Baja during 2020, due to the uncertainty in the market due to the fall of the demand for residential tourism due to the health crisis. With what the fulfillment of this forecast remains in the air.
Building cleaning and garbage collection
Regarding the expenses chapter, the situation caused by the covid pandemic has been taken into account. And, in addition, “the improvement of services to the citizenship that were abandoned by the previous Corporation and without economically updating has been prioritized, such as cleaning buildings, waste collection, street cleaning, safety and rescue on beaches, or the conservation of gardens and trees ”, according to the Councilor for Finance.
Therefore, the budgets for 2021 foresee greater spending on cleaning public buildings, in order to achieve greater efficiency in the cleaning and sterilization of municipally-owned buildings such as schools, municipal departments of attention to neighbors through a new contracts that is already in the tender with a base tender budget of four million euros: the annual expense will exceed 900,000 euros.
Street cleaning and the collection of urban solid waste, “deserve a separate chapter,” explains Mari Carmen Gracia, because they are budget items that “should have been increased in previous budget years, as stipulated in the contract signed in 2016 ”, when the number of new meters in the entire municipality of Pilar de la Horadada, which has been “Having a negative impact on the quality of service over the last four years”. He also recalls that they realized a few months ago that the PSOE-VPP coalition government of the previous legislature had “Forgiven about 80,000 euros to the company awarded the service”, for a concept that also appeared in the contract, and that they have already been claimed, and that they have paid them immediately.
The concept of beach safety and rescue also foresees an increase in spending, mainly due to the increase in the minimum interprofessional wage approved by the government of Spain, and included in the new bidding documents, “because those workers who provide said service will see an increase in their payroll compared to previous years,” explains the councilor.
“The administrative chaos that we have found inherited from the socialist government, forces us to update the items on the rise to update the welfare of our neighbors,” says Mari Carmen Gracia, such as the item for the maintenance “of natural assets” , which increases to “respond to the real needs of the new contract for the maintenance of gardens and trees, so that our neighbors can enjoy quality green areas for their use and enjoyment”.
Money is also used to improve the municipal ambulance service that, even though it is not the responsibility of the local administration, “the government team considered it necessary to provide a second ambulance for the service that has already been provided throughout the municipality of Pilar de la Horadada.” Therefore, “the commitment acquired, which will have greater influence among the neighbors and residents of the Pinar de Campoverde urbanization, is fulfilled,” according to the councilor.
In the investment chapter In real terms, “the great demands for many years” from the residents of Pilar de la Horadada have been taken into account. Specifically, actions aimed at improving citizen service have been taken into account, “creating new, more efficient, spacious and close to the citizen dependencies in the different multipurpose buildings (300,000 euros), projected in Torre de la Horadada, Pinar de Campoverde and Pilar de la Horadada “.
Investments in flood protection have also been considered, such as DANA in the urban center of Pilar de la Horadada, on Avenida de la Venta 1,413,201 euros, in Torre de la Horadada (another 533,000 euros), as well as the improvement of the accessibility and pedestrianization in these areas, with another 2,337,714.60 euros.
On the other hand, 1,200,000 euros have been projected to undertake “a great investment for Mil Palmeras”. The neighbors and residents of the urbanization of Costa Mil Palmeras “have been the great forgotten in terms of investments in recent years.” Now, they are going to undertake the investments that these neighbors were waiting “since the segregation of our municipality in 1986, which are specified” in the conditioning of the oldest areas, and a new tourist bridge, another 500,000 euros, which will replace to the walkway damaged by DANA.
The different investments in culture that were necessary, and that have not been carried out in recent years, such as the construction of CAMME, have also been taken into account, and anticipated. for which a loan of 9 million euros has been requested, to which we add a specific action on the Cañada de Praes Archaeological Site (150,000 euros). So up to the amount of 10,855,904.20 euros in investments, with the aim of improving the quality of life of our neighbors, in addition to serving as a stimulus to promote employment.
“The opposition has not presented allegations”
The municipal groups in the opposition have not submitted allegations to the budget for 2021, so “we understand that they are the budgets that Pilar de la Horadada needs,” explains Rufino Lancharro, spokesman for the Popular Party Government Team.
According to the spokesman, “the PSOE rushed to announce that the PP had cut 200,000 euros in social areas; however, the accounts show that they have increased. For example, in health it has increased by 106,000 euros, and in Environment it has increased by 272,281 euros. And it is not true that the sports game has been reduced by 13,000 euros, as the PSOE says. In reality, that amount has been reduced in the field of studies and technical works in the sports area, because they are not going to be done this year. And in employment, for example, it has been reduced because this exercise will not be able to take as many courses as the previous year due to the pandemic ”. He also comments that the subsidies to sports associations and clubs have not been lowered, and explains that “in 2020 the item was higher because some associations had doubled their amount, because in 2019 they had not received it, and that is where now there is the difference ”.
Rufino Lancharro affirms that it is not true that items have been reduced, “what we have done from the Popular Party is to optimize spending and group it.” And he continues explaining “before, each council had its own budget for office supplies or computing, so that each one compared those materials independently. We have grouped these expenses into a common expenses item to, on the one hand, control expenses, and on the other, lower costs when making large purchases of the same concept, for example, folios ”.
The spokesman regrets that the PSOE has not presented any allegation to the budgets, and that they have voted against it. He understands that at least “they could have worked a little to develop an alternative, or make sensible proposals” which they have missed, according to Rufino Lancharro.
The CSIF union presented several allegations to the budget for 2021, which have caused the 2021 budget to be extended and its entry into force delayed by a month. In addition, all of them have been rejected by the City Council because none of them fit the reasons for which claims can be established against the initially approved budget, in accordance with the provisions of current legislation.
The first claim consisted in incorporating an item to guarantee the payment of contributions to the workers’ Pension Plan, which has been rejected because, among other things, the current Collective Agreement of 2002 is not adequate to the limit of the wage bill additional global.
They also wanted three budget items to be set aside to guarantee public employees the right to training, access to refundable advances, and the purchase of new clothing due to deterioration and use of the same. These considerations have also been rejected, because the budget does include a chapter for training and improvement amounting to 5,000 euros, it also includes a budget application of 50,000 euros for repayable advances, and several items for wardrobe are also included in the budget for 2021 from different areas with a total amount of 93,427 euros.
Ten people work in the Department of the Treasury Department, between intervention and treasury, to whom the Councilor for the Treasury thanks “the effort made in recent months,” because we have met the challenge of approving the budget before the end of year, and that has been thanks to them ”.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.