For two years he had Social Council of the City of Alicante without meeting. The last date was early 2019, already with Luis Barcala as mayor (although still without Citizens in the government), to present the Budgets of that electoral year. Today the advisory body He has also met with the municipal accounts for 2021 as a backdrop, although many other issues have been discussed: from the processing of licenses, to citizen participation and the management of European funds. In fact, the Social Council has agreed, at the request of Compromís, to meet again shortly to address the European funds that are expected to arrive in the city to speed up the recovery after the COVID crisis. “At last the Social Council has been constituted, although it was almost in the middle of the term. This shows the value that the bipartite gives to these bodies and the citizen participation in general. Today it has been agreed to call a new meeting of the Social Council one once the European Funds Commission is set up [previsto para el 12 de marzo] to assess and discuss the opportunity that European funds represent for the city “, said the Commitment spokesman, Natxo Bellido, who has launched the proposal, which has been picked up by the mayor, Luis Barcala.
There has also been a proposal from the PSOE: to allocate 100,000 euros from the Budget to the Social Council, with the aim of promoting studies on key issues in the city. He has put it on the table municipal spokesman for the PSOE, Francesc Sanguino, very critical also with the delay in the call. “The mayor excuses himself in confinement for not convening the Social Council after almost two years from his inauguration. Why did he not call it the day after leaving the confinement? That was nine months ago. And before the There were another nine confinement. One cannot apologize for the contempt with which this municipal body has dealt, “says Sanguino at the end of the meeting, in which Barcala has rejected the neighborhood proposal for the Social Council to be chaired by a professional from recognized prestige in place of the mayor. “We believe that the mayor has lost the opportunity to offer his presidency to a person of recognized prestige in the city, as happens in other cities, and thus not conditioning him to his dynamics as mayor, thus giving him autonomy. However, this mayor once again demonstrates his lack of vision, his lack of his own style and disposition, dedicating himself solely to trying to control and star in one more municipal body. Barcala said at the end of the Council that the mayor has to preside over the Social Council to safeguard its importance. Summoning it with more than a year and a half delay by the will of that same mayor’s office has served to do just the opposite, “added Sanguino, who has criticized the budgetary policies of the bipartisan despite abstaining in the initial vote after the pact signed between the PSOE and Citizens: “The mayor says that the priority is social measures, but the funds for Equality have been reduced by 33% due to its pact with Vox, which produces a direct damage at work against the wage gap between men and women. These funds are important because unemployment has been much higher in women. ”
Since United We Can, the municipal spokesman, Xavier López, has defended that today was a day for politicians to listen to social representatives: “The position of Unidas Podemos has been to listen to the directors, especially the social and trade union entities. We have made it clear that our training could not support some accounts in which the ultra-right agenda was introduced, which did not address the social emergency, nor an economic recovery horizon linked to ecological transition and inclusion as axes for a more socially just city, which did not bet on investment in the urban transformation and that renounces sufficiently including the agreements reached in the city’s recovery commission “.
For his part, the spokesperson for Vox, Mario Ortolá, has admitted that the meeting has not been as satisfactory as he expected: “I have come out with a bittersweet taste. On the one hand we value very positively the participation of civil society but and on the other we have to regret, as almost always, the fact that the left turns an organ of the neighbors into a mere partisan platform. We already have enough with a mayor who has taken two years to summon him to stain him by political aspirations, “he added.
Among social interventions, neighborhood representatives (Luis Almarcha and Carlos de Juan Carrillo) have been critical of the management of citizen participation. A criticism to which the two union representatives (Yaissel Sánchez, from UGT, and Consuelo Navarro, from CC YES). From the employer, both Juan Bautista Riera (Chamber of Commerce) as Martín Sanz (CEV) have demanded to speed up the processing of the municipal bureaucracy to facilitate the implementation of projects in the city and have valued public-private collaboration in the management of European funds. In today’s meeting, the Social Council premiered the rector of the University of Alicante, Amparo Navarro, together with the three renowned professionals: the engineer Florentino Regalado, the doctor Isabel Moya and the lawyer Fernando Candela. The only two absences on the Social Council have been two neighborhood representatives (from district boards 4 and 5).
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.