Local Daily News 17th June

Torrevieja begins the surveillance of the beaches while waiting for the improvements of the new contract

The Torrevieja beach prevention, surveillance, and rescue service has begun waiting for the municipal technical services and the contracting table to award the new service before July 8th, which is when the current company runs out of its contract.

Deadlines are tight. This week the opening of the envelope with the economic offers of the companies that have presented escrow is scheduled. Between the award and formalisation proposal and the legal minimum term to present resources, it is possible that the new service will not arrive on time for that date, although the current company would maintain the deployment of lifeguards – an essential service – until the formalisation of the arrival of the new awardee. Escrows have been presented by Eulen – which is the company that currently lends the service -, Ambumar, Offshore Special and Aunar Group.

Unfortunately, the lifeguards have not been able to open watchtowers and posts that are foreseen in the supply of the new contract – one of the consequences of having left the process until the last minute when its completion date was known as of July 8th, 2016, which is when it started.

In this case, there is a proposal for the award to Ambumar – a company with experience in the sector in the province and that performs the surveillance service in Pilar de la Horadada. And the only firm that has agreed to submit an offer for this lot. Most likely, the new material will arrive throughout the month of July. The successful bidder must supply and install seven lifeguard booths, distributed on the beaches of La Mata (3 units), Los Locos (1), El Cura (1), Los Náufragos (1) and Cala Piteras (1). In addition to a removable booth for the bathing areas of Paseo Juan Aparicio and five new watchtowers.

The contract is valued at 1,148,000 euros per year (VAT included) until 2025 with improvements in assisted bathing points. 405,000 euros of that budget correspond to that specific lot to be developed in the first months of the contract to provide new aid stations and watchtowers to the most important beaches of Torrevieja. 36 lifeguards are subrogated.

Although days ago the government team assured that this new contract anticipates the service to June 1 each season, that extension does not appear in the specifications. It is held on June 15th. Nor the improvement of carrying out several weekends of lifeguard service between Easter and June. The specifications do contemplate the possibility that the companies have presented improvements -ten more days of provision per season or extension of hours-, although it is not clear if the registered ones have assumed that possibility.

An extension that does not appear despite the increasing demand from users of the beaches, most of them urban in Torrevieja, and that this year, for example, they have filled them since mid-May. Not only to prevent drowning, but also to provide first aid in many other emergency situations in a public space where thousands of people are concentrated.

The bathing areas that will have a lifeguard at La Mata beach, Cabo Cervera cove, Los Locos beach, El Cura beach, bathing areas on the Juan Aparicio promenade, Los Náufragos beach and Piteras cove. Most of the coves are left out, such as La Zorra, La Higuera or El Moro, with thousands of users every summer.

Surveillance from a boat will cover the entire sea front, from the Acequión de La Mata channel to Punta Prima, paying special attention to the stretches of coastline where bathing is practised and there are no fixed lifeguard posts, such as the area of ​​the coves – from Cabo Cervera to Punta del Salaret, which includes Cala de la Zorra and Cala de la Higuera and the southern area of ​​Torrevieja, from Los Náufragos and up to Cala Piteras, including Cala Lo Ferrís.

Illegal chopping or controlled logging?: controversy over the works in the Plaza de San Blas

The works in the Plaza de San Blas are not without controversy. The beginning of the works for the rehabilitation of the area are giving much to talk about in the neighbourhood due to the treatment of the surrounding trees. Residents of San Blas criticise the City Council’s decision to cut down trees with “many years of life”, while municipal technicians allege that the decision is due to the fact that the aforementioned trees, most of them located on the sidewalk of Antonio Martín Trenco street, are in the of “decrepitude”.

“A pity. The City Council felling trees that have cost them theirs, removing them because they were so rooted. Can’t the work of the park be adapted to these trees by making the pits grow?” Ulises wonders. Along the same line, María Teresa points out that “first they say they transplant them and then they cut them down”, a comment similar to Marina’s: “Why are they transplanted outside of Alicante and just cut down here?” Loli, for her part, adds: “As far as I know there was only one tree that raised the ground, the others were fine”. Carlos regrets: “They are going to leave that as a lot”.

From the municipal government they explain that in the action project it was already collected that it was necessary to intervene on some trees, although they emphasise that new specimens will be planted.

The project to which they refer, signed by a municipal technician, points out that “in Antonio Martín Trenco street, due to the change of section, the existing melias on sidewalks are eliminated, which, on the other hand, are in a decrepit phase, causing damage to pedestrians and parked vehicles due to the constant fall of branches, as well as accessibility problems due to the lifting of the pavement and the risk of falls to pedestrians”. In addition, the text adds that “with the new section, a longitudinal parterre is created on the sidewalk next to the wall of the soccer field, which improves the image of the square and also equals the number of current tree plantations, with varieties compact cup and aesthetic equality as the proposal”. This parterre, according to the City Council, “will house the tree plantations of Melia umbraculifera (20-25 cm trunk perimeter and mass shrubs), as well as climbers with the aim of covering over time the gabion wall that calms and surrounds the sports facility.

For its part, inside the square, according to the technical project, “the design has been conditioned with respect for the existing adult plant material and that for the most part is respected”. “Only those damaged or decrepit specimens are eliminated, proceeding to transplant others that, while still in good condition, inevitably affected the design due to issues and accessibility and fitting of the bike lane.”

The works in the Plaza de San Blas started last April and will last, if there are no surprises, eleven months. The budget is close to three million euros.

When the works were announced, the Councillor for Maintenance, Infrastructure and Mobility, José Ramón González, explained that the new square is going to be “rearranged giving priority to pedestrians to improve both transverse and longitudinal accessibility, in such a way that It manages to unite the neighbourhoods to access the centre and new pedestrian itineraries will be created, favouring mobility with wide sidewalks, between the different internal areas and those around the square, as opposed to road traffic”.

The works, according to the mayor, also contemplate “the expansion of the network of bike lanes, with a new cycle route that crosses the square, and the neighbourhood is made greener with new trees, installing a permeable cobblestone pavement that will allow to collect rainwater and take advantage of it to irrigate the garden”. “In turn, another of the objectives of this ambitious project is to reform and create a large children’s play area with new furniture, and all the lighting will be renewed with LEDs that favour greater energy efficiency,” he added.

On the other hand, the project already in the execution phase plans to replace the rainwater collection channel located in the central axis of Antonio Martín Trenco street with a channel and collector, becoming a street with two lanes, one going uphill it will be widened to two at the new roundabout with traffic lights to be created at the intersection with Calle Condes de Soto Ameno, and another lane going downhill. In addition, it is planned to widen the sidewalk that borders the San Blas football field, generating more battery parking, with a two-way bike lane in the median.

A fan convention for the British series "Benidorm" will attract thousands of British tourists

At 12 noon and in the midst of a heat wave, a large group of British tourists crowded the doors of a business on Severo Ochoa avenue in Benidorm. Suddenly they take out their mobile phones and point to a convertible and start taking pictures. In it are the creator of the British series “Benidorm”, Derren Litten, and the actor who plays Mateo, Jake Canuso. The fans crowd and ask for photos in the purest red carpet style. Both have come to the tourist city to announce the first convention for fans of this award-winning British ITV series which has been called “Benicon” and which will attract thousands of English tourists to the municipality next November.

The series “Benidorm” has a record audience on British television and a large legion of fans who don’t miss a single episode. A follow-up that has made it become another way of promoting the tourist capital. And it is that there are many who decide to travel to the town on their vacations to see first-hand the scenarios that appear in it and be able to be photographed in them as if they were real actors. This was confirmed by sources from the organisation of that upcoming event in November who assure that “it will be a complete success” and for which the forecasts indicate that all expectations will be exceeded.

“Benicon” will be held in one of the hotels in the Rincón de Loix area from November 18th to 20th, just after the Benidorm Major Festivities and the “Fancy Dress Party”, the costume party that every year brings together thousands of English. In principle, as explained by the promoters of the event, it will have a capacity of 1,200 people. The tickets have been put on sale this Thursday and in a few hours “500 have already been sold”, for which the creator and writer of the series assures that they will hang the “sold out” sign; that is, “complete”.

Thus, one of the collaborating agencies located in the English zone, Round Town Travel, is the one that will offer “tourist packages with plane, hotel stay and tickets” for those who want to come from the United Kingdom. “We have some very good fans,” Litten said after learning about the pace of ticket sales.

This convention dedicated to fans of the series, which will last three days, will go further and will include parallel activities in the settings where it is recorded, such as one of the hotels or the famous “Casa Rosa”. Thus, according to the organisers, other actions will also be carried out such as excursions through the region: “We want to go beyond Benidorm”.

This Thursday, the followers of this story who spend their days in Benidorm came to see the creator and one of the actors up close. Before they arrived, “selfies” were already being taken with the posters announcing the event. “They’re coming,” they said at one point when they saw the car in the distance. Everyone has queued to be able to take a photo with the well-known actor of this series.

But everything did not stop there. The members of the series went to a well-known venue on Calle Gerona, in the middle of the English area, where many more fans of the British comedy were waiting for them to take photos and get to know them up close. The establishment was full since it is also one of the scenarios of the story, the well-known Neptuno bar. After this they moved to another of the places that appear on television: the hotel where the entire story is recorded and takes place where they also met “Benidorm” followers with whom they shared moments in the pool .

The idea for “Benicon” comes from the creator of the series, Derren Litten, and Peter Phillips, creator of another event that has been held for twelve years in the same hotel as this new event in honour of Elvis Presley. Phillips discovered the filming of “Benidorm” by chance and became interested in it; Litten is an Elvis fan and his paths have crossed. Both, after meeting in the bar that Litten has in the city, thought two years ago that it would be a good idea to create a “similar convention” for lovers of this fiction in the city where the entire plot takes place and they started it, according to They explained both to this newspaper.

The idea grew and became the organisation of this event and the date was thought of in November when thousands of tourists already gather in Benidorm for that costume party. With everything, from the agency that collaborates and the organisers hope that it can be extended to many more people in the coming years and it will be an unmissable event.

“Benidorm”, the British fiction series, tells the story of the Solana “resort” where a group of British tourists who do not know each other discover that they have parallel stories. Characters include Janice (Siobhan Finneran) and Mick (Steve Pemberton), Garvey’s family and Madge’s (Sheila Reid) mother-in-law; or the hotel staff with Mateo Castellanos (Jake Canuso), who was in Benidorm this Thursday. Thousands of people followed the series every week and countless celebrities did not want to miss the opportunity to appear in its plot, such as the mythical Joan Collins from “Dynasty”.

But one of the most awarded and followed series ended in 2018 when its creator, Derren Litten confirmed that the tenth season would be the last. But the creation of Benidorm Live, a stage adaptation written by Litten, was announced.

Now, with the event in Benidorm, fans of the series will have the opportunity to see the characters again and live the stories again on the stage where the fiction was recorded. And many will not miss this opportunity, which will bring the arrival of tourists to the city on those dates. Once again “Benidorm” will not only benefit from the municipality, but the city will add another reason to continue being a tourist attraction for the British. And it could be for a long time.

The City Council prohibits bonfires on the beaches of Elche on the night of San Juan

The beaches of Elche will have fire banned on the night of San Juan. For the first time, the City Council is going to ban bonfires on the coast of Elche under the argument that it is “an environmental problem and a security risk”, among other things, due to the proximity of the pine forests. In the last two years, due to the pandemic, it had already restricted bonfires on the beaches of Elche due to sanitary restrictions. However, once normality has been restored, this year the beaches will be open without capacity limitations for the celebration of the traditional festival, but without the possibility of making bonfires.

This has been announced by the mayor, Carlos González, together with the mayor of Citizen Security, Ramón Abad, in an appearance in which he has also advanced that this determination will be extended in the coming years because when it has been allowed, the beaches woke up invaded by waste “generating a risk that is not assumable”. The socialist councillor has justified the decision in the “great value of our beaches” and has ensured that it is “perfectly supported by environmental and legal logic.”

In fact, he has warned that there will be penalties for making fire, although he has preferred to appeal to citizen collaboration and individual effort before infractions are committed. It has also called for responsibility so that there is a responsible consumption of alcohol in a traditional event in which, despite prohibiting the most characteristic symbol of the night of San Juan, the fire, the City Council expects a high influx to the beaches after the end of restrictions on leisure. “We intuit that there will be an intense participation as we are seeing in other events where that emotional recovery is palpable”, said González.

It is expected that the PSOE and Compromís government team will detail in the coming days the security device for the night of San Juan on the beaches of Elche to control access and, above all, prevent fires from burning in the sand. “We will put all the necessary means so that everything is in order”, assured the mayor.

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