Local Daily News 5th August

The Generalitat has invested 123 million in aid to companies in the Vega Baja in the last seven years

The Generalitat has invested almost 123 million euros, through different directorates general, in aid to support the companies of the Vega Baja. This amount has been made between 2015 and 2022, dividing the amount into seven annuities of 6.1; 8.5; 17.2; 17; 21.2; 20 and 32.7 million euros. By municipalities, only four are below one million: San Fulgencio (997,593 euros), Daya Nueva (886,745), Benferri (638,287) and Daya Vieja (441,284). Orihuela stands out, with 19 million, Torrevieja (16.9) and Almoradí (10.2). The amount for the other 20 towns, in the same period, is distributed among Albatera (5 million), Algorfa (1.4), Benejúzar (2), Benijófar (1.5), Bigastro (2.4), Callosa ( 7.4), Catral (5.2), Cox (6.5), Dolores (5.6), Formentera (1.1), Rocamora Farm (1.8), Guardamar (8.2), Jacarilla (1), Los Montesinos (3.6), Pilar de la Horadada (4.9), Rafal (1.6), Redován (1.9), Rojales (6.2), San Miguel de Salinas (1, 8) and San Isidro (2.3).

Precisely, this last town has been chosen to carry out this balance by the regional secretary for Sustainable Economy, Empar Martínez Bonafé, who has stated that these subsidies are linked to lines of support for sustainable industrial competitiveness through business associations and investments for industrial SMEs. In this sense, he has underlined the Consell’s commitment to the region and the support it provides to the actions that both municipalities and businesses have undertaken.

All this has been stated after a visit to learn about how this aid has materialized in one of the companies benefiting from these lines of support. Thus, it has toured the CICOP facilities, which last year received 160,096 euros, which it used in a total investment of 320,000 euros to increase the capacity of its electrical transformation center, the purchase of machinery and the installation of a self-consumption photovoltaic plant, that allows them to save between 2,000 and 2,500 euros per month on the electricity bill, as explained by its CEO, Manuel Pérez, who highlighted that thanks to these improvements, in addition to energy savings, they have reduced CO2 emissions and have improved product quality and responsiveness.

Founded in 1976, this firm specializing in the manufacture of metal structures, parts, roofs, facades and industrial buildings is a leader in the market. With a turnover of 12 million euros in 2021, it employs around 70 people. In its 22,000 square meter facilities, for example, the inner ring of the Levante stadium and the materials for the remodeling of the old Selomar hotel in Benidorm, as well as for the construction of large commercial areas of recognized Valencian brands, have been manufactured.

“Support for the industrial areas of the Community is one of the axes of the Consell’s policies”, also helping companies to “become more competitive and maintain dozens of jobs”, Martínez Bonafé stressed. “A support never seen before”, added Pérez.

The chosen scenario, in San Isidro, has not been accidental, since last September it became the first municipality in the province to set up a Management and Modernization Entity (EGM), a public initiative that seeks to improve industrial areas of the Valencian Community, making them more competitive and attractive for the implementation of new projects and in turn benefiting the companies already installed in these spaces. Thus, the San Isidro EGM was created for the La Granadina industrial estate, through a public-private collaboration agreement with the City Council.

The regional secretary, who has been accompanied by the delegate of the Consell in Alicante, Antonia Moreno, as well as by various representatives of CICOP and councilors, has advanced that the General Directorate of Industry, Energy and Mines of the Ministry of Sustainable Economy has just granted 12,710 euros to the EGM of La Granadina-San Isidro for aid to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of industrial areas through actions carried out by business associations in the industrial field.

José Andrada, acting mayor -in addition to mayor of Works and Services- has celebrated this new game to improve the estate.

The Ministry of Transport makes AVE tickets cheaper by up to 50% but excludes Alicante and Elche

The Ministry of Transport has excluded the AVE line that connects Alicante with Madrid from its plan to reduce the price of the high-speed ticket by up to 50% from September, something that will apply, for example, in Castilla-León and Aragón. The announced measures to make multi-trip Suburban-Medium Distance subscriptions free (Alicante-Murcia has been included), and the 50% discount on Avant trains and on some AVE in Castilla y León and Aragón will cost 231 million euros. The gratuity and the 50% reduction will imply 201 million euros, to which 1.9 million are added for the discount on the Avant and another 27.8 million for the costs of implementing this measure.

The average fare per journey of the AVE with Madrid is 60 euros, but some tickets, especially between Madrid and Alicante, exceed one hundred euros on certain days and time slots. The official reason that the measure does not affect the province’s high-speed services with Madrid, which also stops in Villena, Albacete and Cuenca, is that the traffic between Madrid and Alicante is that the line is eminently touristic and profitable. In principle, it was commented that the decision to lower the price of the ticket is limited to areas poorly served near or medium distance, which is the case of the Alicante-Villena line.

Justification that, however, has its nuances. Although in summer tourists are the majority travelers, during the rest of the year about half of the journeys between the province and the capital of Spain are made for work reasons or related to studies at Madrid universities. You just have to try to buy a ticket on Fridays or Sundays throughout the year to travel between Madrid and Alicante to see how complicated it is.

Renfe transported 11.7 million passengers on the High Speed ​​trains (AVE and Alvia) that circulate in the Madrid-Cuenca-Albacete-Villena-Alicante relationship during the first six years of operation, until 2019. In 2020, traffic was paralyzed for the covid pandemic, and in 2021 it was not until June when the service began to normalize. The route between Madrid and Alicante, point to point, is the most popular with more than 75% of the total travelers.

More than 2.1 million passengers used the high-speed trains that connect Madrid with Alicante each year before the pandemic. The route between Madrid and Alicante, point to point, is the most demanded. A total of 1.7 million clients used those services between both cities.

The AVE service between Madrid and Alicante, point to point, exceeds 7,100 passengers on certain days. Thursdays and Fridays are the days with the highest demand, which highlights the combination of traffic for professional reasons and weekend holiday leisure. This past Easter was a record with 24 trains.

The Torretas of Torrevieja need eight million for their redevelopment

The Torrevieja City Council has awarded a contract of 17,545 euros to a “solution” study with the aim of addressing the redevelopment of Las Torretas. An urbanization of more than half a million square meters definitively approved in 1984 next to the salt lake. The small single-storey townhouses for national and international tourism sold very quickly: it was the first glorious era of local real estate development and the gift of an “apartment in Torrevieja” on the famous television program “Un, dos , tres…”. Now it presents an accelerated process of urban – and social – degradation with a hundred occupied townhouses and many deficiencies in basic services.

As a culmination to that image, the ruins of the ill-fated mud spa are still maintained, promoted by the City Council and abandoned for almost fifteen years and conceived precisely as a public project of reference to try to recover this area from the urban point of view.

Mayor Eduardo Dolón (PP) explains that with this contract and with the award of the “business exchange” -a framework agreement- for the development of projects and execution of works that is currently being finalized, the start of the redevelopment could be a reality by the end of this year. Although today there is neither preliminary nor project. Dolón met with more than a hundred neighbors a month ago to explain the impetus for the project. The budget item to address this redevelopment is 8 million euros. Of which two would be used during this year 2022. This work would contemplate, in the absence of being defined in the project, the resurfacing of roads, replacement of new lighting, burying of telephone lines throughout the residential area, and above all the construction of sidewalks. But it would only act in this first phase, the mayor remarks, in the roads and spaces of external municipal public ownership, without entering the interior of the neighborhood.

Dolón admitted that the project to act in the common but private areas inside the residential complex is more complex. And he revealed that the urban formula that the municipal technical services are proposing is a punctual modification of the PGOU. Something that requires several months of processing. In this sense, he said that lot 17 of the same framework agreement of “business exchanges” is intended for specialized firms to carry out administrative, legal and technical feasibility studies such as the one that has to be faced to redevelop this area.

The problem with the residential complex is that it has numerous common areas with unpaved roads, green areas and other facilities whose services the City Council has never assumed, because it considers that they are not public areas. The result is that the interior streets continue to be made of earth or gravel contributed by the neighbors – they flood with four drops -, the roads between islands of houses lack a name in the street map and the conservation of parks and lighting depends exclusively on individuals. The sewage network runs under the houses, which is a real nightmare for residents and the water management company every time there is a fault -in addition to the legal problem of acting in a private area-. La Torreta, which is officially called the La Punta la Víbora Convention in the PGOU -popularly divided into the Torreta I, II and III urbanizations- suffers particularly harshly from flooding due to the lack of drainage of rainwater from the urban area of ​​Torrevieja , which in recent years have been diverted to this neighborhood and the pink lagoon, to save other areas with more fortune from the problems generated by the accumulation of water.

The mayor indicates that in the interior redevelopment “it will be the second phase” that cannot be addressed without having finished the exterior redevelopment. “You have to find a balance between municipal investment and the charges that the owners must assume as in any redevelopment.” But in this case, he points out that the residents, in addition to refusing to bear the costs, lack the financial resources to pay special contributions. The way out of this entrenched situation would go through the declaration of the area, which adds up to around 600,000 square meters and hundreds of homes, as a special action area due to its urban degradation, within the framework of the modification of the General Plan. Which in turn would allow the local administration to bear almost the entire public cost of the works.

The promoter of this residential building was Masa. That he completely disregarded some deficiencies and the urban chaos in which some of his promotions became and that have their origin in the fact that most of the land that should be public remains in the name of the parent estate. Masa acted in a similar way in other areas of Torrevieja and the region such as San Luis or El Oasis (San Fulgencio).

Guardamar prohibits platforms and enclosures on terraces to gain public space in its new ordinance

The plenary session of the City Council of Guardamar del Segura plans to definitively approve today a new occupation ordinance on public roads that prohibits the installation of platforms and fixed enclosures with canopies on the terraces of the catering industry and on the exhibitors of shops on the road and sidewalks. The mayor of Guardamar, José Luis Sáez (PSOE), explains that the objective is to gain public space. Because in addition to these two measures, the ordinance obliges catering businesses to remove chairs and tables daily and have dividers and planters that can be dismantled daily. The objective is that while the terraces are not used they can be used as parking.

For this, the municipality plans to indicate clearly with horizontal and vertical signage so that there is no confusion among drivers about the time they can park in a specific place. And it also aims to avoid problems with loose elements on public roads outside bar hours and that can cause accidents in the event of weather and other phenomena, and that are not covered by business insurance. The new municipal regulations are much more precise than the previous ones when it comes to specifying what requirements the projects that are presented need to be admitted by the City Council, and even claims that chairs and tables are not for advertising promotion. Something very common in businesses that start to pay for the start-up of the terrace.

The Popular Party, majority in the opposition, has questioned the ordinance and explains that an important part of the sector did not find out about the processing of the text in the period of allegations, as it has been able to verify by a survey carried out in the sector. Popular spokesman Vicente Zaragoza is against the ban on platforms because it is an element that equalizes the curb with the road, which facilitates access. He also claims flexibility when it comes to removing the terrace in summer and Easter when the hours are extended. These claims have been rejected.

The City Council collects €330,000 annually for occupying the public thoroughfare of the hotel industry – it recovered the payment of the rate after the covid measures last January. This ordinance is a rudder change in the strategy of tourist municipalities in La Vega that have been assuming requests from the hospitality sector for years, more so during covid, without limiting the occupation of space on public roads. The most relevant example is Torrevieja, where priority is given to the exploitation of pavement terraces, driveways and walkways over other public uses and the tax exemption for 600 businesses due to covid is maintained.

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