Local Daily News 7th May

Benidorm wants to be greener: 220 new trees in six spaces

A greener city with more trees and open space. The Benidorm City Council plans to increase the trees in parks, streets and avenues. A total of 220 specimens of four varieties that will be planted in six public spaces. To do this, the Provincial Council of Alicante will be asked for a grant to develop this project, signed by the municipal technicians, and which is in line with the recently approved Climate Change Adaptation Plan, the first document of these characteristics promoted at the national level by a municipality of more than 50,000 inhabitants.

This ‘extra’ tree planting will be carried out in the Rincón urban park and in the Séquia Mare and Foietes parks, as well as on 9 d’Octubre and Alcalde Vicente Pérez Devesa avenues, and in the Salt de l’Aigua, recently built to serve this educational complex. When choosing the species, “we have opted for trees already installed in other parts of the municipality or that have given very satisfactory results in urban environments such as those proposed in the project”, explained the mayor Toni Pérez.

Specifically, the project includes the planting of 120 tipuanas, 60 melia azedarach, 20 jacarandas and 20 hackberry – ‘celtis australis’. The largest number of specimens will go to the Séquia Mare and Foietes parks, with fifty trees each, while in the rest of the planned points they range between 20 and 40 specimens.

Pérez explained that “on Monday the Local Government Board (JGL) will approve the report on this project” which is valued at just under 65,000 euros. The price of the project also includes the installation of drip irrigation, labour, the necessary materials, and machinery. The request for a subsidy to the Diputación de Alicante is part of the line of aid launched by the provincial body for investments in trees and adaptation to climate change in urban spaces owned by the municipality.

“With this project we intend to improve the environment of some green areas and public roads in Benidorm, reinforcing the presence of trees, key in capturing and offsetting CO2 emissions, while generating shadow spaces and acting on landscape aesthetics ”, indicated the mayor.

The first mayor added that “we continue to advance in the implementation of measures that allow us to mitigate the effects of climate change on the territory and, by extension, also on the economy and society”, he pointed out. To do this, in addition to “adopting solutions that allow us to be more efficient and sustainable every day, such as the purchase of green energy or the implementation of low-consumption LED lights and Low Emission Zones, we are also taking steps to compensate of our carbon footprint; in this case by planting 220 new trees”.

These trees are not the only ones to be planted in the city. This year, nearly 400 trees have been installed that will absorb more than 55 tons of CO2 per year. Specifically, in three months new specimens were planted in different parts of the city, both in the urban fabric and in the city parks. Thus, they were in areas such as Roma street, the surroundings of the In Tempo building and the new skyscraper towers in Poniente, and Beniardá and 9 d’Octubre avenues, with the planting of trees already beginning on Estación avenue and on Calle Callosa d’En Sarrià. Depending on the area, such as in the Foietes, Séquia Mare and Rincón de Loix parks, as well as in the Plaza Prelado Antonio Bayona and Calle Amadorio.

The Police accuse the detainee of killing the 80-year-old woman in Elche and her son for helping her to erase tracks

With the bad plot of a B movie, the 46-year-old woman arrested in Alicante for killing the 80-year-old woman with three shots in her chalet in Elche last Wednesday has tried to set up an alibi that the Police considers false and that also incriminates her more in the crime. The day after the murder, she reported the theft of a pistol that she kept in the trunk of her car and had supposedly disappeared from her on dates prior to her murder. When the Police wanted to take fingerprints on the vehicle, the woman told them that she had just been informed that it had been burned that Thursday morning along with four other vehicles parked on Foguer José Ángel Guirao street in Alicante. The Police maintain a simulation and consider it possible that the woman set her car on fire to try to erase traces and the fire spread to four other cars. For this reason, in addition to the crime, she is also accused of setting the vehicle on fire and falsely denouncing the theft of the pistol.

The Police consider the woman to be the material author of the shots and that her 16-year-old son, also arrested, helped his mother remove traces and move the body from the place where Monica was shot to a room in the house.

What the Police are trying to clarify now is the motive that triggered this strange death of the 80-year-old British widow. A fortuitous robbery that ended with gunshots is ruled out and the Police considers a possible economic motive. The detainee knew the deceased and they maintained some link that could be related to a real estate operation.

The woman has remained calm since her arrest and has not acknowledged the facts, while her son would have admitted her participation to the Police, according to sources close to the investigation. Mother and son will go to court today in Alicante and during this Friday they have been transferred from police stations to the family home, located on Avenida Pintor Xavier Soler in Alicante, to make a new search in the house.

The search by the National Police lasted for two hours and the alleged murderer witnessed it accompanied by her defense attorney, Enrique Giménez Aznar. The detained minor was also in the house, assisted by a public defender from Elche and whose detention has been extended by the Prosecutor’s Office until this Saturday. The investigators were looking for new evidence to add to that collected at the crime scene and the agents have located a 9mm calibre pistol and several long and short airsoft weapons. The Animal Shelter has also taken six cats that were in the prisoner’s home.

These weapons are in addition to the 22 mm calibre Beretta pistol that was allegedly used to kill the 80-year-old British widow, Monica W., and which was found by the Police in the vicinity of the scene. This is the pistol whose alleged theft was reported by the arrested person, who practices sports shooting and has the corresponding licence and registration for the weapon.

After the discovery of the crime, the Police found that the body had been deliberately manipulated to try to eliminate evidence. Judicial Police and Scientific Police specialists mobilised quickly since the discovery of the body and have been able to clarify in 24 hours a case whose resolution now seems easy but could have been complicated.

The data provided by the plumber who had stayed with the victim and came across those now detained and saw them flee the scene in a car have been important for the resolution of the case. The car appeared burned in Alicante hours later and the visual inspection of the vehicle shed more light on the investigations and led to the suspects.

In addition to the search carried out in Alicante, agents from the General Scientific Police Station displaced from Madrid and from the local brigade of this specialty in Elche have gone this Friday to the victim’s chalet to carry out an in-depth technical ocular inspection of the house to collect Any trace that allows obtaining more evidence about the participation of the alleged murderer and her son in the events.

Albatera accumulates tons of unmanaged mattresses in a municipal plot

Albatera City Council has improvised a bulky waste dump on a site next to a municipal warehouse where it accumulates tons of belongings. Hundreds of mattresses and pieces of wood are stacked on the ground – mainly furniture – removed from public roads, but also pallets and even household appliances. Also located is the container itself that is used for collection, filled to the brim.

The enclosure is part of a municipal warehouse located in the Mos del Bou industrial estate without any type of adaptation prior to this use, nor reports from municipal technicians that guarantee that these facilities can be used as a storage area for this type of waste, according to denounced the PSOE in opposition to the PP government group.

Any facility that houses a similar activity and volume of waste, even temporarily, requires prior authorizations and certifications from the Generalitat Valenciana. The administration requires them for the transfer, even transitory, of bulky both in private and public initiatives, in addition to a project and a previous environmental licence.

Socialist councillor Mario Berna Box warns that these tons of outdoor waste pose a real danger in the event of a fire because they accumulate in the open a few metres from industries of agricultural phytosanitary products, intended to combat pests, which can be dangerous in the event of a fire. Other activities such as the main catering business of the estate are also found next to the warehouse. The Socialists have asked about this situation on several occasions in the last ordinary plenary sessions, without, they say, the City Council having taken action.

The PP government, in its responses to the plenary debates, has reiterated that the new contract for garbage collection and street cleaning contemplates the removal, transport and disposal of belongings and has accused the opposition of wanting to cause alarm with its public denunciations.

The mayor responsible for the area, Juan José Fuentes, has stated that the site houses “furniture and mattresses on a transitory basis that are later sent to the plant, not batteries or hazardous waste.” The councillor pointed out that the problem of the appearance of this type of bulky waste is common to many municipalities in the region, as is the case in Santa Pola or Torrevieja. Fuentes assures that the emptying of the enclosure is being carried out approximately every month or month and a half through minor contracts because the current provision dating from 2001 did not contemplate it.

The municipality decided to start a collection of belongings and mattresses in May 2020 with exclusively municipal means because it has become a problem not only along with the organic waste containers in the streets, but also in natural spaces such as boulevards and agricultural terraces.

A municipal operator began to carry out the withdrawal. In June of that year, it was detected that the municipal management of this waste was limited to a periodic burning of mattresses and furniture in a vacant lot next to the cemetery on days when the cemetery was closed.

After the complaint from the PSOE, the City Council began to accumulate them in the warehouse that also serves as a storage space for several departments. When the enclosure no longer has capacity, the municipality hires a service to remove mattresses, furniture and other waste. 

In addition, the area that manages this service decided to extend it to practically the entire municipal term from Monday to Friday, including the numerous scattered and urbanizations in the countryside and the mountains that the municipal term has. All without sufficient means to carry out this task.

Recycling mattresses, with their transportation, is expensive and not easy. Few companies are specialised and certified to do it. Normally it is only profitable to use the springs inside the mattress.

The elimination of this waste has become a real nightmare for many municipalities that do not know how to prevent it from accumulating in the streets, where they offer an image of abandonment that any local administration wants to avoid.

The government of Albatera entrusts the solution to this problem to the awarding of the contract for waste collection and urban sanitation, which is currently in tender for a period of ten years and a disbursement of 14.8 million euros for the municipal coffers, which it also assumes this treatment of non-organic waste from household goods and mattresses. 4.2 million correspond exclusively to the calculation of the payment for waste disposal, especially the organic fraction that is transferred to the Piedra Negra landfill in Xixona. The average annual cost of collection, street cleaning, transport and disposal, included in the contract itself, is 1.4 million euros during the entire period of the contract, which is proposed for ten years without extensions.

The tender began in January and is still in the phase of evaluating technical offers under subjective criteria, which will be followed by the analysis of economic proposals. Six projects have been submitted to the contest: FCC Environment, STV Management, Acciona Urban Services, the Valoriza Joint Venture (Sacyr) with Urban Environmental Management, the Murcian company Actúa and the Sociedad Anónima Agricultores de la Vega de Valencia.

Transport closes its congress demanding compliance with the agreements with the Government

Transport has closed the congress held in Alicante with the requirement that the Government enforce the agreements reached, among other issues, to be able to pass on the increase in its costs to customers. The national confederation of the sector (CETM) and the provincial employers’ association (Fetrama) have described the event as successful, both for the presence of more than 650 participants from all over Spain and for the level of the conferences and debates.

The Provincial Auditorium of the Diputación de Alicante has hosted the National Transport Congress on Thursday and Friday, a forum in which apart from exhibiting heavy vehicles and bringing together the main suppliers, the problems that most press the sector at the moment, fundamentally, the increase in fuel prices.

In this sense, the Deputy Secretary General of the CETM, Dulsé Díaz Fresno, highlights that the event, in which the General Director of Land Transport, Juan Moreno, has taken part, has served to analyse and disseminate the agreements reached with the Government to that, among other issues, the sector can pass on these cost increases and that truck drivers do not have to be in charge of loading and unloading operations. “The pacts are of extraordinary importance, and what we now want is their implementation as quickly and effectively as possible”. To this must be added the requirement that the aid and discounts for fuel be extended from June 30th, when they will expire.

For his part, the general secretary of Fetrama, Francisco Ortiz, has expressed his satisfaction with the results of the congress. In his words, “everything has been positive, from the fact that it was held in our house, as well as the fact that we were able to meet after this long stage conditioned by the covid crisis. Also the level of conferences and debates has been very high, so we can do nothing but congratulate ourselves”. For the sector, adds Ortiz, the main concern revolves around the exorbitant cost increases in the current context of inflation. “We are going to leave,” he stresses, “but it remains to be seen how and when.”

On the closing day on Friday, there was an interesting discussion between the economists Carlos Rodríguez Braun and José Carlos Díez, moderated by the president of 1MillionBot, Andrés Pedreño, as well as a motivating conference by Toni Nadal, trainer of the tennis player Rafa Nadal. All this before a farewell dinner held at the castle of Santa Bárbara.

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