Saturday, 12 February 2011

Medieval Market 2011 - the promotional video that cost us 6,000 (y pico) euros! Enjoy....we paid for it!

Here is the video link:

The fiasco of the buses to & from the Medieval Market has been well documented throughout the week!

So moving on but staying with the subject of the Medieval Market, I wondered if many of us living on the Coast or in the pedania of Entre Naranjos saw this promotional video? Seems that it has received more than 4,000 views to date (sadly at least 8 are mine & only AFTER the event, watching  with incredulity & wondering............... "why?") 

In case you decide not to watch the video for yourself, I should tell you that it´s a "VIRTUAL" production, SADLY THE MONEY USED TO PAY FOR IT WAS "REAL" & THE MONEY USED TO PAY FOR IT WAS "OURS"!
(I know it cost more than 6,000 euros because I was in the January Pleno when the PSOE asked the cost; I can remember the 6,000 euros but not the figures that followed the 3 noughts...... anyway the important bit is that it cost over 6,000 euros & 6,000 euros can pay for quite a lot of more essential stuff!).

The story is that of "Origor & the Last Cross". Setting the scene for the street theatre of the 2011 Medieval Marke and propaganda concerning the current legal battle about the future of the Orihuela Cross.

And .......propaganda for the metaphorical Princess Lorente (whoops....Lorena!).

Was it some 6,000 euros well spent?

Did it attract some 6,000 euros worth of visitors?

Was it successful........ &if so, for who? on May 22nd 2011 will it encourage voters to say,
"Yes please, we want 4 more years of frivolous, uncontrolled spending of our hard earned cash by the PP!"........................
or  will the savvy, discerning voters SHOUT A LOUD RESOUNDING "ENOUGH! NO IT´S FINISHED!  NO MORE!"

On May 22nd it´s up to You, You decide!   

Monday, 7 February 2011

Was the Medieval Market in Orihuela worth 400.000€? Well…….what do you say?

I don´t want to pour cold water on this event, I enjoyed the spectacle, for me the historic quarter of Orihuela never looked so good!  ..........WAS IT WORTH THE MONEY?
The crowded streets buzzed, the stalls were beautifully presented, the street theatre was exceptional, it was good, very, very good!
                                       BUT  HOW GOOD IN REAL CASH TERMS?
                                                AND  WHO BENEFITTED?
·         Citizens may have enjoyed the event and felt proud of their city.
·         Visitors may have enjoyed the spectacle and perhaps the image of Orihuela was  enhanced.
·         The market traders may have made money.
·         The local associations that had stalls may have increased their funds.
·         The local bars and restaurants may have enjoyed better than normal trading figures.
·         The hotels and tourist apartments may have seen an increase in visitors.

We may never know the real cost, the costs are likely to appear, or not appear, or appear eventually across different parts of the 2011 budget.
In 2010, according to a reliable source, 400,000 euros were paid to the company that managed the event….if 2011 was bigger does that mean that it cost us even more?
Was the publicity paid for by the Ayuntamiento or the company?
Who collected the rents paid by the stall holders, the Ayuntamiento or the company?
Then there are street cleaning costs….consider the straw, the litter, the debris….who paid?
Additional street lighting and electricity costs…who paid?
Extra Police and emergency services….who paid?
And this set against a backdrop of more than 7,000 unemployed in Orihuela, in a municipality that has so little money and so many IMMEDIATE ……arguably more pressing…..needs.
Perhaps the Citizens, the tax payers of Orihuela Municipality, are of the opinion that the entertainment and the “feel good factor” are worth the cost!  
However, as we are talking SERIOUS CASH, should we be asking for a bit more information about the costs versus the benefits of the Medieval Market? Possibly asking if, how and where the expenditure could be pruned? Asking if and how the event could be improved and developed?  Should we be asking how this lavish event is being evaluated and by who across a range of measures , such as: Citizen Satisfaction, Local, Regional, National and International benefits for Orihuela? Effects on Local Businesses? Effects on Tourism? Effects on PP popularity in the May elections? To mention but a few.
                                       THE ORIHUELA COSTA PERSPECTIVE
Let us not forget that the residents of Orihuela Costa and Entre Naranjos who make up approximately one third of the population of this Municipality (even though the PP controlled council regularly does).
Were businesses, associations and groups from this third of the population actively encouraged to take part?
Residents were invited to attend and to use the complimentary buses. Sadly, many residents never made it or had to change their travel plans at the last minute because there were no effective pre-booking arrangements in place other than “first come, first served” and on the day there were too few buses for too many people. How did these residents feel? There were also residents who were left stranded in Orihuela, unable to get on the overcrowded "first come, first served” return buses, and because there is no public bus service between Orihuela and Orihuela Costa, who were obliged to pay for taxis or to opt for “phone a friend”!
Finally, how does this market compare with the Christmas Market in Orihuela Costa? Could the one third have a little bit more of the money please!
(Ms. Lorente TRANSPARENCY, HONESTY, PUBLIC INFORMATION, PUBLIC OPINION FORUMS, EVALUATION OF PUBLIC PROJECTS AND SERVICES, CITIZEN PARTICIPATION aka DEMOCRACY ARE IMPORTANT! Or does democracy, like the right of franchise according to the PP council team, end several paces short of a ballot box in Orihuela Costa? )

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

You´re having a laugh! Inauguration of the 2nd Orihuela Costa Christmas Market 2010

"Well, what do you think it so far?" "****!"  
                                SADLY ABSENT FROM THE INAUGURATION

Monica Lorente (Mayor)
 (headlined but a last minute engagement took priority .........or not wanting to be associated with a flop?)
Christmas lights
Christmas music
a Belén
a wide variety of stalls & goods
a large number of Residents & Customers
Atmosphere & Razzamatazz


Señor Aniorte (Councillor for Orihuela Costa, European Residents & Beaches)
Señor Cutillas (Councillor for Youth, Agriculture, Water & Markets) 
A School Choir
Orihuela Costa´s Municipal Christmas tree
A few stall holders putting on a smile & making the best of the event
Press & Media to record the event 
A small number of residents & observers
Several asesores


This event just about sums up how this PP Council treats residents here in Orihuela Costa.
It is a cheap, tacky disgrace and an insult to Oriolanos living on the Coast & to those traders who are taking part & trying hard to inject a bit of Christmas Spirit..
As for "Integration"....where are the free buses from Orihuela City & the Pedanias bringing Oriolanos from all parts of the municipality to share & enjoy this international event?

It´s not that Orihuela doesn´t know about arranging specialist markets, it boasts that it now hosts the largest annual Medieval Market in Spain.  
It´s not that Orihuela knows nothing about splashing the cash & arranging magnificent celebrations.......Semana Santa, Arrival of the Three Kings, Moors and Christians. 
It´s not that the PP Council knows nothing about spending money to influence voters with free transport, paella, sausages & other goodies.

Or are the number of votes in Orihuela Costa so few that the PP no longer needs to impress us?
There is still time to register to vote, you have till the 30th December and for those of us already registered there is still time to check that we haven´t been removed from the list.  

Friday, 10 December 2010

The Season of Goodwill! CABALGATA DE REYES IN ORIHUELA COSTA........sssssshhhhhhh there is a rumour!

In the November Pleno PSOE Councillor Rosa Martínez, armed with a petition from residents, asked for a Three Kings Procession to be arranged for Orihuela Costa. Sadly, Rosa was rebuffed with a comment about it being a bit late to ask in November!

Really! It should not have been necessary to ask!
A council that cared about ALL its citizens would be providing a seasonal celebration in the area where approximetaly one third of the municipality´s inhabitants live. (A caring council would also have provided a bit of Christmas cheer such as a Christmas tree and some festive street lighting?)

Did you know that the magnificent Cabalgata de Reyes in 2009 in Orihuela City cost the taxpayers 120,000€?
I don´t know if the costs will be pruned a little this year on account of the crisis or if the costs will rise in line with inflation, whatever, it will cost a lot!
This year in Orihuela City, in La Glorieta, there is a beautiful Christmas tree, a Belén and there are lights to delight in all the main streets, there will be a New Year´s Eve event with chimes and grapes and a Cabalgata de Reyes on January 5th.

But wait! ........Rumour has it that there may well be a Cabalgata de Reyes (of sorts) in Orihuela Costa this year. There are whispers that someone from the Ayuntamiento has been witnessed approaching businesses in the Costa, seeking donations of sweets and treats for this event! But it is only a rumour!

C´mon! We in the Costa pay taxes too (and some of us may still have a vote) and we all deserve better! 

It is estimated that about 27,000 live in the Orihuela Costa. There are about 1500 children and young people living in Orihuela Costa, we´d love to see a bit of municipal Christmas cheer for these young Oriolanos and a bit of genuine municipal goodwill shown towards all of us!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


A number of residents in Orihuela Costa could be set to loose the right to vote in the May 22nd Municipal Elections!
So if you receive a registered letter with the following on the top right hand side:


you need to act immediately!.........remind anyone of the "missing" 12,000  letters in 2006???????
You will have just 15 days to do something or it´s:
                                   NO PADRON NO VOTE NO VOICE 

According to the Ayuntamiento many of the people in Orihuela Costa are registered on the Padron from past years, they may no longer qualify to be on the Padron. They may not live in Orihuela Costa for more than a 182 days a calendar year, they may have moved house or their personal details may have changed. The Ayuntamiento is sending registered letters, signed by Monica Lorente, to residents asking them to prove they still qualify.
"Proof " seems to involve going personally to the Ayuntamiento within 15 days, with residency and passport.
At the Ayuntamiento you are likely to be handed 2 copies of a form that you must sign stating that you do indeed qualify for residency! One signed copy is for you, the other is for retention by the Ayuntamiento.
                       At least this was the procedure I witnessed yeterday.

Well now, forgive me for suspecting that more European residents have registered to vote than the Partido Popular expected, particularly as it wasn´t made easy for us. Having gone to all that trouble there may be concern that WE ARE FED UP, WE´VE HAD ENOUGH, WE MEAN BUSINESS, WE INTEND TO VOTE, WE WANT CHANGE, WE WANT A VOICE, WE WANT RIGHTS, WE WANT A HELPFUL COUNCIL, WE WANT SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEMS, WE WANT HONESTY, WE WANT TRANSPARENCY, WE WANT A COUNCIL WITH VISION, WE WANT TO BE TREATED AS VALUED CITIZENS!

What an opportune time "tidy up" the Padron! The latest brainchild of the dirty tricks department to rob us of our votes as the electoral register deadline draws near and the holiday season is upon us? Every undelivered and uncollected registered letter arriving back at the Ayuntamiento presumably will be one voter stripped of the right to vote. What can we expect next?

Remember, if you receive a letter you need to act speedily! If you qualify to vote but haven´t yet registered, it´s not too late, you have until the 30th December!

Monday, 6 December 2010

THERE ARE NO FREE SAUSAGES - beware the PP pre-election campaign has started!

On Sunday 5th December several busloads of folk left Orihuela Costa and Entre Naranjos for a free lunch in Orihuela.
Don´t be fooled, these people, along with residents from Orihuela city and the pedanias were actually being fed to swell the ranks of the PP at their pre-election campaign launch  (how many would have been there without free transport and a free lunch?)

                  On the Menu: sausages for votes, paella for votes! 

Who paid for the buses? the sausages? the paella? the party furniture? the bouncy castle and the soft play environment for the children?

I would love someone to tell us who paid. Until I hear different I am left wondering: DID WE THE  TAX PAYING RESIDENTES OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF ORIHUELA FUND THIS PP GIVE-AWAY?

So depending on the numbers present let´s do a few rough estimates:
      1,000 people at 3€ per head = 3,000€,
                2,000 people at 5€ per head = 10,000€,
                       3,000 people at 8€ per head = 24,000€

In the monthly council meeting last week Councillor Rosa Martínez, PSOE opposition councillor for Orihuela Costa, presented a petition signed by residents of Orihuela Costa, asking the Ayuntamiento to arrange an "Arrival of the Three Kings Procession" on January 5th in Orihuela Costa, ......a procession like one the children of Orihuela City will enjoy (and children in every neighbouring municipality where the residents are valued).
The request was refused!
(The PP added that it was a bit late to ask at the November pleno!)

Well escuse me! The residents and Rosa Martínez should NOT HAVE HAD TO ASK! The municipal council should have planned a procession for the kids in the Costa at the same time it was planning the procession in Orihuela city. A non-political procession for the children with a few sweets given away would have pleased residents more and would have cost less money!
           What do you say? You can give your opinion on May 22nd 2011 in the municipal elections.
           If you want change, register to vote! 

       The final date for registering to vote is 30th December. It´s still not too late!   

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Centro Deportivo Municipal Orihuela Costa - a municipal or a private facility?

On Saturday 27th November 2010 Orihuela Costa was the scene of yet another inauguration by the Mayor Monica Lorente. The occasion was the opening of the Centro Deportivo Municipal Orihuela Costa (in case anyone was in any doubt the Mayor & Team PP turned out wearing tracksuits & trainers & if anyone wonders who the two smart casually dressed people are front left (i.e. the 2 not wearing sports gear) ...that´s 2 uninvited guests who gate-crashed the photo-shoot, Rosa Martínez, PSOE Councillor for Orihuela Costa & Luis Galiano Moreno, PSOE Councillor for Sport).
Both Councillor Aniorte & Mayor Lorente made speeches (in Spanish only, no translations.....tut,tut!) We were told that this marvellous facility is "ours" and it´s been provided for us by our PP Municipal Council).

Well, according to my sources that´s not exactly true!
The residents of Orihuela were promised a sports centre but for so long nothing happened. Then to help with the crisis & unemployment in the building sector came Plan E money from Central Government, some of this money was used to fund the building of this facility NOT your Municipal Council´s money.

Another thing that´s not exactly true is that it´s "ours". No, according to the sports centre staff,  this is a PRIVATE SPORTS CENTRE. Certainly prices appear support this claim!

I undertook the research for the table below on behalf of Rosa Martínez after a resident had complained to Rosa about the price of renting a municipal tennis court for an hour in relation to renting elsewhere and also asked if this is actually a municipal sports centre having been told by the centre staff that it´s private.
The table below is based on information given to me by the Municipal Sports Centres in Orihuela Costa (OC CDM), Torrevieja (T CDM), Pilar de la Horadada (PH CDM), San Miguel CDM, Campoamor Golf Complex and Orihuela Costa Resort. I looked at the by hour or session price for members of the public for both tennis & swimming.

Per hour price:     
                              Tennis                           Swimming
                            (per hour)                     Adult       Child     Pensioner

O/C CDM               10€                          3.50€       3.50€       3.50€ (per hour)

T CDM                    4€                            2€           1€             1€ (per session)

PH CDM                 4€                            2.30€       1.50€        2.30€ (per session)

SM CDM                 free

CAMP/GOLF          12€

OC RESORT           6€

I was informed at our municipal facility that I can swim for "free" if I become a member; adult membership 420€ per year, child membership 350€, no discount for pensioners. (Did they really say "free"?)

So.... is this a Municipal Sports Centre or not?