Monday 15th March 2021 | translated by MIKE SMITH
The Alicante Provincial Council will increase the investment in the municipalities and productive sectors of the province by 38.5 million euros thanks to the credit modification approved in an extraordinary plenary session on Friday morning. This investment package, which has gone ahead with the votes in favour from the Populares and Ciudadanos and with the abstention of the PSOE and Compromís, will be funded with treasury surpluses.
The Deputy for Economy, Eduardo Dolón, stressed that these extraordinary funds, some new and others reinforcing existing funding, “represent a qualitative and quantitative leap in the Council’s commitment to reactivating the province,” while specifying that the amendment “includes 99% of the proposals that the opposition groups raised at the time in the budget agreement.” In this sense, he has advanced that another extraordinary plenary session will be held soon to complete the agreed measures and promote new lines of aid.
The Infrastructure and Assistance to Municipalities area will account for 14.1 million euros of the total amount of the approved credit modification in order to comply with the commitments that the provincial institution maintains with the municipalities, as highlighted by the deputy responsible for the area and Cs spokesperson, Javier Gutiérrez.
“This will allow town and city councils in the province to catch up on their investments subsidized by the Alicante Provincial Council,” said Gutiérrez, who explained that more than six million euros will be dedicated to the completion of the projects corresponding to the financial years of 2018 and 2019. “Thus we fulfill a commitment acquired by this government since we understand that it is a priority to dedicate additional resources to investments that have not been able to be carried out by municipalities due to the need to attend to urgent matters created by the pandemic during this last year of the pandemic“.
He added that “this marks the difference of this Provincial Council, compared to other administrations for which non-compliance with the execution deadlines results in the loss of the right to receive aid“. Regarding the nominative subsidies committed in the last legislature, the deputy has reported that receipts of expenditure have already been received for an amount of more than four million euros and will reach a little more than 6.7 million in their final amount. “This is the end of one stage and the beginning of another in which we have imposed the equitable distribution of subsidies with objective criteria through plans such as ‘Planifica’ and ‘Más Cerca’“.
As for Culture, the budget is increased by 4,170,000 euros, of which the majority, more than 3.2 million, will go to subsidies and the rest to autonomous bodies. In this sense, the deputy has insisted that “the significant increase in aid funds has an important background. It is thus intended to favour companies and professionals in the cultural sector, severely affected by the current crisis derived from the pandemic, and to reactivate culture in the municipalities”.
For their part, with respect to the autonomous bodies, the contributions to the Provincial Archaeological Museum (MARQ) are increased by 450,000 euros to cover the expenses derived from the exhibition ‘Los Guerreros de Xi’an’. “It is a bet to guarantee that it can be developed in all its splendor given its importance and tourist potential,” explained Gutiérrez. The Provicincial Audirotium (ADDA) will receive an additional 200,000 euros to develop new projects and the contribution to the Juan Gil-Albert Institute of Culture of Alicante is increased by 250,000 euros to carry out cultural activities and comply with the agreement reached in the last plenary session with the different political groups.
The modification also contemplates a total of five million euros for the Water Distribution area, of which 4.5 million will be allocated to water distribution infrastructures in the municipalities of Campo de Mirra, Tibi, La Vall de Laguar, Facheca, Tárbena, Xaló, Redován, Orihuela, Relleu and Albatera, while another 400,000 will be invested in the installation of remote reading meters in a number of towns.
The Environment sector increases its credit with 1.5 million euros for the Provincial Energy Saving Plan and another two million euros for the granting of subsidies to municipalities for the purchase of electric vehicles. Roads will also have 3,400,000 euros allocated from the surplus to, among other actions, prepare roads and install lights and their cover their running expenses, and more than one million euros for the El Rafòl d’Almúnia bypass.
Likewise, more than 700,000 euros will be allocated to the structural stabilization of the Perputxent Castle in L’Orxa and in the archaeological parks of Illeta and El Tossal, in addition to 500,000 euros for the restoration of the organ at the Cathderal of San Nicolás de Alicante.
In the Sports sector, 3 million euros will be invested in the renovation of the artificial grass pitches and another 100,000 euros to assist clubs in the promotion of nautical sports, while the activities of the area of International Residents and Volunteering will receive 150,000 euros. Social Services and Equality is also reinforced with 55,000 euros to promote subsidies for the Food Bank and Alicante Gastronómica Solidaria, as well as 830,000 euros to support the areas of European Projects, Digital Agenda and Innovation, the adaptation of teleworking, Cenid Project, AVAESEN , etc, Economic Development and Productive Sectors will receive 38,000 euros for Alicante Public Work Federation (FOPA), whilst Emergencies will receive one million euros.
From the opposition, both the PSOE and Compromís have supported the items included in the modification but have opted for abstention. In this sense, the socialist spokesman, Toni Francés, has argued his position for the non-inclusion of subsidies for municipalities that may be excluded from DANA aid. However, the provincial government team has stressed the commitment of the Provincial Council to all the municipalities that were affected by this episode and have attributed the responsibility for processing the aid to the Central Government. “There will be another plenary session to advance with what has remained in the pipeline,” said Javier Gutiérrez, who added that “with regard to DANA, no people will be left behind“.
Press Release – Diputación de Alicante