Monday 24th May 2021 – CARLOS LÓPEZ with Mike Smith
Xàbia mayor José Chulvi, in his capacity as PSPV spokesperson in Les Corts Valencianes, the main legislative body of the Generalitat Valenciana, has managed to successfully propose a motion – with the support of Compromís and Podemos – that urges Les Corts to request that the regional government draws up the necessary legislative changes which will allow town councils to regain powers when it comes to setting the conditions for the opening of fuel stations in their municipalities, thus defending the criteria of personal safety, health protection, and urban cohesion.
Chulvi made the proposal to Les Corts after hearing of several cases from municipalities which have suffered from “the lack of tool that the local administration has at its disposal”, according to a PSPV statement.
Less than a year ago, a new fuel station was authorized by the council in Xàbia, a decision that the statement claimed was made because “current regulations oblige the local government to authorize its opening without any margin set to match their own criteria or established incompatible circumstances”.
However, when the matter was raised in a plenary session to questions from the opposition, the Populares party claimed that the Council was able to legislate through the General Plan and urged the local government to promote a specific modification to the current version (1990) to regulate it. The local government responded by presenting a motion and all the parties agreed to create a municipal bylaw. But …
Nothing more is known, other that what the Socialists have reported, in the approval of the motion which, according to sources at Les Corts, is nothing more than an “empty gesture”. Moreover, it is also a proposal that, the PSPV statement states, doesn’t have the support of either the PP or Ciudadanos who “ignore the concern that exists in the municipalities and the protests of their own representatives in the towns against the social conflicts that are being caused by the total liberalization of fuel stations”.
In response to questions from XAD, Rosa Cardona, the PP spokesperson in Xàbia, said that she had contacted representative Elisa Díaz, who was the one who defended the position of the Populares in the motion, and told her that “the PSPV has made a mistake in processing the modification” which, as Cardona explained, resulted in the vote against it, adding that “a Bill rather than a Motion should have been presented, since the intention is to modify a State Law”. She added that the mayor should have studied other options at the local level, such as modifying the General Plan at a time when this document is being prepared.
The local spokesperson for Ciudadanos, Enrique Escrivà, lamented the criticism of the mayor and the representative, using the proliferation of fuel stations “as a weapon against other parties, instead of using the mean available to him through municipal powers to deal with the problem”. He added that there is another way for the regulation rather than waiting for legislative changes at regional and state level, something which, to him, seems to be complicated since it requires the actions of many participants. He claimed that just six months ago, “we were the opposition in Xàbia, the ones who gave the warning that the Council has margin within its regulatory capacity to deal with an issue like this that concerns us all”.