ELECTION 28M: Mavi Pérez: “Those of us who live in Thiviers don’t want to be second-class citizens”

“Creating a better Xàbia is up to us and I can guarantee that we have a solid and viable project, offering facts not propaganda”.

Sunday 21st May 2023
Mike Smith

Mayoral candidate Mavi Pérez returned to the neighbourhood where she grew up for the first election campaign meeting of CIUDADANOS POR JÁVEA (CPJ) on Friday evening, declaring that Thiviers once “had everything” and vowing to support the area to give aid to local businesses and support new initiatives to make it an economically dynamic neighbourhood once again.

Thiviers is where many of those who make up the 21 names bidding for the support of the people of Xàbia next Sunday live and it was #9 candidate José Prada who admitted that it was much to their “regret” that the neighbourhood was not experiencing the best of times, citing unclean streets and pavements, inaccessible rubbish collection bins which are difficult to open by the elderly, and the paralysis of the renovation of the Parque Reina Sofia in its heart, a suspension of work that has deprived the children of the community of a safe play area.

Susana Ern, #10 candidate and incumbent CPJ councillor of Heritage and Markets, then spoke about her role in the current council, claiming that “although people may think that we became partners and accomplices of the Chulvi administration, nothing could be further from the truth”, adding that “in the 23 years that we have been in politics, we have shown our responsibility and collaboration with the important issues of Xàbia. And when it’s time to work, you work. And that’s what we’ve done, working in the Department of Heritage that had completely collapsed”.

She highlighted the achievements that had been made since she took on the role, including the acquisition of property in Calle Bonaventura that will allow the Central Cinema building to become a centre for cultural, musical and theatrical activities and the acquisition of land in the Catarroja zone to build municipal facilities for rubbish collection and street cleaning.

She also spoke about the Municipal Market and that when she took on the responsibility in October 2021, there was clear discontent amongst the stall holders and, in response, the situation was addressed to create a common space inside the market building as well as open bidding for new stalls. She said that this was achieved through “permanent and fluid conversation with the businesses to find the right balance between their demands and the need of the people who live and buy in the historic centre”.

She also spoke about the concession granted by the Port Authority to Xàbia for the conversion of the lighthouse complex on Cap de Sant Antoni into a visitor’s centre for the Sant Antoni Marine Reserve and the Parque Natural del Montgó, explaining that the concession was given in June 2020 and the work project approved in October 2020 with work supposed to start in March 2021 which would last a year. “Well, the contract is still pending, the funding has not been allocated and prices are now 31% more expensive: we are in danger of losing the concession”.

Juan Ortolá, #2 on the candidate list and incumbent CPJ councillor for Citizen Security and Emergencies, also spoke about how aware he was of the dangers that being Chulvi’s partner in local government could be. “Once they said we were members of PP (Partido Popular) and now of Chulvi. But what they don’t want to admit is that we have our own identity and that our own partner is and will always be Xàbia. We have been proving this for 23 years”.

Speaking about his role on the council, which he assumed in October 2021, he admitted that there was a serious problem when he took over, including the reduction in local police by some 25 officers and the subsequent discontent amongst them and the Chulvi administration was obvious. “Since becoming councillor, we have solved the problems and now we propose to return the police to the streets as well as establish a rural police force, something already put into motion a few years ago”.

He also spoke about the major issue of the day, the lack of housing for young people and families and referred “the famous 118 social rental homes for young people under 35 that they are going to build”, claiming that a “fiasco is looming”, citing the 50,000 square metre Parque de Rafal that was promised four years ago and has yet to be built.

“They are playing with the hopes of the people,” he said, claiming that all the local council does is make plots available to the Generalitat Valenciana. He added that of the 118 homes planned, only 106 can be built within the General Plan. “To expand, a modification would have to be made to that General Urban Plan and, taking into account that a license takes more than a year to be processed, how long would it take for a specific modification?”

In addition, he explained that the Generalitat Valenciana would have to put the construction project out to public tender so that a private developer can build it, a private promoter who will need more than 13 million euros (aside from the 5 million provided by EU funds). That 13 million investment would need to be recovered as well as the benefit of renting the home for a period of 50 years, extendable to 25 more. According to EU strict rules, the houses have to be completed by 2026, a deadline that, he claimed, would be “impossible” to comply with. He finished off by claiming that “Chulvi’s PSOE will say anything to get the votes at any price”

The meeting closed with a passionate speech by the CPJ candidate for mayor, Mavi Pérez, who said that “we had everything [in Thiviers], including the feeling of community and companionship, a neighbourhood of working people with all kinds of businesses as well as fiestas.” She admitted that times have changed but that “we have a duty to give aid to existing businesses and support new entrepreneurs to make an economically dynamic neighborhood”.

She added that “we cannot allow more paralyzed projects that affect the Thiviers neighborhood, such as the Parque Reina Sofía and CEIP Trenc d’Alba. We cannot allow ourselves to be second-class citizens in Thiviers, the town hall has to respond to our problems”.

She defended the proposals of CPJ as being “credible and feasible”, adding that “making a better Xàbia is up to us and I can guarantee that we have a solid and viable project. Our list is made up of people with a great capacity for work, willing to work for Xàbia in a silent and efficient way. We offer you politics of facts, not politics of propaganda”.