Sunday 21st May 2023
Music and dance accompanied the first electoral meeting of the PARTIDO POPULAR (PP) which took place on the Paseo del Tenista David Ferrer in the Arenal as mayoral hopeful Rosa Cardona pledged to initiate a comprehensive plan to deal with the flooding and consequences of the storms that have done so much damage in recent years as well as improve the overall impression of the neighbourhood.
Cardona highlighted the problems that have blighted the Arenal for some time, including the lack of lighting, the poor cleanliness and the lack of care of the public parks and open spaces and pledged that the PP are committed to “converting a neglected sports area into a space that provides opportunities to play futsal, hockey and handball, to continue breathing new life into the Arenal and provide alternatives for playing sport since the current sports court next to the football ground is going to disappear when the second covered sports centre is built”.
She also pledged to “turn around the state of neglect of a tourist centre par excellence such as the Arenal, where weeds continue to run rampant, trees remain unpruned, pavements unswept, and inaccessible rubbish bins full to overflowing”.
She explained that her party would address some of these problems by developing a dedicated gardening plan that would take of each of the green spaces, to incorporate levers and pedals to the new rubbish bins, create a 48-hour Brigade that would finish the raised pavements and remove the unsightly rust from the railings of Punta del Arenal as well as restoring the plot in Calle Nancy to provide somewhere for children to play. In addition, the PP Xàbia would initiate a contract to acquire and install new playgrounds in all the parks of the municipality as well as provide any necessary remodelling work.
She said that, together with her team, “we are going to give everything so that in the Arenal we can continue working, undertaking and generating wealth and jobs and also put an end to insecurity and the mark of unpunished vandalism of many summer nights, reinforcing the police presence now, given the feeling of insecurity that is still experienced in many areas at night”.
Cardona also stressed the need for all of the Arenal area to have better services, increasing the presence of lifeguards on the beaches during May, and extending the duration of the contract for the parasols and sunbeds to incorporate a low season “to tell everyone that, in addition to the best environment, we have a beach that is prepared for practically the whole year”. She also proposed to improve the accessibility and the attractiveness of the Arenal as well as increase parking and revitalise the whole area by enabling a space to hold events whilst also providing a park-and-ride service on the plot next to the Canal de la Fontana where the Montgó Rock music festival is located.
Enrique Escrivá, #2 in the candidate list, announced the intention to create a ‘Foreign Residents Council’ in which everyone, regardless of their nationality and where they come from, can make known not only their demands but also convey their concerns and ideas.
He added that bringing the local council closer to everyone is attending to the requests for lighting, security and paving that many streets and urbanisations miss whilst he said that the PP intends to enable a new resident attention point in the Civic Punt to carry out procedures with the local council without having the travel to the town.
Escrivà also picked up on the poor bus service in Xàbia which he claimed that the socialist government has not wanted to resolve and said that the PP want to agree on a document with all local political parties and residents to collect the needs and shortcomings of the public transport service to deliver to the Ministry of Transport in order to provide “a decent bus service which we haven’t had for years”. He added that transport and mobility issues in Xàbia are more about management and courage rather than ideology and complained that over the last eight years, not a single metre of bike land has been built in the municipality.
He went on to suggest that “if the fertile creativity that they have had to make promises and announcements these 12 years, were used to solve housing problems, and lack of infrastructure and facilities, perhaps today we would have a medical centre to serve in the Arenal beyond two and a half months throughout the year”.
In this regard, he explained that his party will proposed putting all the means to request that the health center that Arenal deserves is built “and that means not only being in favour locally, but also when voting in Valencia and we still do not know at what point on the way to Valencia the Mayor changed his mind and ended up voting against the the proposal in his role as a deputy in Les Corts Valencianes”. In addition, Escrivá has indicated that the PP will fight to extend the duration in which the current Arenal Medical Office provides service until the health center arrives, “since basic health care cannot be a mere promotional offer of two and a half months nor only depend on when the tourists come to Xàbia”.
Lastly, both Rosa Cardona and Enrique Escrivá mentioned that faced with the problems and lack of environmental sustainability infrastructures, the local government has preferred to look the other way, and the final result is that “we have lost the blue flag of an iconic beach such as the Arenal, due to a sweage outlet pipe that. in the middle of the 21st century, should not continue to pour murky water into the sea. If we have lost the blue flag, those who govern should get the red card this May 28”.
The mayoral candidate concluded by pointing out that “we are not going to allow that, in a iconic tourist zone such as the Arenal, residents, businessmen and tourists have to look out of the corner of their eyes at the cloudy water that flows into the sea, nor suffer from another closure of bathing due to contaminated water. So we are going to plant ourselves once and for all, so that those almost 3 million euros that we all pay together for sanitation, become investments to treat the water that today is poured into the sea and turn it into water for agricultural irrigation, gardens, and cleaning the streets”.