Opposition berates local government for lack of transparency

The regulations on the sewer network was approved with only local government body support.

Tuesday 26th January 2021 | CARLOS LÓPEZ (Xàbia AL DIA)

The online plenary session of the Xàbia Council held this Monday has approved the regulation of Sanitation and Sewerage of the municipality with the only votes of the local government. A document that was presented a year ago, was sent to the public and after answering the only objection presented, has gone ahead this Monday, with the abstention of Compromís and Ciudadanos, and the vote against by the PP and Ciudadanos for Jávea.

This regulation establish the rules for the operation of the sanitation and sewerage service that already provides service to the three main urban centers, but which in the coming years should be extended to the entire municipality. It is a multi-million euro investment that has been postponed in previous legislatures due to the unpopularity of the measure, since it affects most of the homes in the urbanisations. Finally this year it will become a reality.

In the debate on this point, both the PP, Compromís and Ciudadanos have berated the local government for the lack of transparency in the processing of the regulation and that no dedicated sessions of the Consell d’Urbanisme had been held to debate this matter.

In this sense, the representative for C’s, Enrique Escrivá, recalled that in the last session of that consultative body, the person in charge of the branch promised to hold a dedicated session and if it had been done, it would have “also been possible to talk to the residents about how the project will affect them”.

Escrivà has complained that the Public Entity of Residual Water Sanitation (EPSAR) dependent on the Ministry of Ecological Transition and owner of the Xàbia treatment plant where all the water that is collected through the network will reach “has been put in profile before the municipal requirement to speak about the regulation and has asked that “since we pay 2.5 million a year the sanitation fee that they allocate a part to our municipality.” Despite this, the councillor has stressed that the sanitation network is necessary and hence his abstention.

For his part, the representative for Compromís, Vicent Colomer, has justified the abstention “mainly due to legal insecurity and lack of transparency”, and has insisted that the local government said that a specific meeting would be held on the subject “and it has not been done”.

With more technical and in-depth arguments, the spokesperson for the PP, Rosa Cardona and that of Ciudadanos Por Jávea, Juan Ortolá, have intervened. And it is PP who presented the only argument against the document.

In fact, the PP representatives recalled precisely that aspect because the content of its writing “intended to correct the many defects” of the regulation, and has indicated that it “did not know” how the procedure of public consultation had been done because it had not “collected information from neighborhood associations such as those of Balcón al Mar, Montgó or Costa Nova, or the builders “. According to Rosa Cardona they are “involved residents” and assured that “they are unaware of the sanitation and sewerage regulations.” Along these lines, the mayor has pointed out that the Council “should have made it easier for them.”

Cardona has indicated that this regulation “determines the licences for Major Works and Minor Works, in the part related to homes that have to install a watertight deposit tank” since, as she has stressed, “executing this work will be a condition for obtaining the licence.” And she added “it is the owner who assumes all the cost.” And that all the residents of Xàbia “are paying a sanitation fee” and it has been raised whether the Council “cannot help them” when facing these investments.

In the debate on this matter, the councilor for Urbanism, Isabel Bolufer, has responded that “most of the proposals made by the PP in their arguments had been collected” and after the intervention of the PP spokesperson, Rosa Cardona, has assured that the installation of watertight tanks in homes that are more than 100 meters from the network “is a solution endorsed by the Júcar Hydrographic Confederation“.

Bolufer has also defended that “the regulation was discussed in the Consell d’Urbanisme” without specifying more. It was in a single session that was held in December 2019, and the document was raised to the plenary session and for public exposure a month later and from then until now the advisory body has not met again.

Unanimous approval for credit modification

The plenary session has also approved the first credit modification of the extended budget for 2020, which amounts to a total of 3.5 million euros and which, among others, includes the reserve of 1.5 million euros for a new plan of aid for economic sectors and increase the amount of emergency aid for social services to 750,000 euros.

This credit modification was approved with the unanimous support of all parties.

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