Opposition parties in Xàbia raise concerns about the future after COVID-19
The opposition calls for urgency in the application of the new aid plan and expresses its concern for the future of the municipality after the pandemic.
Thursday 11th February 2021 | Xàbia AL DÍA
Xàbia Council has published its economic reactivation plan RECUPEREM XÀBIA 2021, a range of measures to support people and sectors that have been affected by the economic crisis of the current pandemic as well as the health restrictions established to stop its advance.
It is a plan that not only received the approval from the PSPV-PSOE government team, which has the majority, but also from the different municipal opposition groups. It is the second economic recovery agreement signed unanimously by all the political forces of Xàbia which have representation on the council.
Last Friday, mayor José Chulvi explained the recovery proposal prepared by the local executive to each of the opposition representatives for their assessment and their suggestions, and which was approved on Monday 8th February.
XAD has wanted to gather the opinions from each representative regarding this plan and how they will be proceeding with their position within the municipal corporation and from their respective parties in order, together with the City Council, to ensure that this aid actually reaches all xabieros and xabieras who are in a situation of special vulnerability at this time or have been affected by this unexpected and long social, health and economic crisis.
Partido Popular (PP)
The Popular Party representative, Rosa Cardona, considers it “positive that all groups are clear about what is going to be done with the money as a result of the efforts of all the town” and that it “has an impact – now more than ever – directly and individually on each one of the citizens who need it most“. Cardona believes that the plan covers all affected sectors, but she stresses that the aid “will not come out suddenly, but progressively and, little by little, it will reach everyone.”
However, the PP has called for caution and anticipate sthe possible scenarios in which the municipality will find itself once the tourist season passes that she, she points out, “will be uncertain“, stressing that “when this happens, Xàbia will need a new economic boost and the plan must be alive so that these aids are also available after the summer and anticipate the demand from the population“.
The PP spokesperson explained that her party will try to facilitate this forecasted job by carrying out their appropriate analysis to contribute to the work of the consistory and, at the same time, echoing the aid that is emerging at the municipal and regional level so that they reach “as many people as possible“, adding that “it is fortunate that Xàbia has the capacity to face the vital demands of citizens“.
Cardona has shown personal concern and points out “the need to work towards a time beyond the pandemic and also focus on making the municipality an attractive place to attract investment and for citizens to see it feasible to invest locally with security and future prospects“.
Ciudadnos por Jávea (CPJ)
The Ciudadanos por Jávea believes that the plan “is a good starting point and a declaration of intentions” but that, to make it effective, “it will be necessary to allocate specific means, centralize the actions in a working group and reduce bureaucratic obstacles and make them the aid immediately available, or they will not fulfill their objective ”.
CPJ considers it “pretentious” to think that the plan will solve all the economic and social issues that the pandemic is causing in the municipality, but they are convinced that, as a public administration, “we can work side by side and closer to the citizens and sectors involved“, adding that “together we have to make an improvement of the situation in Xàbia possible and that will only be achieved if we have the support of the state and regional administration.”
The party chaired by Juan Ortolá advocates working in a coordinated way and that a team is formed by the council to establish the strategies to follow for each action that is going to be undertaken in the plan. They propose setting up specific working groups to carry out the signed pact and have a physical space that serves as a reference for citizens.
They also highlighted the need to reduce bureaucracy when processing each of the grants and for this they propose the creation of “a single ordinance that includes all the subsidy lines, as this will reduce the award periods“.
Compromís considered “the joint action of all political parties and the activation of the Council as a catalyst for the local economy to be positive” since, according to them, “until last year, direct aid, employment plans, reduction of rates and other types of actions, they were all conspicuous by their absence”. They stressed that the injection of capital into the Department of Social Services is vitally important “to guarantee the survival of vulnerable people.”
Compromís believes that the subsidies “are helpful, but they do not solve the underlying problem and they do not reach, in any way, all the residents“, adding that “there are issues that have not just appeared, but have existed much earlier such as difficult access to rent, the price of electricity, the lack of job opportunities outside tourism and construction and job insecurity that are waiting to be solved.”
In the same way, they consider that the recovery of the municipality is a task that falls to everyone, as well as the adaptation to the new times. For this reason, they affirm, “the reactivation of the citizen participation forum has been included in the plan to review the production and city model that we have. Participation must be an essential axis to think, together, of the Xàbia we want after this crisis and start working to achieve it“.
They are “willing to work” and will collaborate in the dissemination and communication of all the measures that are taken “and in the subsequent inspection of the correct operation and fulfillment of the plan“.
Finally, Enrique Escrivá from Ciudadanos, has also been in favour of the recovery plan, but points out that “experience with previous aid has shown us that it is difficult to reach all xabieros” (and gives as an example the first aid for the self-employed from the Provincial Council of which only 20,000 euros were granted out of a total of 94,000 or those of the council itself that of 1.5 million euros, only 535,000 were distributed). Hence, he proposes a “good communication of each aid that arises and put all the machinery of the Council to work so that the full aid reaches the largest possible number of people, as soon as possible, because businesses and families cannot wait any more“.
Escrivá believes that “now more than ever is the time to be by the side of the people and that will only be achieved by bringing them closer to the Council and by listening to them“. For this reason, he praises the opening of the specific office to facilitate the management and processing of grants. However, he believes that “it should be maintained in the future and support residents to process all kinds of subsidies, training programs and promotion of self-employment and not only focus on combating the effects of COVID-19“.
The Cs spokesperson also sees it “fundamental that joint working groups involved commerce, business, political parties etc. be resumed and continue, so that there is constant and fluid communication to solve all the needs and doubts that arise in a flexible way ”.
The new Recuperem Xàbia 2021 plan has 1.5 million euros for direct aid to the self-employed and businesses, 1 million euros for a social employment plan and 750,000 euros for social aid. It should be remembered that the council announced that it will not charge the public road occupancy rate or the business opening rate.
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