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The plenary session agrees to grant the city's Corporate Medal to the former mayor of Beniardá, César Vicedo, for being "decisive" in solving the water supply problem in 1978

Benidorm demands that EPSAR must assume the increase in the cost of the treatment plant caused by the increase in the price of energy

28 November 2022
Pleno ordinario noviembre 2022
Pleno ordinario noviembre 2022

The plenary session of the Benidorm City Council has approved today the extraordinary memory of modification in the structure of the energy cost of the sanitation and purification service of the Benidorm WWTP for the year 2023 and has requested the Public Entity for Residual Water Sanitation (EPSAR) to assess said report justifying an increase in eligible energy costs amounting to 1,072,065.96 euros.

In practice, this means that the City Council claims through this motion that the Public Entity for Wastewater Sanitation (EPSAR) takes charge of such increase in the cost on account of the canon that Benidorm pays each year "and that it has not been translated into investments”, as pointed out by the Councilor for the Water Cycle, José Ramón González de Zárate.

The mayor has argued that the energy cost "is wild" and has recalled that the citizens of Benidorm pay EPSAR 6.2 million annually, of which the regional administration only pays the concessionaire of the WWTP four million.

“That is to say, the EPSAR does not spend more than two million on investments that are left over from the amount it receives. The investments to the WWTP do not arrive and the only ones that are produced are those executed by the City Council or the Diputación” he stated.

The memory reflects that for 2023 an increase of 1,072,065.96 euros is estimated, "which is outrageous." For this reason, the councilor continued, “we want to pass this report on to the EPSAR so that they assume the increase in energy costs. That is to say, that what is ours stays in Benidorm and not in the EPSAR box”. In fact, the mayor has stressed that in the event of a breakdown in the WWTP "we are not sure that they will repair it because they did not want to sign any commitment."

In the same session, three motions emanating from the Board of Spokesmen have passed unanimously. The first one related to the granting of the Benidorm Corporate Medal to the former mayor of Beniardá, César Vicedo Bou, who recently died, which will be delivered posthumously on the Day of the Spanish Constitution, next December 6.

César Vicedo, mayor of Beniardá in 1978 was "decisive in solving the problem of water supply to Benidorm". His town hall allowed the prospecting of wells in his municipal area so that in 1979 he allowed the water to emerge, the largest aquifer in the Marina Baixa, “saving the model and the tourist brand”. César Vicedo "was a great man, a good man whom Benidorm cannot and should not forget," the motion indicates.

The second motion of the Board of Spokespersons was an institutional declaration on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In it, "our rejection of all forms of violence contained in the Istanbul Convention is manifested and we join all the voices that cry out for a future of equality and free of violence."

Similarly, the declaration considers that "it is time for society to become aware and internalize that, as the UN has said, violence against women is a violation of human rights that reaches pandemic proportions." It is also recalled that 1,168 women have been murdered by their partners or ex-partners since there was a record of victims in 2003 "We observe with concern the increase in our country of women who have some kind of police monitoring system, likewise the increase in minors in of vulnerability, since the violence suffered by mothers extends to them” the motion read.

The third motion of the Board of Spokespersons has also gone unanimously, by which the remuneration of the members of the municipal corporation will not be increased by the percentage authorized by the Government of Spain for the 2023 annuity.

The plenary session also approved the initiation of the contract file for the contract for the execution of the connection works of the N-332 and its connection with the avenue of the Valencian Community. "It is good news that this point has been reached in full, although it is a work that the Ministry should have attended to," said the Councilor for Contracting, Aida García Mayor, who also advanced that the work "will be processed as quickly as possible".

In the session, it was also approved by a majority to declare the nullity of the urban agreement referring to the APR-7 sector that was signed in 2003 between the City Council and landowners in what is now the Serra Gelada Natural Park. The spokeswoman Lourdes Caselles has reasoned that in view of the documentation and the "numerous reports", including that of the Consell Jurídic Consultiu, "it is appropriate to declare the nullity of the previous agreements taken on this matter" with which "it is considered terminated the ex officio review file”.

With the votes of the municipal groups of the PP and Cs, a motion has gone ahead to urge the Government of Spain not to carry out any modification of the Penal Code that involves repealing the crime of sedition. "Unfortunately we are going to have to go to the chapter on amendments because last Friday the government proceeded to approve it last Friday," lamented Caselles, who stated that "the government has not even paid attention to its voters, who in a 49% do not agree with this change, but it also does not comply with the Constitution and makes concessions to those who want to break Spain. City councils must position ourselves in favor of compliance with the Spanish Constitution”. "We are in favor of serving all the sentences for those who rose up against Spain" the spokeswoman has settled.

Another joint motion has also been approved with the votes of the government and Cs to ask the Government of Spain to approve, as a matter of urgency, legislative measures to postpone the obligation to establish Low Emission Zones (ZBE) before the year 2023 in municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants and those with more than 20,000 that exceed the limits of pollutants regulated in the Royal Decree.

The Councilor for the Environment and deputy spokesperson, Mónica Gómez, argued in this regard that the Government "has not yet carried out the regulatory development" of the norm that obliges the establishment of ZBEs, "for which reason the generic mandate of the establishment of LEZs”. It stresses that the Executive "must establish the minimum requirements that these LEZs must meet, providing legal certainty to users, companies, and the general public."

Given the current dates and the "impossibility" of the Local Entities to comply with the provisions of the law, "it is necessary and urgent that a moratorium on the term of entry into force" of the Low Emission Zones be approved. Gómez added that the fact of not having approved the Royal Decree that regulates ZBEs "is generating unnecessary uncertainty for Local Entities" which implies that "the European funds associated with their entry into force can be put at risk".

In this sense, Gómez has stressed that "Benidorm has done its homework, but the extension of the term is requested in solidarity with other populations that have not been able to carry out the necessary actions."

By majority, a proposal from the municipal group of the PP has been approved, in which the condemnation of "the attacks against judges and magistrates due to the application of Organic Law 10/2022 of September 6, on the integral guarantee of the sexual freedom”. Spokesperson Lourdes Caselles stressed that said law "has had reports against it and we are seeing that the sentences for the most serious crimes are reduced, despite the fact that there were reports that warned of this possibility."
Caselles lamented that Minister Irene Montero "instead of accepting the error, has branded the judges as macho and of not doing her job well." For this reason, the motion not only shows the condemnation of the City Council but also urges the Council to condemn said attacks and the President of the Government "to dismiss the Minister of Equality Irene Montero and promote the revision of the law so that those who commit crimes have the same penalties that were in force until September of this year.”

Extraordinary dispatches

In the chapter on extraordinary offices, the votes of the government team have been enough to urgently approve a budget modification, number 18, worth 2,528,789.34 euros to meet expenses in the Department of Street Cleaning (2,180. 262.34 euros due to the increase in costs foreseen in the collection, transport and elimination of solid urban waste, as well as street cleaning), Tourism (32,727 euros), Youth (6,000 euros), repair expenses and higher subsidies from the Department of Sports (239,800 euros) and Christmas decoration expenses from the Department of Fiestas (70,000 euros).

The Councilor for Treasury Aida García Mayor has described this modification as "fundamental" to meet the needs and activities of the Departments. As for the highest amount, related to Street Cleaning, she has justified it by "the increase in costs of mandatory services such as street collection, selective collection, solid waste transfer, and solid urban waste disposal". The mayor has also specified that the contributions for 2022 have entailed "the application of rates that imply an increase of 33.34% over what was paid in 2021."

However, García Mayor has insisted that despite this "we will continue to help families and companies because we are going to assume service costs with the municipal budget." At this point, she has given the garbage tax as an example, “which we will not raise despite the fact that the Consortium pushes us to do so with an increase of more than 12%. The cost is assumed by the City Council”. And she has also stressed that "we have not forgotten the families who will also have their help again at Christmas".