On the 23rd April we had a meeting with Aurelio Murcia González, candidate for the PP party. Last night it was the turn of the PSOE or socialist party headed by the current mayor Jose Joaquin Moya Esquiva.
The PSOE had gone to a lot of trouble by first of all sending a car round in the morning announcing the time and place of the meeting in English. They opened the meeting by showing us a presentation highlighting their achievements over the last four years. Again the commentary was in English. There were printed manifestos in English, free drinks and lighters to give away.
When the presentation finished, the Alcalde spoke to us in Spanish followed by translations into English by one of his assistants. It was an impressive effort to keep us informed.
Finally the floor was opened up for questions. Inevitably there were questions related to our particular circumstances e.g. the slow progress that Telfonica are making installing phones. These were followed by more pertinent questions about the finances of the town.
The Alcalde explained that insufficient funds had been made available to Bigastro from both regional and National governments. Bigastro therefore had to take out loans and sell off municipal land to carry out their program of development for the town. He further went on to explain that there was still more land which they could sell to finance future projects.
The PSOE's vision for Bigastro is a town of 10,000 inhabitants which represents an increase of 33% or 2,500 people. At the same time they wish to keep the rural nature of the town and promote the concept of Citta Slow. Their priority is to allow the building of affordable apartments and pisos rather than detached houses to attract young people back to the town.
They also want to promote tourism in the town hence the plan to build an aparthotel with conference facilities on the rural land of the Pedrera.
Unfortunately we missed the end of the meeting because we went down to the Auditorium to see the Cuban ballet. Sadly there were only a handful of residents from our estate in evidence at the Auditorium which was a pity because their performance to a packed theatre was excellent.