Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The end of “free lunches”

When we first came to Bigastro, Pam and I were surprised at how much was available to us “free of charge”. We were not used to that because in Britain you expect pay for most things – very little is provided for nothing.

One of the issues that came up in our Spanish class yesterday was how much the council must pay to keep the Auditorium open. Having a magnificent building, such as this is a great asset to the town but it comes at a huge cost.

I have no idea how much the lighting, cleaning and heating bills must be but I dare say they are not cheap and are undoubtedly more than the cash strapped town can afford.

I have heard several townsfolk suggest that it is ridiculous for people to expect a program of free concerts week after week and I have to say I agree with them. One way which the council could offset some of the expenditure is to charge for use of the Auditorium. Surely, there can't be many that would object to a nominal charge being made for entrance and at least the money collected would offset the cost involved. If you were to ask me how much, I would suggest a ball park figure of 5€ per head with concessions for the unemployed, pensioners and children.

It is the same issue with fiestas which must cost the town a small fortune and yet we have never been expected to contribute. The fact is, Pam and I insist on paying for a program but that is purely voluntary.In nearby Molins, each household is expected to contribute 60€ for the fiesta there; why not in Bigastro?

The days of “free lunches” in Bigastro must surely be over. If we want these traditions to continue, then we must be prepared to pay for them otherwise they won’t happen and that would be sad.

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