On paper, the Mancomunidad de promoción Económica is a good idea and no doubt, over the years it has proved to be a useful forum for the towns in this area. It has also provided funding for joint courses between them. It does not have any legal standing though and as such is purely voluntary.
Unfortunately times are hard and towns no longer have the luxury to afford another layer of administration above their own. The fact that some of the towns owe money to the Manucomunidad, including Bigastro, is a sore point and has caused a lot of tension at recent meetings. Insults have flown, mayors have walked out and our own mayor, Charo Bañuls has resigned as president. The problems have been made worse by the mix of parties; e.g., PP mayors are accused of making remarks about socialist mayors which sounds perfectly possible given the nature of local politicians in Spain.
I dare say that life for a mayor in this area used to be easy; they just planned new and more adventurous projects and everyone loved them. Now they have to juggle between what has to be paid, what should be paid and what they can get away with not paying. Life is constantly about looking over their shoulders to see who is trying to stab them in the back.
You probably have to be very thick skinned to enter local politics in the Vega Baja.