Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The PSOE list

Mª Carmen Medina, Socialist candidate to the Mayor of Bigastro, announced last week the PSOE list of people who will accompany her during the local elections on May 26th.

Medina said that the candidates have "a high commitment to start change in Bigastro in a meaningful and qualitative way". A candidacy formed mainly by "young, trained members, with great enthusiasm to work for the municipality and its neighbours."

The list is composed of:
1. Mª Carmen Medina Oltra
2. Raúl Martínez Campos
3. Olga Soto Pardo
4. Joaquin Sáez López
5. Nora Taj Lidón
6. Rubén González Costa
7. Quina Navarrete Rebollo
8. Joaquin García Elizalde
9. Ruth Molera Valero
10. Álvaro Pastor Terrés
11. Eva Moya Melgarejo
12. Gloria Gras Romero
13. Ángela García García
14. Jose Antonio Martínez Sánchez
15. Mª José Martínez Rodríguez
16. Fran Rodríguez Nortes

Monday, April 29, 2019

St Vincente Ferrer

In case you were wondering, the 29th April is a holiday peculiar to Bigastro.

Under pressure

I understand that there is a major issue with water pressure on part of our estate. I'm told that the water company have installed pressure limiting valves to stop the problems with leaking pipes in parts of the urbanisation. However, I'm told that the pressure is now so low that having a shower is nearly impossible because the central heating boilers cut out. There is also an issue with domestic appliances that rely on a constant water feed like washing machines.

This is having a serious impact on people's lives. 

Why there are so many leaks is being put down to the quality of the pipework in the original installation but there may be other factors.

We do know that there was a stream that ran down the estate which has been blamed for subsidence of gardens to the right of Canada de Andrea. There is clear evidence of this in the pavements and roads and we know that the tubing that was supposed to be used for telephone cables was so badly crushed that it was impossible to thread the cable through.

Also, when they attempted to build houses on the land between Calle Escocia and Calle Holanda, they had to dig down so far that Calle Escocia collapsed into the void.

Could it be that all this movement is the cause of water pipes fractures? And if there is a problem with the water pipes, what about the sewer pipes?

I know that those affected have been to the Town Hall to complain and that people from the water company have visited some homes and made unhelpful suggestions about removing inlet filters from washing machines. Clearly, that is not the solution and in any case that would not alleviate the issues with boilers cutting out.

I do not believe this is an issue that the Town Hall can resolve because they are not responsible for the water supply but hopefully they will take note of the complaints and put pressure upon the water company to sort it out.

Yesterday's election results

As predicted,  the Socialist Party (PSOE)  won the highest number of seats but still fell short of an absolute majority. With around 95% of the vote counted, the PSOE has 123 seats while Unidas Podemos – a coalition of United Left and anti-austerity group Podemos – picked up 42. Together, these two parties account for 165 seats, which is still below the 176 needed for an absolute majority, meaning Pedro Sánchez will need the support of regional parties if he is to govern.

 The conservative Popular Party (PP) suffered a crushing defeat, losing around 70 seats in Congress to be left with just 66. The centre-right party Ciudadanos (Citizens) performed better, winning 57 deputies in Congress. Meanwhile the far-right party Vox took 24 seats in its debut national election. Since Blas Piñar, a far-right politician linked to former dictator Francisco Franco, lost his seat in Congress in 1982, no political party with a similar ideology has set foot in any of the country’s parliaments.

The change in the Senate looks even more drastic: Whilst the PSOE increased their number from 43 to 121, the PP dropped from 130 to 56.

High turnout

Voter turnout was around 75% – 8.5 percentage points more than the 2016 polls. In Bigastro, the turnout was even better at over 80% according to the data collected.


In the Vega Baja the towns were mainly split between PSOE and PP.

The PSOE and the PP won in 13 municipalities of the region each, leaving Ciudadanos the majority in the town of Daya Vieja.

With one hundred percent of the votes counted, the socialist map extends to the municipalities of Algorfa, Almoradí, Benejúzar, Benferri, Bigastro, Dolores, Guardamar, Los Montesinos, Rafal, Rojales, San Isidro, San Miguel de Salinas and Torrevieja.

On the other hand, the Popular Party has managed to take first place in the number of votes in Albatera, Benijófar, Callosa de Segura, Catral, Cox, Daya Nueva, Formentera del Segura, Granja de Rocamora, Jacarilla, Orihuela, Pilar de la Horadada, Redován and San Fulgencio.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Voices in harmony

The Manuel Moya Choir are taking part - we wish them all the luck in the world and hope they enjoy themselves.

Cat out of bag

The PP candidates for this year

Pam being presented on stage

When you pick up your voting paper for the PP, you'll notice Pam's name at number nine.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Remember this?

Those of you who knew John and Jean on Avenida Europa will recall being invited to join them for the Saturday night show and then on the Sunday for paella.

Apart from the paella, local people would give us beans, cakes and water melon. Traditionally, the paella was rabbit and snails. The snails from others would end up on my plate when I wasn't looking. 

Apart from decoration the main cross with flowers, neighbours would put crosses outside their houses - they even ran a competition for the best.

For those who haven't seen them, Los Jubars are a local group of musicians,  probably formed in the 60s and still playing today.

Monday, April 22, 2019

A message from the Mayor

"One Easter Sunday, like today, but in 2015, I went to all of you to introduce myself as a candidate of the Popular Party to the mayoralty of Bigastro .

 Today, four years later, I address you again with the same enthusiasm and commitment of that day, to tell you that I have accepted once again the challenge of "leading the bid to govern Bigastro during the next 4 years."

I must confess that, on that Easter Sunday, I was overcome by uncertainty, as I had no experience in politics and public management. My professional career had been developed up to that point in the business and teaching fields, but always in the private sector. But I had the conviction that with the help of the people who accompanied me in that new project, we would win your trust, and what with our commitment and work, we would do a good management of the municipal government that would not disappoint you.

 During these four years, we have worked with enthusiasm, with courage and without sparing time and effort to fulfil that promise that, after four years, our people people would be better off. I hope you agree, because our reward is your satisfaction.

I want to thank you for the trust that you placed in me four years ago and in the team of people that formed the Popular Party candidacy, because thanks to your support at that time and throughout the legislature, we were able to carry out the project that filled us with hope and confidence.

 I also want to apologise for the mistakes that we have made and the decisions that may have hurt you, but I assure you that we have always tried to make the decisions that affect our people from the path that marks the legality and justice, understood the latter as those actions that benefit a greater number of people, the damage being inevitable in others.

Being the mayor of Bigastro, has been one of my best experiences along with the satisfaction of being a mother and creating a family with my beloved husband. Representing my people and their friendly neighbours is an honour and a pride that I can not express in words.

Like in any life experience, there has been moments of satisfaction and, of course, some grief, which I have been able to share with my fellow councillors and all the people that make up the human team of the Town Hall of Bigastro.

Today, with the same enthusiasm and with more experience, I have the necessary strength to continue with the project to improve Bigastro that we started four years ago.

Some of my travel companions will not continue to accompany me on this exciting journey, and others will join us to reach our goal.

Next Thursday, April 25th, we will hold the presentation of the new Popular Bigastro candidacy for the 2019-2023 term. An act in which we will present the new candidates and at the same time pay homage to those companions that kept intact their commitment to their party and their people but have now decided to leave the front line to continue working on this project from another field.

I want to make public and share with you all my deepest and sincere thanks to the brave councillors for the work and commitment they have shown towards our people. To those who have shared government responsibilities, and to those who have carried out the necessary and legitimate opposition work. The dedication to public service is a sign of generosity that deserves all the recognition of our society, and more than ever now, that this work seeks to discredit irresponsibly by some social factions that are unable to understand the need and importance of politics in our lives, and that there are people prepared and committed to ensure the common good.

I finish with a message of hope: "Bigastro is worth it, and to work to improve it is our obligation as citizens of this small town in territory, but big in values." You can follow all the activities related to the election campaign on the Facebook page that we have created to inform you."

After the storm

The heavy rain, stormy seas and wind have left the beaches of Orihuela Costa in a sorry state. Just to think that, days before, people were sunbathing on them.

A touch of the Andy Warhols.

The PP are about to launch their campaign for the local election in May. As a first step, the lady mayor has created a website of her own to tell us what she stands for.

This is what she says:

Good afternoon neighbours of Bigastro,

My name is Teresa María Belmonte Sánchez, and for those of you who do not know me yet, I will tell you a little about myself.

I live and work in Bigastro, the town where I was born 45 years ago.

I am the daughter of Manolo (the de la Marre) and Tere (the one in the garage); wife of Marco Antonio (the biggest saga of Quino Evaristo), and mother of my two treasures, Carmen and Marco (still without nickname, I think ...).

My life goes on like most of the women in Bigastro, reconciling my roles as mother, wife, daughter and worker.

Like many of you, I worry about the  future,  and I live the present trying not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Tolerance  and  honesty  are my guides. I try to think what I say, say what I think, and do what I say, and I make an effort to do so, being aware that, my freedom ends where the one that I have by my side begins.

I feel proud to be Bigastrense, and I want my town to be a place where every day lives are better.

I want  Bigastro to be a thriving town where you can go out for a walk in a safe and clean environment. I want a variety of places  to do my shopping, and a cultural venues that encourages me to go out and meet my friends in bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs that innovate to create an atmosphere. I want to feel that I live in an exemplary town that has quality public services where health, education, sports, culture, social assistance, ... are in continuous improvement.

I want Bigastro to be a benchmark in the recovery of the region , and to adapt dynamically to the changes that are taking place in society and economy worldwide. And that the necessary conditions are given, so that innovative and sustainable companies capable of generating quality jobs are developed.

Once again I have taken a step forward to achieve what I want, and I have accepted the challenge they have proposed to me: " to lead the candidacy for Bigastro and govern for the next 4 years ."

And I will achieve it, rather, we will achieve together all the residents of Bigastro.

And we will do it together because  Bigastro has an honest, proud and hard-working people , who do not give in to adversity, and who know how to regenerate in order to seek a better future.

It has always been that way, and it will continue to be so.

And as the great Adolfo Suarez said, "I can promise, and I promise," that  in four years we will be better.

In a few days you can meet my travel companions.

Day by day they will be presented so that you can appreciate their many  qualities . Qualities that make them the ideal candidates to carry out this important  challenge  to which we have committed ourselves.

I am accompanied by 12 women and men with sufficient training and experience to be able to undertake the improvements that Bigastro demands. People capable of giving the most advantageous solution for our people. Able to use public money under the principles of transparency and efficiency, because public money, our tax dollars, are for everyone and we must work with common sense.

During these weeks I hope to be able to communicate with you through social networks. To  listen to what concern you; know your ideas and proposals to improve our town, and have the opportunity to discuss them to reach the best conclusions together.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Don't bother trying to get to Torrevieja

An enormous amount of rain has fallen overnight in Torrevieja  – more than 145 litres per square metre in some areas - causing flooding and road closures.

Torrevieja town hall has just released a statement about the storm, stating that 'almost all the access roads to the town are cut off' at present.

The roads which are closed due to flooding include the CV-905 dual carriageway 'from the roundabout at McDonald's (Carrefour)'; Avenida de las Cortes Valencianas; and Av Rosa Mazón.

Public transport has been suspended.

Councillor for emergencies Javier Manzanares has asked people not to leave their homes unless it is an emergency and to exercise caution.

Stormy weather

There you have it, just look at all the rain that fell overnight. 

And just to make matters worse, the wind picked up as well!!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Programme for Easter

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Weather permitting

I will be there bright and early.Sadly, the forecast does not look promising.

Monday, April 15, 2019


Last night we had the privilege of attending a concert by the Junior Band.

It is fair to say that they used to pale into comparison with the Symphonic Band. but not anymore.  With a little reinforcement from senior musicians, they managed to produce a full, rich sound.

Check out my album of pictures in the sidebar to see just how young some of those musicians are and listen to my audio recording here.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Bugger, bugger, bugger

Things can change of course. Some deviation in the path could spare us - fingers crossed!

Runners last night

My friend, Scout John, would have got an even better view from the roof of his house on Calle Holanda. The leaders appeared over the ridge at about 9:15 pm and were going at some pace. It was then well over 15 minutes later that the tail end Charlies started to appear.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Friday of Sorrows

Before the start of Holy Week, Bigastro stages a solemn procession around its darkened streets.

First in the procession is the statue of Jesus on the cross.

Following is  the statue of Mary, with tears in her eyes, comforting her son.

The paso is borne on the shoulders of ladies dressed in blue robes.

Accompanying the procession are two drums which best out a steady mournful rhythm, a long horn which produces a doleful sound and a choir that sing at various points on the route.

Bigastro may not be able to rival nearby Orihuela with it many pasos and parades day and night during Holy Week but it still manages to capture the emotion of the occasion with its Via Crucis and the Encuentro.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Saturday night

If, like my friend Scout John, you have noticed barriers along the road from town up to La Pedrera, this is what they will be used for.

You can follow their route by observing the white arrows on the road which show the direction they will take.

Those of you who face La Loma will be able to spot the runners with their head torches as they make their way along the ridge.

If you were planning to go out at about that time, you might find your route blocked - obviously it would be too risky to have cars and runners on the road at the same time!

PS I'll try and get a photo for you from our rooftop but I can't guarantee it will work.

Are you on the list?

This is your chance to check whether you are on the electoral roll and hence your chance to vote in the forthcoming local and European elections.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Not to be missed

The symphonic band gave us an exceptional concert of sound tracks from the movies. Now it is the turn of the junior band to do the same.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Very professional

Eduardo Navarette, who I have photographed before when he lived here, is now a successful clothes designer in Barcelona. Google his name and you will find articles, videos and his web site.

Last night he returned to Bigastro to present this year's fashion show and to showcase his recent clothes collection.

You will find my album of photos in the left hand sidebar.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Take note

The weather this weekend is unpredictable. There is a strong possibility of rain on Saturday and so the catwalk show has been moved to the Auditorium.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Weather permitting

The walk around the Huerta had to be cancelled because of the rain on Sunday.

This one should be OK according to current forecasts.

One not to miss

A very emotional procession held in the dark. 

Monday, April 01, 2019

That's mean

At 11am this morning the French government announced that, post a hard Brexit, they will be employing signal blocking technology to stop satellite TV broadcasts from the UK.

They say that, if the UK decides to leave with no deal, then its ties with the continent including its TV service will be at an end.

The response from the Spanish government is that they deplore this threat but unfortunately cannot prevent France from carrying it out. Since the TV signals pass over French territory, there is no way they can recover the signal for us.

The only way to receive UK TV in those circumstances will be via a VPN at a cost of over 100 Euros per month on top of any fees that the supplier charges.

Theatre contest

Bigastro has been hosting a contest for amateur theatre groups over the last few weeks. Last night we had the presentation of prizes for the winners of that competition.

That was followed by a second showing of the production by our own theatre group, El Lugarico - San Joaquin and Bigastro. 

You can find my photos from this event in an album in the sidebar.