Martina Scheurer

Martina Scheurer from the Orihuela municipal council has expressed her disbelief that both the Partido Popular, as well as Bob Houliston from CLARO, have opposed a number of motions that make no sense to object to, during the council meeting this week.

Fully accepting that the ruling party are a minority, and that the PP are trying to force the government to resign in order to take power, it might raise more important questions as to the reasons why these two aligned groups are objecting to stricter controls on illegal firearms trades, and are opposing giving work to a not for profit organization who give a chance of work to disabled people.

The notion presented relating to gun control was a purely political one, as laws are in place to deal with illegal sales of weapons, but the motion was presented in much the same way as the one calling for the return of the night ambulance to the coast. In order to make a political statement that the matter must be supported and eradicated and that the regional and central government could be made aware of concerns in both these matters, before the situation escalates.

Whilst speaking to Mark Nolan on Exite Radio, Martina explained, “we are just a tiny grain of sand in such huge matters”, but registering the fact that these issues deserve consideration is important for the well being of everybody. In fact, during the council meeting, Bob Houliston defended his opposition to preventing illegal weapon sales because “the residents of the Orihuela Costa wouldn´t understand”, she continued.

In relation to the matter of refusing to support disabled people, Martina explained that the none-profit group had a previous contract withdrawn, and so, the environmental department intended to award them a 60,000 euro contract for an area of Orihuela city, which would give the 30 disabled people a contribution to their cost of living, a purpose and a reason with which they can find their role in society, where they are often ignored in what might be considered “normal” working life, but, once again, both the PP and CLARO voted against this move, preferring that the work be put to tender for a private, and therefore profit orientated business to bid and take the work.

Quite why they would feel it appropriate to deny such a public service is put down to the fact that they want to make the decision, and cream the glory, themselves, by means of one of the many committees that have been set up under legislation implemented by the PP. That will be little or no consolation to those people who may have benefited from a simple agreement to move money which was already set aside, to a job that is waiting completion, for a group that are ready to work.

Martina also pointed out that voters on both of these points could have abstained, which may well have had the same result of preventing the motion being carried, rather than the choice they made to object and oppose.

A further point that was clarified was that of the roundabouts at La Regia, one on the N332 national road, the other slightly inland, both of which have had a contract submitted for work to improve the aesthetics of, which would therefore benefit the appearance of the area.

The former councillor for the coast and infrastructure, Pedro Mancebo of the CLr party, has been very vocal over this matter since his removal from an active role on the council, criticising the government team for lack of action in getting the job complete, when the project and money have already been assigned.

Having investigated the reason as a priority, Martina discovered that the effective license to carry out the work is issued by the body responsible for the national road network. The project had indeed been submitted and approved, by the previous administration. No action had been taken then, and so an application was made to extend the validity of the work contract, which was granted for a period of two months, from October 2012. That is the point that the work was approved and cleared for completion, and the time when it should have been started, without haste.

Unfortunately, according to Martina, the work was never started, for reasons that she was unable to explain as she was not in the role at that time. However, when asked which councillor was responsible at the time when the work should have and could have been done, the answer was quite simply, "Pedro Mancebo".

There will now be a considerable delay once again, as the whole process will have to start from scratch, but it is hoped that this will be less time than before, as Martina herself has vowed to be persistent in chasing the approval for the work so that she can personally see it to completion this time.

You can listen to this and previous conversations on the website,, and then join Martina live each Thursday on Exite Radio, 89.2 or 93.1fm, when she will gladly answer your questions. Simply email, or write your questions on a piece of paper and drop them into us, and Mark will ask as many as he can each week.

Click this link to go direct to the podcast archive:

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