POSTAL DEMONSTRATION AT PLAYA FLAMENCA

Nearly 100 people demonstrated in front of the Playa Flamenca Post Office on Saturday morning to protest against the withdrawal of home postal deliveries in five Orihuela Costa urbanizations.

The Orihuela Costa is not unique in this situation, as it has been happening in various places across Spain, seen by many as in readiness for the privatisation of the service by the Spanish central government.

Political representative from the government team joined in the protest, with the acting mayor, Antonio Zapata of the PSOE, Martina Scheurer from the Los Verdes green party and Bob Houliston from the coastal orientated C.L.A.R.O. party standing side by side in support of the residents.

With inclement weather aplenty, every nationality seemed represented at the protest, many, according to a statement from C.L.A.R.O., who “turned up spontaneously, such is the strength of feeling against this arbitrary and unjustified measure”. The protest spread beyond the neighbours affected in the coastal zone, with many residents from Orihuela’s surrounding villages also taking part. “They know that if the Post Office is allowed to get away with this violation of a basic right in the five urbanizations concerned, the measure will be applied to other Orihuela Costa urbanizations and eventually the surrounding villages of Orihuela”, the statement continued.

Acting Mayor of Orihuela, Antonio Zapata, said that he had come to show solidarity with the people affected by the measure: they pay taxes like anybody else and have the right to quality services. He recalled that, at the initiative of C.L.A.R.O. Councillor, Bob Houliston and Martina Scheurer, Councillor for the Coast, the Town Hall of Orihuela has taken legal action against the Post Office in an effort to get the measure reversed. It is however not expected that the courts will look favourably on the case, as preventative action has already been overruled in other locations in Spain, with other courts ruling in favour of the closure.

“There is no justified reason for curtailing home deliveries in an integrated urban area like Orihuela Costa which is a city in itself with 35,000 registered residents, equal to the population of Orihuela city”, the C.L.A.R.O. statement continued, but recent plans to change the “general plan” of the municipality to formally recognised the Orihuela Costa as a single urban zone, a status it currently does not have, were blocked. That classification could have also made it easier to prevent the action continuing, as it is believed that whilst the post office currently see those homes affected as individual locations, the reallocation of the area could have forced them to change policy in favour of the residents who would then be living in the mini nucleus. This plan for classification was blocked from approval in the plenary session by the PP majority opposition, none of whom seemed present to offer their support to this campaign.

Martina Scheurer told The Leader, “Antonio Zapata confirmed that the town hall is supporting this demonstration and is on Court against Correo. I spoke with different citizens and agreed with the president of the La Regia neighbourhood association to arrange an appointment in situ to see where community letter boxes could be installed. This is a first step to find a solution meanwhile the matter is on Court”. Scheurer also pointed out that “the proposal of a new General Building Plan does consider Orihuela Costa as a ‘nucleo urbano consolidado’ (Consolidated urban center) but unfortunately the PP used their majority in the Pleno of last month to object that this first proposal”.

The C.L.A.R.O. statement makes it clear that the “strong demonstration of opposition to the decision to curtail home delivery of mail in Campoamor, Cabo Roig, La Regia and La Zenia that this measure is considered unacceptable”. Pointing out that the need for possibly thousands of residents to go weekly to the Playa Flamenca post office to collect their mail before it is returned to the central post office is causing considerable inconvenience. “For those who are not mobile it is a serious problem. For those who are frequently away from their homes, the situation is extremely worrying since the fate of their mail will be totally unknown. It is clear from the popular reaction shown at the demonstration that this discriminatory measure will not be accepted”.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45038/

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