News Articles



19/11/2011 - Town Hall agrees payment plan – PGOU resumes



 

Following our previous report concerning the PGOU stoppage, we were informed at a meeting last week, that a new arrangement had been made with the Alicante town planning company to continue with the planning process and the company (according to the Town Hall) would be paid in due course when the town hall receives new funding following submission of its outstanding accounts for 2009 and 2010. Nikki Luxford from the Costa Blanca News in her article this week reported;

Speaking of rumours which have circulated amongst villagers saying the PGOU has been stopped; Suzanne informed residents that this is not true and said: "We had a meeting with the architects involved in making the PGOU, and they informed us that they have not been paid since 2006."The architects have agreed, however, to continue with the plan without being paid and wait until the village has money available to pay them." She also stated “ Residents were informed that some small changes are being made to the 'Concierto Previo', as per instructions from the regional government and the town hall lawyer is confident they will have received an answer by the end of 2011.The lawyer also informed those in attendance that once the Concierto Previo has been accepted, the PGOU is already drawn up and will be presented.

From the AULN’s perspective we are obviously pleased that by resolving the dispute with the town planners means that the Concierto Previo stage will soon be completed and we look forward to the public consultation stage in the near future. Our initial report that work had stopped was correct, as was our report in May that a PGOU had been drawn up by the PSOE Party prior to the elections.

The Mayor’s salary

We reported two weeks ago that the mayor was receiving double the salary of his predecessor and it was explained that the mayor had doubled working hours and therefore his salary. We are happy with their response and new found transparency that can openly discuss what elected officials receive in remuneration, and hope that his additional 20 hour input will add to the momentum that ultimately achieves legality for the 600 homeowners, restoring some prosperity for the town when IBI payments can also be made for the benefit of the village in these difficult economic times.

Electricity & Water supplies

The subject of water and electricity supplies was raised during the meeting “ During the PP electoral campaign, promises were made to provide people with water and electricity, and when asked why such a promise was made in their campaign, when they have not completed Suzanne responded: "We understand that we promised water for September, and that this has not happened but we are working to a chieve this in the near future. "We never gave a date on electricity, but again, we are working to get this (service) as soon as possible."

The crux of the problem here is relatively simple, illegal homes cannot be connected legally to services without a certificate of habitation/cedula.  The turning point will only arrive with either a change in law or a PGOU that changes the status of the houses, hence the need for progress on the Concierto Previo, and the remaining 5 phases of the PGOU. In the meantime some homeowners are still dependent upon generators and water tankers.  

Infrastructure

In a good example of investigative journalism Nikki Luxford (CBN) asked who would be responsible for infrastructure charges in the future, the response from the Town hall lawyer Salvador Ivars was “ that they (the town hall) would have to look at what people have paid and to who and when, but that it is not an obligation to the town hall to provide the infrastructure .  Two of the 8 AULN members present at the meeting provided additional commentary on the subject………Snr Ivars also implied that victims should look to the former Town Hall architect Snr Signes to recover infrastructure costs from the 2.5m euros found in Andorra!

It becomes clearer every week that residents will be required to pay for elements of infrastructure in order to comply with current planning and buildings legislation. These costs will range from sewerage (either underground pipework or compliant sealed septic tanks), electricity pylons and transformers, meters and boxes, compliant water supply infrastructure, road surfacing etc. This has been a recurring theme in all negotiations throughout affected areas of Spain and Lliber is unlikely to be treated any differently. Residents who believe these costs will not occur, will in due course have a rude awakening and it is becoming clear the Town Hall is unlikely to be making voluntary donations.

Consultation process

Currently the village is electing members to work alongside the mayor and his councillors , and Suzanne encouraged anyone wishing to participate, to register their interest. This group of residents, a mixture of Spanish and foreigners, will be a voice for the wider community able to raise and decide on issues concerning the residents both within the village and the outskirts. They will also work alongside the progress of the PGOU consultation .

The AULN has submitted two candidates for this group from the elected members committee namely Jill Morrison, the  AULN members representative for Morterets/ Mequinensa/Camino Tosals area’s. Jill gained considerable insight & experience during the election process and has a vast knowledge of the broader issues affecting the village as well as the illegality issues. Gerd Nagele, originally from Germany and now La Cuta is our second AULN candidate who serves on the AULN committee in the interests of our German and Dutch neighbours. Gerd works locally, is multilingual and has an excellent grasp of the bigger picture. Suzanne has since accepted our nominations which can actively ensure fair representation for more than 200 Lliber residents, and we look forward to making further progress in the months ahead.

Mis-reporting of information

There is unfortunately a very small element in our community intent on disrupting our efforts or disseminating inaccurate information. We are unsure of their motives or indeed why they would want to stop us resolving the problems we face. The most recent incident related to the discussions we had with the Architects from Madrid, and the request for information from the Town hall about the content of open or closed urban files. Firstly, every person’s file is private and permission would be sought from the owners by the architects and Monica Mas to access them. No attempt would be made to access files without prior permission. A form will be sent to you directly as a member of the AULN for you to sign and the architect will request on your behalf copies of its content. You are legally entitled to make this request and the Town Hall is legally obliged to furnish you with this information. From there an assessment will be made of your “File condition” and a plan developed that may resolve a number of land and planning issues for homeowners and contribute to the legalisation process faster or in tandem with the PGOU. More information will follow to paid up members shortly.

It was also reported at the meeting that some homeowners had been added to the Benidorm court case without their consent and this had caused some distress. This is blatantly untrue. 22 homes are in the Benidorm court case put there by the Guardia and the criminal prosecutor. The AULN paid for and provided information to these homeowners, many unaware that they were subject to proceedings (The Priors in Andulucia were unaware of proceedings until the bulldozers arrived) and advised them to discuss the issue with Monica Mas. The case, due to be heard in 2012, is against the former mayor and architect for allowing homes to be built illegally and the 22 homes are cited as evidence. Preparations are underway for the AULN group court action against those arrested in December 2009 which include the builders and past and current members of the town hall. All those involved in this case have been contacted directly and confidentially.

 The 18 strong elected committee of the AULN represents over 200 homeowners in Lliber affected by greed and corruption. Our purpose is simply to get our homes legalised in a lawful manner for the benefit of its members and the wider community. We report and share information as transparently as we can to the wider community in pursuit of our aims. We will continue to do so even when the news is unpalatable to some and whose motives remain a mystery despite their own illegal status.

Thank You to Nikki Luxford for reporting accurately from the meeting and the CBN for publishing. The 18 AULN committee members (8 of whom attended this meeting) and who tirelessly give their personal time for free in pursuit of a solution, and to Suzanne McAllister for her progressive efforts as a newly elected northern european councillor.

 

Costa Blanca News Article 18/11/2012 below

Llíber mayor holds informative meeting for affected residents

Illegal home owners told where they stand

By Nikki Luxford

AS LLÍBER town hall continues its efforts to find solutions for those affected by the illegal homes scandal, mayor José Juan Reus Reus invited heads of association to an informative meeting, to explain progress made.

Due to other commitments, the mayor handed the meeting to foreign councillor Suzanne McAllister to conduct along with the town hall lawyer.

Both explained matters regarding the General Plan (PGOU), water and electricity.

Currently the village is electing members to work along side the mayor and his councillors, and Suzanne encouraged anyone wishing to participate, to register their interest. This group of residents, a mixture of Spanish and foreigners, will be a voice for the community able to raise and decide on issues concerning the residents both within the village and the outskirts.

They will also work alongside the progress of the PGOU.

Speaking of rumours which have circulated amongst villagers saying the PGOU has been stopped; Suzanne informed residents that this is not true and said: "We had a meeting with the architects involved in making the PGOU, and they informed us that they have not been paid since 2006.

"The architects have agreed, however, to continue with the plan without being paid and wait until the village has money available to pay them."

One resident did claim that they had been informed in October that the plan had been stopped, but Suzanne continued to say how the PP have been criticised for keeping the same architects employed by the PSOE. "Before the elections people said we would get rid of the architects and start again, adding time to the process, and we said we wouldn't. We haven't and now we are being criticised because of it."

Residents were informed that some small changes are being made to the 'Concierto Previo', as per instructions from the regional government and the town hall lawyer is confident they will have received an answer by the end of 2011.

The lawyer also informed those in attendance that once the Concierto Previo has been accepted, the PGOU is already drawn up and will be presented.

Another issue raised was the speculation that the mayor had doubled his salary, something spokespeople deny. Suzanne said: "The former mayor was working four hours a day and being paid for this, our new

Mayor is working eight hours and being paid for these eight hours."

Suzanne also confirmed that the mayor does not claim expenses for town related trips to Alicante, Valencia and other towns.

Residents were also told how the town hall are working to close the accounts from 2009 and 2010, and once closed, the village will then be eligible for funds from central and regional government.

The town hall do not wish to give residents false hope or promises on factors affecting them, and the final issue raised was electricity and water to those without the services.

During the PP electoral campaign, promises were made to provide people with water and electricity, and when asked why such a promise was made in their campaign, when they have not completed Suzanne responded: "We understand that we promised water for September, and that this has not happened but we are working to achieve this in the near future.

"We never gave a date on electricity, but again, we are working to get this (service) as soon as possible."

Intrigued as to who would have to pay infrastructure costs for the services, the CBN asked how this matter would be resolved as homeowners have already paid these costs. The lawyer responded saying that they would have to look at what people have paid and to who and when, but that it is not an obligation to the town hall to provide the infrastructure.

The town hall is currently in negotiations with the regional government and Iberdrola regarding these services.

Allowing residents to ask questions, one asked if there was any discussion on amnesty, but were informed that no, this has not been raised.

n.luxford@cbnews.es