Vera to sue central government over flood defences

Local council says environmental ministry is ‘refusing to carry out its promises’

The Vera town council voted this week to start legal actions against the central government and the Ministry of the Environment for not fulfilling promises made after the 1989 and 2012 floods across Pueblo Laguna.

The council says that “concrete measures” against a repeat of the flooding that should have been taken by the central administration have never been carried out, and that the ministry is avoiding its responsibilities. Mayor Felix said that it was a pity that such grave legal actions had to be undertaken but that he saw no other option in the face of stonewalling by Madrid.

The Junta de Andalusia has included Pueblo Laguna as a “black spot”, or site of grave danger, in its recently updated regional plan for the prevention of urban flooding. A recent hydrographic study lead by Prof. Martínez Álvarez of Etsia Cartagena found that the rio Antas which passes through Vera Playa urbanisation is “insufficient in current size to drain the expected volume of water from any extraordinary rainfall”, and concluded that the only solution is to improve flood defences at the mouth of the river, and dig out the river bed channel.

As reported in issue 523 of this paper, the total Andalusian budget for river management was cut yet again to just 4 million euros for 2016-2021, meaning it is unlikely that the regional government will offer to help the town maintain the riverbed.

Locals council are not permitted to touch riverbeds, as they belong to either the regional or national government, or to one of the many water management public bodies that exist. However, Pulpi recently managed to obtain permission to clean its local ramblas at the expense of the town, and borrowed heavy earth moving equipment from the town council to finish the project.

During the same meeting Vera council also agreed to rename Football field number 7 the “Pepe Baraza” field in posthumous honour of local sportsman don José Baraza Trenado, as well as changing the name of the sports centre at Angel de Haro school to “El nino” in honour of local first division footballer Juan Martinez Modesto, who is always known by his nickname “El Nino”.

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