The move means that the association ‘Somos Turre’ has now been split into two. Morales returns to his previous party as a communist IU councillor, whilst Maria Luisa is now an independent councillor under the Somos Turre brand.
It also leaves Morales head of a hamstrung minority government, a solitary figure backed up only with the votes of the PSOE party and unable to get any plans through plenary meetings without the backing of opposition councillors.
The fight was over Maria’s refusal to accept Morales’ plan to spend 100,000 euros building an “ambiguous” pavement along Turre high street.
The plans were unanimously rejected by every councillor in the ruling group with the exception of Morales at a recent ruling body meeting. Maria had previously warned Martín that she would not be able to accept the plans.
Maria and Morales had also previously clashed over the mayor’s plans for Cabrera. Morales said the avenue decision had been the straw that broke the camel’s back and he had decided to expel her from the municipal grouping. Morales is to step down as mayor in February, supposedly in favour of the PSOE’s Maria. At which point, Maria Luisa’s decision will be key in deciding who the new mayor is to be.
Maria Luisa, who is a volunteer councillor and unpaid for the work, confirmed she would remain as an independent councillor. She said: ‘ I was unable to prevent Morales from plunging the residents of Cabrera into a living nightmare from which they will take many years to emerge. And Cortijo Grande soon, from what I read in the papers. I’ll be damned if I let him build a vile white elephant in Turre high street just so he can pretend he’s done something in the last month of his administration. I’ve been at him for the last 18 months to do something and then he presents this back of an envelope job and expects us to applaud unconditionally.’
She added that the avenue plans, designed by an unqualified friend of Morales, a draughtsman who also served as the ex-secretary of his local IU grouping, were considered to be “ambiguous and poor” by professionals she had shown them to.
“The money is still there” she explained. “As soon as he does a proper job and comes up with something decent I’ll vote for it and we’ll do it. It beggars belief that Los Gallardos gets €750,000 for a theatre and a roundabout, and Almerimar gets €1 million for a cycle lane, but we have to make do with the scraps from the table for our main street. Nobody is asking for miracles, but put some thought into it.”
The PSOE party said they were surprised by the decision, and told local media that they had been unaware of the problem until it all blew up in their faces today. They said: “We have yet to talk to Martín so he can explain his decision and we must think on what will happen”.
Arturo Grima from the PP, who likes to be involved, said: “Somos Turre might have been more sensible had they fired Martin”.