Councillor Maria Luisa Cervantes (independent) was alerted to the situation last week by residents who contacted her in desperation. One resident told her that in the opinion of Cortijo Grande’s residents, councillor Martin Morales (IU/communist) had dropped the Brits like a hot potato after realising they can’t vote in the next election, and Mayor López (PSOE) is more interested in the Christmas nativities than in sorting out this pressing issue.
Councillor Cervantes was dismissive of the councils response. “Plenty of kind words no doubt, but no real action” she said. “All the civil servants are on holiday until after the three kings, the politicians are busy organising dress up competitions for the kids and Martin Morales is more interested in pursuing his personal mountain vendettas than actually rolling up his sleeves and doing some proper work”.
Councillor Cervantes has presented a complaint to the council asking why this urgent matter was not raised at last weeks plenary meeting (not a word was said on the issue) and asking for an urgent explanation of what steps the council will take to provide emergency water supplies to residents.
Her complaint points out that article 26.1 of the Bases de Régime Local establishes that the final responsibility for the supply of drinking water rests with the council, in all cases, and asks the Mayor to clarify the council’s emergency plans to meet with the legal responsibilities that correspond to them.
The Cortijo Grande Owners association have contracted a lawyer from Murcia who is specialised in such matters, and who has been negotiating with the council in this matter.
The association has pleaded with all residents to submit individual complaints to the council to try to pressurise them into activity. Although Morales organised a meeting between Turre and the provincial council, the Mayor apparently refused to allow their lawyers to participate in the meeting, meaning it was simply a meeting of politicians with no direct input from residents.
The association wants Turre to seize the water network and hand it over to the residents to run. Currently, the legal ownership of the water network means that residents are prevented from carrying out the improvements demanded by the Ministry of Health.
An inspection by the regional ministry of health in November found serious deficiencies in the water supply that presented “a grave risk to human health”. The inspectors gave a one month compliance period to fix the problems or have the water system closed down, a period that expires at the end of this year.