Oliva signs off controversial budget amid political turbulence
By Samantha Kett OLIVA council has finally signed off its 2018 budget with three months to go before the end of the year, and says this will mean twice as much being spent on social welfare.
Compromís, United Left and Gent d'Oliva voted in favour and the PP, socialists and Projecte-Ciutadans abstained.
The budget had been delayed for months due to turbulence within Oliva's four-party coalition local government, with Projecte-Ciutadans breaking away from them last month.
Mayor David González (Compromís) tried to persuade socialist councillors to take on the departments left unmanned by the outgoing Projecte-Ciutadans memebers, but they refused.
Local government spokesman Vicent Canet says approving the 2018 budget was 'a tech- nicality' in order to 'close the financial year' and 'guarantee all town needs being met'.
Whilst the 2019 budget is al- ready being drafted, any delay to its agreement will not affect basic services because the current one can be renewed, Canet explains.
The newly-approved budget guarantees all outstanding bills to suppliers and contractors, and all staff wages, will be paid and allows for new waste-collection and beach-cleaning franchises to be put out to bid.
The €22.5 million agreed includes €240,000 to be spent on 'social emergencies', such as poverty relief and housing, compared with €100,000 last year, increasing the social services' pot to just under €2.3m.
More money will be given to Oliva's department for local trade and five-figure sums for each of the main fiesta organisers.
Socialist spokeswoman Ana Morell says the budget does not reflect the town's needs.
“Oliva is dead and it needs activation and opportunities,” she complains.
“We have no debt now, so it's time to start spending on Oliva's real needs.”
The PP's Salvador Llopís says Oliva is 'paralysed' and the budget does not help.