Oliva signs off con­tro­ver­sial bud­get amid po­lit­i­cal tur­bu­lence

Costa Levante News - - NEWS -

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.

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