The Diputación de Almería has unanimously approved in the Ordinary Plenary Session held this Thursday the awarding of the 2021 Medals of the Province to the candidates proposed by the Institution. On 28 November, in a solemn ceremony to be held in the Aben Humeya de Purchena Moorish Games Pavilion, the highest provincial distinction will be awarded to the journalist and editor of La Voz de Almería, José Luis Martínez, as Gold Medal; the College of Pharmacists of Almería, Social Medal; the Almería Basketball Club, Sports Medal, and the Auto Sacramental de los Reyes Magos de Los Gallardos, Culture Medal.
The Provincial Institution awards these distinctions to those people or entities that with their work, talent and effort contribute to the development of the province of Almería. In addition, the Medals of the Province of 2020, which could not be held due to the pandemic, will also be awarded at the gala on 28 November. That year, the Provincial Council awarded the Gold Medal to the province’s hospitals for their important role during the health emergency, and the Social, Sports and Culture Medals to the Telephone of Hope, the Almeria Rugby Union and the Fondón Flamenco Festival, respectively.
The spokesman for the Government team, Fernando Giménez, thanked the political groups of the Corporation for the consensus with “this recognition which is a valuable and well-deserved tribute to people and institutions that have been key to the growth of the province of Almería”, and reviewed some of the merits of the candidates who have been ratified in today’s plenary session.
“José Luis Martínez is a very important journalist in the history of our country, he was key during the Transition and the first years of democracy in Spain. It is a recognition linked to his career linked to the province through the pages of La Voz de Almería. The College of Pharmacists has been another fundamental group during the pandemic and they play a leading role in the rural world; the CB Almeria transmits the values of sport since 1960 and the Three Wise Men of Los Gallardos is a historical tradition in which the whole municipality participates”, Giménez said.
Finally, the spokesman of the government team has closed his speech by assuring that “it is for all of us a pride that we can present and deliver these medals. They are all people and institutions that represent Almeria’s society and these distinctions unite all citizens to recognise those who deserve it”.
Before the start of the plenary session, the President of the Provincial Council, Javier A. García, excused the absence of the spokesman for the Citizens’ Group, Rafael Burgos, and expressed his condolences and those of the entire Provincial Corporation for the death of his brother and conveyed his institutional condolences to his family and friends.
More provincial investments
In addition, the Corporation has also unanimously approved new investments in Provincial Plans to continue improving infrastructure in all municipalities. With today’s Plenary session, the Provincial Institution has already processed more than 27 million euros for Provincial Plans in 2021. This is the eighth list of projects to be executed in the towns of Bayárcal, Carboneras, Almería, Tíjola, Laroya, Abrucena, Abla and Olula del Río.
Thanks to the Provincial Plans, infrastructure will be renovated and created in these towns, such as the construction of a water tank in Bayárcal, renovation and improvement of streets, adaptation of a car park in Tíjola, improvements to street layouts, beautification of roundabouts and roads, the construction of a municipal building in Abla and the remodelling of sports facilities in Olula del Río. On the other hand, the Plenary has approved an update of the Provincial Plans for the execution of works in Adra, for the execution of urban developments in the municipality.
The Provincial Corporation has unanimously approved the list of projects for the improvement of energy efficiency in municipal buildings and infrastructures to be submitted to the call for Next Generation funds, within the European Dus 5,000 Programme, aimed at municipalities of up to 5,000 inhabitants.
The Provincial Council will submit applications for energy efficiency measures in municipal buildings in 60 towns for a total of 6.5 million euros. Of this amount Diputación will finance 2.8 million euros while the rest will be covered by the Dus 5,000 Programme. The Diputación will present these actions in the electronic headquarters of the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE) on 5 November, the day on which the deadline for applications opens.
Boost for sports clubs
The provincial deputies have given the green light to new financial assistance for seven sports clubs that compete in the national category or that develop social integration projects in the field of people with disabilities, those in vulnerable situations or for the promotion of women’s sport.
The Provincial Council will allocate 105,000 euros to promote the sporting and social activities of the following clubs: CB Almería, Club Atlético Pulpileño, Unión CD Cañada, Club Deportivo Ejido 2012, CD El Ejido Futsal, Fundación Unión Deportiva Almería and Fundación Maavi.
In this regard, the spokesman for the government team, Fernando Giménez, said that “this aid will help to boost the activities of these clubs which have been particularly affected as a result of the pandemic. These organisations, which compete at national level, are not eligible for aid for clubs in the sub-maximum category and, in this way, we are strengthening their sporting and social work throughout the province”.
On this point, approved only with the votes in favour of the Popular MPs, the President of the Provincial Council expressed his surprise at the lack of support from the other groups who, as he said, “do not agree that the subsidy should be given, for example, to Unión CD Cañada, and what hurts me most is that we are talking about a women’s club that will receive the largest amount of this aid, and why is it being given, because there is no other women’s team in this province that is not linked to a national club. What we are doing in this Provincial Council is an act of justice. They will have to give explanations to the families, boys and girls who play sport in these clubs”.
Manifesto against male violence
Today’s plenary session ratified the adhesion of the Diputación de Almería to the manifesto of 25 November, the date on which the International Day against Violence against Women is commemorated, and which has been agreed by the eight councils of Andalusia.
The document, which was read out by the Deputy for Equality, Carmen Belén López, sets out the figures of women who have been murdered as a result of this social scourge in Spain and calls for a series of proposals to improve the fight against gender violence, as well as protection and care for victims. The situation of particularly vulnerable groups, such as women living in rural areas, and the importance of the role of the provincial councils in changing this situation, are highlighted.
The manifesto against gender violence that will be read in the provincial institutions of Andalusia ends with the following conclusion: “On the occasion of 25 November, the Andalusian Provincial Councils reaffirm our commitment to the victims, to society and to the future, and we will not take a single step back in our fight for a fairer, freer and more egalitarian society. Because we are aware that gender violence, drop by drop, destroys lives”.
The Provincial Corporation has approved three motions in the plenary session this Thursday. Through one of them the Government of Spain will be transferred to the need to make a connectivity plan to improve the situation of land and air isolation of the province of Almeria to lessen the negative impact on the provincial economy and its strategic sectors.
The second motion shows the commitment of the Provincial Institution with the self-employed and the rejection of the increase in their quotas. The Provincial Council will urge the Government to halt and rectify the increase in the minimum contribution base for the self-employed in 2022 planned in the General State Budget as it is detrimental to this group of professionals.
Another of the motions, related to the prevention of mental health, the Corporation has been called upon to expand it in order to improve it and present it at the next plenary session. The Corporation has shown its commitment to the situation of people and families suffering from mental health-related illnesses.
Finally, a motion has been supported that shows the disagreement of the Diputación with the establishment of a pay-per-use system on any of the Spanish roads, regardless of the administration that manages them. It is going to urge the national government to stop the creation of new taxes, or the increase of existing ones, on vehicles and means of transport for the use of the country’s motorways.
Extraordinary Plenary Session
After the celebration of the Ordinary Plenary, an extraordinary session has begun in which the state of execution of the Provincial Plans for the four-year period 2020-2023 has been analysed. The vice-president of the Provincial Council and deputy for Development, Ángel Escobar, pointed out that of the more than 216 million euros in the budget for this year of the Diputación de Almería, more than 146 million euros have been activated, which is almost 70%.
He also emphasised the good progress of the Provincial Plans and their high level of execution, as to date their execution exceeds 79%. Escobar recalled that, since January 2021, more than 567 contracts have been closed in the Development Area, 208 of which belong to works with 40 million euros awarded and 26 certified. Escobar stated that “never before in the history of the Provincial Council have so many projects been drawn up in the first two years of the term of office. The success of this management is due to the civil servants of this house who work hard to provide solutions to each and every one of the mayors and municipalities”.