The Ordinary Plenary Session of the Diputación de Almería held on 29 April was characterised by consensus as the predominant note among the political groups, since of the 16 points on the agenda, all were approved with no votes against and 13 of them unanimously.
The Corporation has launched new investments for works to improve and modernise services and infrastructures throughout the province. With the projects validated this morning, the Provincial Institution has made available to the municipalities of Almeria more than 33 million euros to carry out key projects for the welfare and improvement of the quality of life of citizens.
The list of works unanimously approved this morning will involve, for example, the construction of a picnic area in Enix as a complement to the tourist offer; the construction of a mortuary in El Higueral, in Tíjola, or the improvement of the pond of ‘La Pará’ or the reform of municipal buildings in Canjáyar, among other actions.
Motion in favour of Almeria’s agricultural sector to share the 2027 Expo with Malaga, with VOX voting against.
The Plenary has agreed, with the support of the Popular, Socialist and Citizens groups, a motion proposed by the President of the Provincial Council, Javier A. García, in support of the Almeria countryside for the designation of the province as a sub-site of Malaga in its candidacy for the International Expo on Sustainability in 2027. VOX voted against, preventing the motion from becoming an institutional declaration. In this project, Almería would contribute its experience in the field of agricultural sustainability.
The president of the Provincial Council, Javier A. García, regretted the missed opportunity of not being able to present this motion as an institutional declaration due to Vox’s refusal and stated that “VOX beats its chest in support of Almeria’s agriculture, but when it comes down to it, it is not there. This motion has been requested by Almeria’s farmers. Accompanying Malaga as a sub-host of the 2027 EXPO would allow us to show the whole world that our agriculture is sustainable and our farmers are the most responsible”.
Likewise, the president added that “they have asked us to present this declaration as a guarantee to the commission that makes the decisions. When they presented it to us, I did not doubt for a second that it would have the support of all the groups to promote our agriculture worldwide, but I was wrong because VOX is in permanent denial. They are against all farmers. They feel comfortable muddying the agricultural model of Almeria. They constantly point out problems and do not provide solutions. You have an institutional responsibility outside of banners”.
Prior to the presentation of this institutional declaration, the President of the Provincial Council, Javier A. García, accompanied by the Deputy for the Presidency, Fernando Giménez, and the Deputy for European Initiatives, Carmen Navarro, held a meeting with the promoters of this initiative to get to know the project in depth: the President of FOCAL, Alfonso Rubí; the President of HortiEspaña, Francisco Góngora; the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Jerónimo Parra and the Director of Ciambital at the UAL, Diego Valera.
This project arose as a result of the conference held at the UAL last September where experts analysed the Almeria model’s compliance with the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda. The promoters believe that the inclusion of Almeria in the Malaga proposal will allow Almeria’s agricultural sector to consolidate its model and disseminate its values internationally. The conferences where this idea was born received a mention in the Diputación’s Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.
The promoters of the project have already held a working meeting with the Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, from which they drew very positive conclusions. Based on the agreement approved today, the Provincial Council joins the promoter working group to collaborate in this project and achieve the objectives set out.
Ten new towns enter the DUS 5,000 Next Generation call for proposals
The Provincial Corporation has also unanimously approved the extension by ten municipalities of the number of towns that will be eligible to benefit from energy efficiency projects to meet the demographic challenge within the DUS 5,000 Programme of Next Generation funds. Thanks to this agreement, the municipalities of Zurgena, Rágol, Abrucena, Las tres villas, Laroya, Padules, Pulpí, Oria, Taberno and Alboloduy will be eligible for this energy plan.
These ten new municipalities are in addition to the 60 that already entered the call. The aim of these energy efficiency projects is for the smaller towns to save on economic costs and CO2 emissions through the installation of solar panels and different energy storage systems so that, in the future, they can aspire to greater energy efficiency. The Provincial Institution manages all the documentation and applications for these programmes, which would otherwise be unaffordable for municipalities with fewer resources.
Another of the points that have been validated in today’s plenary session was the approval of the call for financial assistance for Guadalinfo Centres in the province for this year in municipalities with less than 20,000 inhabitants. The Guadalinfo network in the province has become an indispensable tool in the fight against depopulation by guaranteeing access to the Internet and computer services in the smallest municipalities.
The Guadalinfo Centres are a valuable example of institutional collaboration in favour of society between the municipalities, the Junta de Andalucía and the Diputación de Almería. Thanks to this joint work, the 97 Guadalinfo centres in the province open their doors every day, bringing the Internet closer and training people of all ages in the use of new technologies.
The investment approved today in the Plenary is close to 600,000 euros to ensure the operation of these spaces that ensure accessibility and digital connectivity in rural areas, as well as training activities with the aim of equal opportunities between Almeria and reduce the so-called digital divide.
Motion of economic support to the town councils for the damage caused by the storm
The Corporation has agreed on a motion to promote a programme of financial support for municipalities that have suffered damage between March and April as a result of the storm that hit the province. The aim is to ensure that the smaller councils can urgently restore the infrastructures and services affected.
In this regard, the spokesman for the government team, Fernando Giménez, recalled that, “since the beginning of the storm, the entire council has been at the service of the 103 towns to urgently remedy any incident. We have carried out repairs to roads such as sinkholes or landslides with emergency investments and also, from Assistance to Municipalities, for the drafting of reports and damage assessment, attending to 100% of the requests made”.
The spokesman of the Government team has asked the Socialist Group to urge the Government of the Nation to include Almeria as an area seriously affected by civil protection emergency to the municipalities affected in March and April and to call for grants so that municipalities can cope with the damage suffered, and that the economic program of the Provincial Council for this purpose is complementary to the aid put on the table by the Government and the Junta de Andalucía. The amendments were accepted and the motion was approved unanimously.