A total of 14 municipalities in Almería, including Suflí, Tíjola, Oria, Líjar, Arboleas, Armuña and Sierro, have benefited this year from the aid deployed by the Regional Ministry of Justice, Local Administration and Public Function to reinforce public services under its jurisdiction in the face of seasonal increases in population, a phenomenon which, thanks to tourism, affects almost half of the province in summer.
Specifically, the municipalities benefiting from these subsidies this year are: Suflí, Santa Fe de Mondujar, Tíjola, Enix, Benizalón, Oria, Líjar, Canjayar, Armuña, Sierro, Ohanes, Carboneras, Alcolea, Arboleas, María. In total, they have received 192,565 euros.
These grants are awarded on a competitive basis and the maximum amount for each municipality is 15,000 euros (plus VAT) for minor contracts for personnel, machinery, equipment or external companies that provide municipal services such as street cleaning, waste collection, pruning and other environmental work, drinking water supply or surveillance and security. All Andalusian municipalities not included in the large population regime (provincial capitals, large cities with more than 250,000 inhabitants and towns with more than 75,000 inhabitants with special economic, social, historical or cultural circumstances) can apply for them.
Thus, town councils such as Enix, which according to the latest INE data has received more visitors since June than the 540 inhabitants registered during the year, have allocated these resources to contract the lifeguard and cleaning services for their municipal swimming pools to make the facilities ready for the enjoyment of residents and holidaymakers. In the case of the coastal municipality of Carboneras, which in summer sees its population increase by 50%, it applied for this aid to set up an accessible pergola on the Lancón beach, which offers a shaded area specially designed for disabled people to enjoy the beach.
The aim of this line of subsidies is to provide financial support to local entities that have limited budgets to provide services in exceptional circumstances or when their population doubles at certain times of the year.
The biggest population increases in summer in the province of Almeria are on the coast, although the boom in rural tourism following the pandemic has also increased the number of people that local councils have to provide services to in inland municipalities.
The provision of funds by the Junta to collaborate with local entities so that they can guarantee these services is essential as municipal budgets are limited. This is an example of the Andalusian Government’s municipalist vocation and the commitment of the Minister of Justice, Local Administration and Public Function, José Antonio Nieto, to the Andalusian mayors and mayoresses through cooperation and institutional loyalty for the benefit of the citizens.