Antonio Martínez Pascual confirms that he will once again be a candidate for mayor, and talks about future projects such as a Residence for the Elderly and the disabled, a large ring road or a regional auditorium.
He is confident that his neighbours want to give him their confidence again and see in him the mayor that Olula needs at this time.
“Olula can’t waste the political panorama that came out of the ballot box in the last regional elections and the good relationship we have with the Diputación”.
INTERVIEW: Antonio Martínez Pascual. Candidate of the Partido Popular for mayor of Olula del Río.
Twelve years as mayor of Olula del Río and some people are still wondering whether he will be the candidate in the next municipal elections. Antonio Martínez Pascual answers categorically: “Of course I will, I am very excited and I have the affection of my people. For me, being mayor of Olula is the greatest pride. Since I took office in 2011, this time, far from taking away my enthusiasm, has given me more strength, knowledge and knowledge of how the administration works, you learn to move with the different supra-municipal administrations, something that I think is also a plus compared to those who can start from scratch. For me it is another important challenge to continue here, to continue to materialise this planning for the future that we have projected together with my team and that has allowed us to transform Olula del Río”.
The mayor and candidate of the Partido Popular takes on local politics as a personal challenge, “because I am from Olula, born and raised in Olula, in Calle Santiago number 50, and for me to work for Olula and turn it into the reference point it is today, fills me with enthusiasm. We have managed to make it the cultural, commercial and social capital of the Almanzora. In the last decade all the projects we have done have been with this regional vision, because being a municipality of reference, generates a call effect and wealth”.
Pascual is convinced of presenting a new candidacy, “with more enthusiasm than on the first day, because at the beginning, you don’t know where you’re going. As time goes by, you realise how important it is what we are doing; that my neighbours are living better and better. We have done a good job, but there are new challenges, big projects that are being negotiated, that are almost ready to go and I feel that I have to stay here. I trust, of course I do, that my neighbours will want to give me that trust again and see in me the mayor that Olula needs at this time”.
Martínez Pascual recognises that he is a mayor “more of a street person than an office person, I like the face to face, being close to the people, listening, participating in everything”. It is precisely this attention to citizens that he is particularly proud of during his years as mayor. “The day-to-day, the small problems that for a family are their problem and we must be at their side to solve them as soon as possible. We have always tried to reach everywhere, we have improved a lot in terms of cleanliness in a town that has a lot of commercial activity with a large population that is not registered (estimated at around 10,000 inhabitants) but who live with us and all this demands a plus from the town council to improve every day”.
The pillars of his administration, he says, are citizen care, having achieved this regional capital in the commercial, cultural, sporting and social fields. “I am very proud to have worked back to back with the Ver de Olula Association to continue growing and providing services to people with special needs. The City of Culture and that support for Andrés García Ibáñez who was practically going elsewhere, and today we have in our town the largest museum complex in Andalusia”.
When he speaks of future challenges, he refers firstly to “continuing to improve mobility” both internally and to decongest the significant volume of traffic in the municipality. He refers to improvements already carried out such as the new access to the northern area of Olula del Río through the City of Culture or the roundabout access to Fines and Avenida de La Legión.
“The next step will be to build a major ring road. This is one of the projects that we want to execute and that will be in our programme; we have already presented it to the different administrations to make a great artery that leaves the Fines roundabout and goes along the channelling of the Almanzora River to the Macael Bridge and to the Ballester Bridge, the access to Purchena. And that great avenue will be a great boulevard. The first phase is very close; it’s about 600,000 euros, from Puente La Noria to Cuesta Canela, which will be a double lane, with cycle lanes, lighting and street furniture”.
“Olula is going to have the old people’s home it needs”.
Pascual continues to talk about projects in his interview with La Comarca Noticias. “Another challenge is to continue getting social projects. We are negotiating with both the Delegation of Education and the Delegate of Equality and Social Affairs, who is our councillor Francisco Bellido, to get the long awaited Residence for the Elderly. The aim is that they will give us the old school so that we can build the Residence for the Elderly and the Disabled. “In the coming months we will be able to give more information because we are closing lines of negotiation with companies in the region and associations that are doing very important work to make this great residence a reality as soon as possible”.
He also speaks of a regional auditorium “that will allow us to bring shows and services that are not available in the area. We have to think big, in the Almanzora, for example, we need a cinema. And all this, according to the mayor of Olula, with the collaboration and support of supra-municipal institutions such as the Diputación de Almería, the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Mancomunidad. “Olula can not miss the political landscape that came out of the polls in the last regional elections and the good relationship we have with the Diputación and Mancomunidad. Thanks to the different collaborations coming from the different administrations, we are building the Olula we all want”.