By Euro Weekly News Media • 10 February 2011 • 12:48
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Photo credit: CC/Tiia Monto
AFTER 16 years as Mayor of La Viñuela, Juan Millan, has been forced to resign by a court order. This follows his April 2010 conviction by a Malaga court for granting three building licenses illegally in 2001 and 2003 which bans Millan from holding public office for a period of 15 and a half years.
Although the Public Prosecutors initially wanted a two-year prison sentence for Millan, but this was reduced to a €13,515 fine.
Since his conviction, Millan continued in his post as mayor but temporarily resigned from the socialist PSOE party while appealing against the sentence at the Malaga Provincial Court.
The appeal was rejected in November last year, which forced him to present his resignation as mayor which is expected to be ratified at plenary session on Tuesday February 15 when his replacement will be named.
Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Juan Jose Jimenez Lopez, has stepped in as acting mayor, and his name already appears as mayor on the town hall website laviñuela.es.
The PSOE socialist party counts with an absolute majority in La Viñuela with six of the nice councillors (the other three being from the Popular Party).
Millan still faces other charges for alleged breaches of town planning regulations.
The Environment Department is currently pressing charges against Millan for licenses allegedly issued without following correct procedures.
What remains to be seen is who La Viñuela will vote for come the May local elections, especially those whose homes are in a legal limbo due to being given licenses later deemed illegal.
Gary Miles from property rights pressure group Save Our Homes Axarquia (SOHA, www.soha.es) said: “Finally we come to the end of this sorry tale.
“With Señor Millan’s admission that he alone is culpable for the wrongdoings of the past, the Ayuntamiento can get on with the long overdue task of working with the Junta to agree a Plan General for La Viñuela and begin the process of legalising as many houses as possible.”
“Whatever administration succeeds Milan, both immediately and after May’s election, it must be capable of adhering fully to the LOUA (Andalucian Planning law) and ensuring that, never again in Viñuela, the Ayuntamiento believes itself to be above the law.
“We at SOHA see no advantage in gloating over the problems of the previous mayor, neither do we see any point looking elsewhere for blame. We do, however, look forward to working closely with the next mayor to make La Viñuela the success we all know it can be.”
In January this year La Viñuela residents Philip Smalley and Gary Miles – both key players in SOHA – were to stand on the list of the Partido Andalucista (PA) political party in La Viñuela with a view to possibly joining the party.
Miles said the reason was to establish a balance of power with the town hall at the May local elections “to ensure regulations and the law, especially related to planning, are followed to the letter,” he said.
Once the regional government, the Junta de Andalucia, can see town halls are complying with planning regulations, Gary Miles hopes an amnesty will be given to legalise their homes.
Photo Credit: laviñuela.es
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