By Euro Weekly News Media • 23 July 2015 • 3:00
SOFIA ALVAREZ is the new Councillor for Beaches, International Residents, Transport and Tourist Offices for the Orihuela Costa. She is still finding her way in the town hall, but took time out to speak to Euro Weekly News’s Gemma Quinn about what residents can hope for…Businesswoman Sofia is part of a new Partido Popular (PP) team. Whilst new to politics, her decision to stand in this year’s elections has been seven years in the planning, but with fresh blood in the PP party she felt now was the right time to stand.Having lived and worked on the Orihuela Costa for 35 years, moving from Brussels, Sofia feels she is the best placed to know the needs of local businesses and residents and recognises problems in the past: “The PP was always in the government and yes, they did wrong things, but they also did right things as well, but the big problem is that the mixed government was difficult and it was hard for the Orihuela Costa and often impossible to get anything done.”Sofia recognises the good work done by others in her seat but also the main issue of residents feeling that the Orihuela Costa is segregated from Orihuela; lacking in funds and resources. But now, Sofia said it is time for change and 2015 is heralding a new start where for the first time Orihuela Costa will not be seen as a separate entity: “Keeping them separate was the problem as well as lack of money. This is a very big area and we need more attention and now it will count as one; investment of money will be the same for both; if we clean Orihuela, we clean the Orihuela Costa.” She added: “We recognise the need for more security and more cleaners to keep the streets clean and we need more and more but we are already cleaning the streets and looking at beach safety. There will also be more policing and I’m hoping to get four more patrol cars.”Sofia has already meet with numerous ex-pat groups and associations and plans to hold regular meetings with them to help with the spread of information from the Town Hall to residents and to hear their views, concerns and problems.With plenty of plans in place however, the PP is still ruling in a minority government, so challenges could still lie ahead but Sofia is optimistic: “We are in a minority but we are governing in a minority with specific agreement. We are working with the other parties and don’t feel there is anything they should object to, everything is in the best interests of residents.”Sofia is excited about the next four years: “I know what the problems are and I know how to resolve them. I want to make this the best place to live and the best place for visitors to come to.”Sofia will be based at the Playa Flamenca Town Hall with the contact details remaining the same. Call 966 760 000 ext. 27 or email [email protected]
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