By Bill Anderson • 02 March 2023 • 10:16
On 22nd February, I travelled up to Mijas Pueblo for the monthly Council meeting (called the Pleno). There was a lot of activity on entering the village with white lines and zebra crossings being painted whether they needed it or not. Actually they didn’t need it. Compared to some of the neglected areas in the urbanisations, the untouched white lines of Mijas Pueblo were gleaming in the morning sunshine and were certainly in acceptably good nick.
I tried for months to get a zebra crossing repainted and was informed by the police that it was perfectly OK. A local worker had been killed on crossing the road at night and the dark grey zebra crossing was barely visible during the day let alone at night on a poorly lit road with street lighting that had been out for months.
Clearly, local politicians think we are stupid enough to believe that getting busy 3 months before an election creates amnesia about all the things not done in the previous 4 years: the requests ignored, the pleas not listened to. I don’t think that my municipality is any worse than what I presume is repeated across councils all over Spain at the moment: fixing things that aren’t broken and leaving unfixed the things that are not so publicly visible; visiting associations which they have ignored for 4 years to show how approachable and interested they are in the work they do.
I have been asked multiple times how my election campaign is coming along! Frankly, I find it hard to get into. Sure, I participate at a party level in the pre election activities. I have to listen to the political dogfights at council meetings which often resembles the playground more than the boardroom. I am aware of and will be caught up in the general flurry of activity which will no doubt intensify over the coming months, but when politicians have to tell people how well they have done and reinforce this with endless amounts of activity pre elections. I suggest it is because they are aware of their failings over the previous years, and while they would claim to have done their best, is obviously hasn’t been good enough.
As the first foreigner to become a councillor in Mijas in the 43 years of local government, I decided that my main task would be to get to know people, make myself accessible and to act as a bridge between local residents and the governing councillors. I have tried to do this in new ways, via Live Streaming and local surgeries, for example, but my plan hasn’t essentially changed during the legislature. I have nothing new to say to people. I would like to think I have done my best but that will not be reinforced or confirmed by a whirlwind of superhuman activity just before the elections.
I have done my best, but it will be up to the electorate to decide if my best has been good enough.
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Bill Anderson is a Councillor with the Grupo Populares de Mijas, radio host and columnist for the Euro Weekly News
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