By John Smith •
Published: 19 Sep 2023 • 11:39
Aleksandra Bloch to left and Begonia Ortiz to right
Credit: EWN Media Group
There were two very welcome guests at the monthly AREME coffee morning held at Alex Corner in Benavista, Estepona on the morning of Monday September 18.
Two representatives of the Estepona Council, Deputy Mayor Begonia Ortiz who is now situated at the Council Office in Cancelada and Foreign Residents representative, Aleksandra Broch.
The Foreign Residents Association of Estepona (AREME) works closely with the local council and has been instrumental in suggesting several important changes in the way in which the increasing number of foreign residents are catered for by the council.
Now in his fourth term of office, Mayor José María García Urbano has announced that having spent 12 years working on the development of the urban centre, he now wants to focus on the suburbs which is why Councillor Ortiz is now based in Cancelada.
To make life easier for residents, a new email address firstname.lastname@example.org has been created which is monitored by the Foreigner’s Department and foreign residents are invited to pose questions to that address as a first point of contact.
It must be remembered however that the Estepona Council only has jurisdiction over certain matters and that the Junta de Andalucia or the National Government control such matters as the Hospital, A7 bi-pass, education and even beaches.
Matters discussed during the meeting included the addition of a flat surface ramp to the bridge over the A7 which links Benamara and Benavista which now awaits Ministry approval before work can be undertaken.
In addition, it was explained that the Local Police basically patrol the local area Monday to Friday between 8am to 3pm and plain clothes officer from the National Police patrol at all other times.
Some of those present suggested that the area around Diana Park and other parts of the locale were becoming ‘dangerous’ for individuals and that there is regular vandalism so it would be better if uniformed officers were to maintain a greater presence.
Whilst the Estepona Council doesn’t intend to offer free bus travel to local residents, it was pointed out that the Junta de Andalucia does offer a special discount card to those over the age of 65 which allows free entry to certain attractions as well as discounted travel on the Portillo/Avanza services which connect towns and provinces.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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