A Roundabout, Pool & Classroom

Sunday, August 9, 2015
By Martin Myall

SAL lobres roundabout OnLAt the last Salobreña council meeting it was decided to ask the provincial council to sort out the roundabout access for Lobres from the A-7.

They want the provincial council to act with alacrity because the overgrown state of the roundabout is both a traffic hazard and an eyesore, they consider.

The said junction is adorned with a palm tree and other vegetation in an apparent state of abandonment. Furthermore, sand from the roundabout often ends up on the road surface, which could cause vehicles to skid.

But the roundabout is not the only problem that Lobres faces; i.e., its municipal swimming pool… or lack of it, or for that matter the aula (sort of classroom), which is in a sorry state, too.

The municipal pool opened with much fanfare just before the PP lost control of the Salobreña Town Hall – it was rushed in order to have it finished before the elections as a showcase for their administrative record.

Within a year it was closed owing to deficiencies and has been closed ever since. The machinery is all but lost owing to a lack of maintenance and as Antonio from Salobreña’s 1616 Books – a Lobres resident – points out, “the best thing you could do would be to fill it in with earth and turn it into a garden, because it will never function as a swimming pool again.”

SAL Lobres classroom OnLReturning to the Aula Didáctica, the project was authorized in 2009 to be built right next to the Punto Limpio. The building was going to serve as a sort of educational promotion for the punto limpio; i.e., informing residents about the need and benefits of keeping the town clean by responsible rubbish disposal.

And this is where the article turns from being an informative news article into an opinion piece, because an explanation is needed.

Everybody knows that if you buy an expensive car, the actual purchase cost is only a part of a continual expense of maintaining it; one thing is acquiring it and quite another is being able to afford to run it.

Well, this fact of life is lost on town halls and provincial councils, because they obtain funds from other administration – more often than not having originated as EU funding – to build social projects: swimming pools, libraries, sports centres, etc.

But like expensive cars, finding the money to obtain them is only half the problem; they have to be maintained by municipal budgets and when the squeeze comes, there is no funding to maintain these public, vote-catching infrastructures.

Add to this that in many cases the building work is shoddy and soon requires renovation work, and you end up getting situations like Lobres’s dead-in-the-water swimming pool or its optimistic classroom to foment public awareness concerning rubbish disposal.

(News: Lobres, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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