We requested a face-to-face interview with the Mayor of Salobreña, María Eugenia Rufino but settled for sending in the questions to be answered by email.
For this reason we could not press her on certain questions, such as the one on the roadside vegetation on the back lane to Molvízar or clarify the question that she says that she did not undertand.
However, with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, it was the best that we could do.
Gazette: Is there any news on the TH1 Hotels?
Mayor: The pandemic has changed the priorities, both from public administrations and private companies. At the beginning of 2020 the TH1 project was in the pipeline; we were even talking about laying the ground infrastructure for the TH2. But, from March everything changed. The Town Council is concerned now with other questions which we consider of a higher priority and private companies in the tourist sector are concentrating on the hotels that are already built and struggling. When the situation improves, or even comes to an end, we can take up things where we left them.
Gazette: When is the beach road going to return to its normal usage?
Mayor: At the moment this move is not under consideration as it is working perfectly well. The ampleness of the pedestrianised paseo give the clients of chiringuito, bars and restaurants in the area the freedom to stroll easily whilst maintaining a safety distance. The present set up merges with the needs of delivery vehicles and those of residents to have access to the beach area.
Gazette: The lane that joins the trading estate to the A5300 road (Molvízar) has overgrown verges and potholes that makes it dangerous for traffic along it. The excess vegetation is also a fire hazard. When is this going to be sorted out?
Mayor: This is not our responsibility but that of the Environmental Department of the Junta. We have requested that this work be carried out on more than one occasion but we’re still waiting on an answer.
Gazette: The beginning of the above-mentioned lane in the trading estate is lacking road-surface markings, which causes confusion amongst road users. Would it not be better to make a roundabout there, even though it only be one that is painted onto the surface of the road? The situation is made worse by lorries and vans that park on the junction to load and unload.
Mayor: The question is not understood.
Gazette: The access road for Monte de los Almendros, which is the responsibility of the Town Hall as far as maintenance goes, is in a very bad state – when is it going to be repaired?
Mayor: Recently, we had a meeting with the Provincial Representative of Public Works and Housing, José María Villegas, to go over all the ongoing projects within the municipality as well as those that will be carried out in town [later]. Many of these were stopped because of the pandemic but will now recommence, amongst them the tarmacking of several streets, above all the ones near schools and other areas such as La Fragata or the access lane to Monte de los Almendros.
Editorial note: this interview was published in the paper edition of the Seaside Gazette, so are now reproducing it online for our readers from out of the distribution area.
(News/Intereview: Mayor of Salobreña, M.E. Rufina)