The motion to approve the mega, cleaning contract for Almuñécar was carried, thanks to the votes of the PP, Más Almuñécar and Councillor Eva Gaitán.
Consequently, the contract-specifications proposal will be put out to tender, using an open or competitive award procedure; i.e., there will be no restrictive conditions imposed on companies who wish to bid.
The debate lasted about an hour and a half prior to voting, as there was no other item included in the Extraordinary Plenary Meeting of the Almuñécar Town Council.
The company that wins the contract will have to provide rubbish collection and disposal of domestic solid waste, as well as clean the streets and beaches. The contract will be worth 47.283.701 euros plus (10%) IVA and will have a duration of ten years. The annual figure then, with IVA included, will be 5,136,520 euros.
Those companies interested will have 35 days to bid, following the publication of the contract conditions in the official regional gazette (BOP).
Opposition leader Juan Carlos Benavides (PA), voiced strong criticism of the motion. He called for an amendment to be included giving a further two weeks for it to be studied, but it was rejected by the coalition government.
The left-wing party, IU, led by Fermín Tejero, proposed that the Town Council should take over these tasks instead of farming them out to private companies, as used to be the case about a decade back. That is to say that the Town Hall employed cleaning workers directly..
Coalition councillor, Luis Aragón (Más Almuñécar) accused Benavides of “flinging shit” because he was not interested in the good of Almuñécar but rather only his own personal interests. Councillor Aragón was called to order by the Mayor.
Luis Aragón then apologised to Juan Carlos Benavides but explained that he would never serve under Benavides if he were to ever return to mayoralty.
Mr Benavides responded that he was concerned that some aspects of the contractual conditions could be illegal, which was why he suggested that a further two weeks should be given to study them.
Finally, the First Councillor for La Herradura, Juan José Ruiz Joya, intervened criticising the former Mayor by saying that Benavides’s tactics were: “The worse it goes for Almuñécar, the better it goes for me,” by continually attempting to “scupper” anything proposed by the ruling party.
He concluded by saying that the workers’ committee for the local cleaning employees always back Benavides, no matter what.
It was the Mayor, as is the custom, who brought the debate to the end and put the motion forward for voting.
Editorial comment: at the risk of extending an already lengthy article, a couple of things should be pointed out. The independent councillor Eva Gaitán was Benavides’s closest colleague within his party, but she carried out a complete U-turn a few years back, left Benavides and became an independent councillor in order to back the present-day Mayor, which was quite a stab in the back, deserved or not.
Which brings us to Luis Aragón, who was also a close colleague of Benavides at the height of Benavides’s long reign, but subsequently fell out with him and left. Benavides had left the PA, taking all his 11 councillors with him to revive a moribund Andalusian party, the CA.
When Aragón, who had gone with him to form the CA, fell out with Benavides, he set about restarting the then defunct Almuñécar branch of the PA, bringing it back to life, giving it important local influence.
It was then that an event occurred that made Aragón and Benavides political enemies for life: Benavides received the blessing of the PA leaders in Sevilla to rejoin the PA and become the Almuñécar party leader, over Luis Aragón.
In disgust Aragón left the PA and founded Más Almuñécar, which attracted all the anti-Benavides elements within the ranks of the PA and after receiving sufficient weight in a local election, he took his party into partnership as a coalition partner with the PP Mayor, Trinidad Herrera.
(News: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia – Photos: JM de H.)