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Marbella town hall plans to spend three times as much on public works next year

  • The town's budget for 2018, due to be provisionally approved today, includes investments of more than 22 million euros

The council's budget for 2018 is on its way to being finally passed before the end of the year. This week the mayor, Ángeles Muñoz, and councillor, Manuel Osorio, revealed details of the draft budget due to be put before a council session today, Friday.

One of the most significant changes is the increase in the amount set aside for investment in public works, which is more than 22 million euros, three times this year's sum.

Muñoz said that next year's budget will be “investing, innovative and social”.

Three municipal departments have been given priority: Public Works, Parks and Gardens and Cleaning. In the case of the latter, spending is expected to increase from 23.5 million euros to 29.5 million, permitting the purchase of new equipment. Parks and gardens will also benefit from an increase, with the budget going from 2.7 million to 7.6 million euros.

The changes mean a distribution of resources that is more in line with the town's needs, said the mayor. The increases, she added, will lead to better quality services.

Investment in public works will be shared among all departments, although the mayor stressed the need for improvements in sports facilities.

The lion's share of the budget, however, will go towards staff wages which amount to more than 141 million euros.

The controversial aspect of the budget is the decision to ignore the spending cap imposed by the central government, which has been lowered by 11 million euros. Muñoz said the reduction was due to the poor management of the town's previous coalition government and not because the council's income had fallen.

The opposition group, however, has said that by ignoring the cap, the council is jeopardising its future as adjustments will have to be made in 2020.

Speaking at a SUR forum on Thursday, the mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, announced that the town hall hoped to be able to turn the Finca La Caridad, an estate that is among the confiscated assets of the imprisoned corruption ringleader Juan Antonio Roca, into a sports complex. Negotiations are ongoing with the treasury ministry, she said. The town has long since been calling for the assets of those responsible for pillaging the municipal coffers to be returned to the town.