The mayor of Fuengirola, Ana Mula, told a council meeting this week that the current owner of the concession to collect rubbish and carry out some street cleansing in the municipality will see out the full four years of its contract after all.
Mula's reassurances come after the company, Urbaser, told street cleaning workers' representatives two weeks ago that it wanted to give up its contract, citing breach of contact by the town hall, causing uncertainty for employees and residents across the town.
Councillors at the meeting at Fuengirola town hall agreed a motion to refuse Urbaser a “negotiated exit” from its four-year renewable contract, which started in 2016.
The mayor also took the opportunity to issue a message of calm to residents of Fuengirola: “So that we all stay calm, Urbaser has said it will continue carrying out services until the end of its contract.
“It will be for the initial four-year term, because the option to renew beyond that is voluntary,” she added, “We are going to keep insisting that the contract is carried out to the letter.”
The dispute with Urbaser was said to be centred on unexpected costs and uncertainty over land the town hall was said to have promised the company use of to carry out its services. The council says that Urbaser has no grounds to cancel its contract on that basis.
Sources at the council said that one of the reasons that Urbaser cannot give in its contract is that it would make it harder to tender for work at other local authorities in the future. A Socialist party councillor has also said that the company's action could be linked to negotiations over working conditions with staff.