Councillors in Marbella are getting ready to spend 3.35 million euros repairing roads on housing estates across the municipality that, although privately owned, are used as main public thoroughfares.
This week the council cabinet discussed the findings of a judicial report commissioned by the town hall that confirm it is acceptable for the council to repair a road even if it doesn't belong to it when its poor state could be putting regular users at risk.
Councillors had asked for the report before going ahead on the planned expenditure for fear that they could get into legal trouble with the owners on private estates if they started repairing roads outside town hall control. Now, armed with a positive conclusion from the judicial report, the town hall can go ahead and make the repairs it has planned. Of the total that has been set aside for the maintenance and repairs, one million euros is earmarked to be spent in the Las Chapas district, east of the town centre, the same as in central Marbella and the Nueva Andalucía districts each. In San Pedro 350,000 is to be spent.
The money is part of expenditure the council has been allowed to make after central government relaxed its spending rules to let councils that are breaking even to exceed spending caps where the money is for a long-term, sustainable investment and does not increase day-to-day running costs.
The report justifies the decision to intervene in badly maintained private roads on the 'urbanizaciones' by stating that the action "covers the need to not just guarantee the objective condition of a healthy urban environment but also the objective condition of the safe passage of vehicles and people".