The Foreign Residents Department of Torremolinos town hall held an English language informative meeting aimed at the town's expat community on Wednesday. The meeting, chaired by Aida Blanes, councillor for Foreign Residents, focused on the legal aspects and advantages of joining the local population register (padrón). The councillor explained that registration gives the possibility of access to council grants and discounts in taxes (IBI), tuition, scholarships and school transportation, as well as reductions on water and refuse collection bills.
She also stressed the importance of registering on the census for those who wish to exert their right to vote in next year's municipal and European parliament elections.
"Registering on the padrón, which is compulsory for those that have lived in Spain for more than six months, is the first basic step that you should complete before carrying out any other administrative procedures. Registration is necessary for NIE application, vehicle registration and civil unions," the councillor explained.
María José Carmona (foreigners office), and Silvia Beramendi (padrón office), answered a variety of questions put forward by the audience, which was made up of British, American and Chinese residents.
Torremolinos has a foreign population of 13,113 and the British are the second largest foreign community in Torremolinos. However, only 796 Brits are registered and the town hall, which believes that the British resident population is far greater, expressed how this affects the financing available to the council.
"Our annual budget is based on the padrón, so the more people registered, the more money we will have to improve our town," María José Carmona said.