Official statistics show the current population of Coín to be 22,147 but, using the amount of rubbish collected in the municipality as a guide, the council is convinced the true figure is between 27,000 and 28,000 and is starting a campaign to encourage permanent residents who are not on the 'padrón', or population register, to go to the town hall and sign up.
The mayor, Francisco Santos, says the council is missing out on State and regional funding, because this is based on the number of registered inhabitants. "It's money we are not receiving and cannot use to improve infrastructure, services and other projects which benefit the people who live here," he says.
The local authority believes a considerable number of British residents are not yet on the 'padrón' and has arranged a meeting with the British consulate next month to ask for their collaboration and support for the campaign. It is believed between 1,500 and 2,000 British people who live in the town or the nearby countryside have yet to register. A similar campaign in Marbella added a further 10,000 names.
In November, the provincial government of Malaga began its own campaign to encourage British residents to register at their local town halls, in response to Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. According to official figures, there are 50,000 British people living in Malaga province.