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Vélez-Málaga's 10th century fortress. Jennie Rhodes
Costa del Sol town hall blames third parties for the loss of funding for 10th century fortress and water supply improvements
Politics

Costa del Sol town hall blames third parties for the loss of funding for 10th century fortress and water supply improvements

Regarding the Fortaleza Vélez-Málaga councillors claim that they "were unaware of the request" and point the finger of blame at Valencia over the failure to secure money for the water projects

Eugenio Cabezas

Vélez-Málaga

Wednesday, 8 May 2024, 15:40

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Vélez-Málaga town hall, which is now run by a coalition of the centre-right Partido Popular (PP) with the GIPMTM independent Torre del Mar party, has blamed third parties for the loss of two important grants that were applied for during the last legislature by the then socialist PSOE party which was in coalition with the GIPMTM.

Three million euros of funding was applied for modernisation work to the town’s 10th century fortress and a separate application for more than nine million euros was applied for important work to improve the area’s water supply, including renovation of supply pipes for irrigation and domestic supply in the face of the ongoing drought.

Municipal sources told SUR on Monday 6 May that in the case of the fortress, the current coalition did not have "documentary evidence" of the rejection of the European grant, which would have provided 90% of the total budget for the project from EU Next Generation funds, until it was rejected.

The same sources argued that they therefore could not respond to the requirement that was made to the town hall to make corrections to a number of documentation submitted in the original application.

Unaware of the request

"We were unaware of the request, since no official or any technician of the town hall was aware of the presentation of this grant, which was made by a trusted staff member of the former mayor," the sources said.

The same sources said that the Fortaleza is already having work carried out with Edusi funds, which is another EU programme and as such it is "incompatible" to get European subsidies from two different programmes.

However, in the documentation to which SUR had access, this aspect was not noted, but the reason for the rejection is that the request for the corrections to be made was not done before the deadline.

SUR has been able to ascertain that a request was answered to another for a project to carry out work to the old castle in Torre del Mar, located on the recently refurbished Plaza de la Axarquia.

Water infrastructure

With regard to funding for the improvement of water infrastructure, the town hall sources pointed out that, after taking office, they were informed that the amount of co-financing was to drop from 90 to 60%.

"So we modified the project and went from requesting 9, 2 million to four million, only for the renovation of the supply pipes in the western part of the municipality, which suffer continuous cuts due to storms, so we are working to change them to the north, under the footpath that is to be built on the N-340,” they stressed.

The sources have pointed out that the reason that the funding was not granted is that the Valencian water company Ciclagua, with which it was requested, "did not respond" to the requirement to correct the documentation sent by the central government’s ministry for ecological transition. SUR has tried, unsuccessfully so far, to obtain an answer from Ciclagua about the situation.

The official document signed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Morán, and dated 15 November 15 2023 states that "a responsible statement of application, the agreement of Vélez-Málaga town hall and the agreement of EPSAR [Valencian water management company]" were not presented.

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