News

PP Win Local Elections In Ayamonte

The Partido Popular have won Ayamonte local elections for the first time getting 38.17% of the vote. It is not an overall majority as they have polled 7 seats just like PSOE.PP
The results for Ayamonte are as follows with 57.46% turnout:
8639 votes, 125 blank votes and 95 spoilt votes.

PP PSOE IULV-CA PA R.AYA C'S
38.17%  33.78%  8.56% 8.16% 6.19% 3.67%
3261 VOTES  2886 VOTES  731 VOTES  697 VOTES  529 VOTES  315 VOTES
7 SEATS 7 SEATS 1 SEATS 1 SEATS  1 SEATS  0 SEATS

The number of seats avaialble has been reduced from 21 in 2011 to 17 this year, leaving an overall majority at 9 seats.

The question now is will the most voted party be allowed to govern as they will need to go into a coalition to have an overall majority. Dicussions between the parties will start on Monday.

The turnout for the 2015 elections was down on the previous local elections, 57.46% compared to 62.5% in 2011. Many feel that this due to El Rocio pilgrimage coinciding with voting day.

Election Race Heats Up

elections

We are into the final week of local elections with the various parties all plying for your vote. Having lived here for a number of years and a number of elections it seems to me that this is going to be one of the most fiercely fought. So who will win: Partido Andalucista (PA), Ciudadanos (C’s),  Partido Popular (PP), Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE), Izquierda Unida (IU) or Recuperemos Ayamonte  (RA). We will know the results by Sunday night.
As promised here are the answers to the 10 questions poised to the parties who are presenting their nominations for the 2015 elections:
At this point I feel I must explain how the questions were selected. Readers sent in their own questions and 10 were selected from these questions, as numerous had a similar theme we chose the one we deemed best fitted.  See the example below and we chose the question highlighted
Does your program include making areas available for dogs to litter?
Will your party ensure that animal faeces deposited by dogs in the streets of Ayamonte will become a thing of the past?
Animal welfare and how owners let their pets stroll around the streets is perturbing, will your party be doing anything to remedy this?
Do you think you can help change attitudes towards keeping dogs as pets? It's a beautiful town and the beach is stunning BUT it seems that it's seen as acceptable to allow your pet to poo anywhere and owners have no obligation to pick it up. It's everywhere in Ayamonte and on the beach and will affect tourism?
The parties were then sent the questions in Spanish via e-mail with a deadline set for last weekend for them to respond. Of the six parties, C’s, PSOE, PP, IU, PA and RA three replied in the time frame.
Please read their replies here.
Make sure you vote on Sunday 24th May.

New Law In Place May 1st

frozenaccount

Many readers have contacted me over the last few weeks asking about their banks and an e-mail or letter they have received from them. Some banks were asking for NIE, passports and even salary slips. This led to many people thinking it was some sort of scam. However in most cases it is not.
A law which is bringing Spanish banks in line with most European banking will come into force on May 1st. The law called Ley 10/2010 actually dates from 29th April 2010 and is to prevent money laundering and use of accounts by terrorist groups. All account owners have to be accurately identified. In most cases this was already being done by banks but for many non-resident clients their lawyer opened the account with a power of attorney and a copy of their passport.
So if your bank in Spain doesn’t have your NIE and current passport they can freeze your account as of May the first. Some banks are allowing copies to be e-mailed to them directly while other only accepts hard copies. Please make sure you send this information to the correct address.
If your account does get blocked you can re-activate it within 24 hours by sending in the required documentation.

Your Turn To Ask the Question

Elections

It is coming up to local election time and like four years ago, InfoAyamonte would like to put 10 questions to the political parties and what they have planned for Ayamonte should they win.
Three of the four parties answered our questions last time around and coincidence or not the fourth party that failed to return answers also failed to gain a single seat.
All you have to do is e-mail infoayamonte at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your question. Ten questions will be chosen and presented to the political parties for them to answer.
Here are the questions that were asked four years ago and some of them are still valid for this election:

  1. What is the first job you will attend to should you be elected?
  2. How would you rate your party’s work over the last four years?
  3. Why should we vote for your candidature?
  4. What specific plans do you have for Isla Canela?
  5. What specific plans do you have for Costa Esuri?
  6. Do you have plans to improve the public transport system in Ayamonte, more services to Isla Canela and Costa Esuri?
  7. Parking meters have been installed but we are still tormented by non-official parking wardens will you tackle this problem?
  8. Various projects are in the pipeline, water park, Marinas and the Congress Centre which do you see as a priority?
  9. A continual complaint from visiting tourists is that many of the streets in Ayamonte are littered with dog poo, although it may seem trivial considering the current economic crisis, do you have any plans to curb this problem?
  10. After a number of break-ins in holiday homes, will we see an increase in local police to patrol areas like Isla Canela and Costa Esuri in low season?

The latest date to send your question is 30th April.

Beach Regeneration Continues

beachregen

The dredging of the sand from the Guadiana River estuary is to provide a total of 55,000 cubic metres of sand for Isla Canela Beach.
The dredging which has been ongoing over the last few weeks comes at a cost of 723,000 euros. When complete at the lowest tide the area in question, measuring 1.25km by 60 metres wide, will have a minimum depth of 3.5 metres. The dredging has been an ever present demand among local fishermen for a number of years and various boats have come to ground in the area.
In the coming weeks the dredging will be complete however not everyone has been happy with the results or the fact that heavy machinery was hauling sand to Punta Moral beach during Easter week.
This week in the local newspaper Huelva Informacion it was announced that the central government will construct two wave breakers on Isla Canela to stop the continually erosion that Isla Canela beach suffers over the Winter and Spring months. With a budget of 2.5 million euros and an annual budget for maintenance of 75,000 euros, work is not expected to begin until end of summer season 2016.

Spring Brings Good News

Unemploymentfigs

Easter week falling early this week combined with the good weather has helped Spring bring good news to Ayamonte in terms of employment.
The number of unemployed people dropped by 11 percent when compared to figures in March 2014. There are currently 2,331 unemployed people in Ayamonte. Since March 2012 the number of unemployed people has been progressively getting smaller and although there is still a long way to go, this year alone 344 people have found work.
The Mayor of Ayamonte, Antonio Rodríguez Castillo, welcomed the drop in unemployment and pointed to the Junta of Andalucía’s Plan for Youth employment coupled with Easter Week and the Mundalito tournament as the main source of the good results.

Sanitas Marca Running Series Set For Ayamonte

Sanitasrunning

Since 2013 Sanitas and Marca have been organising a circuit in major cities in Spain where athletes can run either in the 5km or 10Km race. Ayamonte is to be added this year to that Circuit with the race taking part here on 25th July.
The circuit current has 11 venues including Madrid, Valencia, Vigo Valladolid, Alicante & Segovia to name a few and it is the first time a town the size of Ayamonte has been included. The Mayor of Ayamonte Antonio Rodríguez Castillo who was in Madrid to finalise details of the event was delighted to bring such a prestigious event to Ayamonte. “It is great that top flight athletes along with local athletes will be running along the streets of Isla Canela and Ayamonte in July. It also confirms Ayamonte’s place on the road running circuit and will bring a welcome boost to the local economy and tourism for the area.
The Mayor also pointed out that with the main sponsors of the event being La Marca newspaper that Ayamonte would get a lot of well-deserved publicity. La Marca is the most read sports newspaper in Spain and their website www.marca.com has daily readership of over 3.6 million.
Exact details and times of the Ayamonte Isla Canela Sanitas Marca Running event will be announced soon and we will publish once confirmed.

Hidden Jewel Uncovered

retabloangustias

Yesterday Tuesday 3rd March workers carrying out some repair work in the Palm Sunday Chapel uncovered a framed altarpiece.
The workers who were carrying out some repair work in preparation for the upcoming Easter week were stopped on their tracks when they found hidden behind a false wall the painting which measures four metres high and two metres wide.
The painting which is on wood is being investigated and Carmen Sanchez Ruda a local restorer was one of the first people to inspect the piece and said that it could quite easily date from 17th Century. The scene depicted is from Stations of the Cross.
The Mayor of Ayamonte, Antonio Rodríguez Castillo and the Deputy Mayor for Culture Javier López, both visited the church to see the piece and have asked the Andalusian Cultural council for help in evaluating the piece and looking at a possible restoration.

Bicycle Lane Project for International Bridge

bikelane

The Guadiana Eurocity (La Eurociudad del Guadiana) which comprises of Ayamonte, Castro Marim and  Vila Real de Santo Antonio have put forward a proposal to both Spanish and Portuguese governments for a cycling path over the international bridge.
The Spanish government already have a project to reform the bridge which has a budget of 14.6 million euros.
The members of the Eurocity Guadiana currently feel that the bridge is the only obstacle blocking the free travel of bicycles along and over the Guadiana. Currenty the only leag way to cycle form Ayamonte to Vila Real de Santo Antonio is by using the ferry.
In May 2015 The Eurocity will celebrate its second anniversary and the Eurocity committee are currently working on an extensive program of events which will include: Exhibitions, tournaments and many more events. As soon as Infoayamonte is informed we will publish in the events guide.

New Infoayamonte On The Way

newaya

It’s that time of the year again when infoayamonte needs a bit of a facelift. The webpage has been running Joomla 2.5 so we are going for a whole new facelift and a swap to Joomla 3.3.
Basically we are going to change loads of stuff so it works better and on all types of platforms, mobile, web, iphone etc.
So here are a few things that are changing.
Eye in the sky: here we will have a lot of aerial photos of Ayamonte, Isla Canela and Costa Esuri.
Restaurant Guide: The restaurant guide needs updating so send your nomination to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tapa & Tercio: Basically a guide to bars for a tapa or a beer. Again nominations please to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Michael H Blog: For a long while I have been thinking of how I can bring some news or simple instructions to the infoayamonte site but couldn’t really figure which category they would fit in. Be it the snug or local news or useful information. So I have just decided to open up Michael H’s Blog within a tab on the Infoayamonte site.
Of course all the older items will stay and we will be including many new interviews. So the countdown has begun the new site will be launched on March 17th 2015.

Esuri Bus Starts

esuribus1

A new bus route which connects Ayamonte with Costa Esuri started today 12th January. The bus route which has 12 bus stops within Costa Esuri is a service that the residents of Costa Esuri have been demanding for some time.
The Deputy Mayor of Ayamonte and President of EUC Francisco José Álvarez Rubiño said “It is a great result to finally be able to confirm that the Costa Esuri residents will have their own bus service. It has taken a lot of work and after many meetings with the Local Residents association CERA and the transport company Damas S.A the buses are finally on the streets of Costa Esuri.
The twelve stops in Costa Esuri are as follows:
1. Av. Juan Pablo II (By the first gate of Vista Esuri)
2. Av. Juan Pablo II/Round about Miguel de Unamuno
3. Albatros Golf
4. Las Encinas (By the first gate)
5. La Jara Sur (Entrance in Jorge Guillén)
6. La Jara Norte (Entrance in Jorge Guillén)
7. Oasis Park (Before the crossroads to Colinas)
8. Las Colinas (Round about)
9. Guadiana Golf/Vista Hermosa (Fountain)
10. Lomas (In front of the shop)
11. Round about Miguel de Unamuno (In front of the post box)
12. Av. Juan Pablo II/Marina Esuri (Facing Stop 1)
Please see PDF of Stops here.

The cost per journey is one euro, The bus will stop at the bus stop near the Parador in Ayamonte and the Bus Station. For the return journey pickup points in Ayamonte are the bus station and Mercadona busstop.
Monday to Friday Costa Esuri to Ayamonte : 08.45, 10.45 & 16.00 (Saturdays 09.30)
Monday to Friday Ayamonte to Costa Esuri : 13.00, 15.00 & 19.00 (Saturdays 12.30)

 

Ayamonte Waterpark

waterpark

With a recent press release from the Town Hall putting the date of the opening of the new waterpark in Ayamonte for 30th June 2015, I felt it was time I explained to all of you the exact location (see photo above) and a little more detail about the park itself.
You will have seen in the local papers the following. The cost of the development of the whole park is estimated at 10 million euros and it will create 171 jobs and it already has a pre-approved grant of 2.36 million euros from the Andalusian Innovation and Development Agency (Agencia de Innovación y Desarrollo de Andalucía IDEA).
The land where the waterpark is to be built belongs to the Fundación Tejada de la Santa Caridad the same foundation that runs the senior residents home in Ayamonte. The sale of this plot to the Russian investor Sergey Atroshensko will be a huge boost to the foundations funds.
The coordinator of the whole project is Gonzalo Cano with his architectural studio in Ayamonte and thanks to Gonzalo for explaining the whole project.
1. Octopus Lane: This will be a six lane twisty-turny slide located at the far left of the park as you enter.
2. Torando Blast: Is a water slide that drops you into at large saucer like structure and spins you around finally dropping you into a centre pool. It is located in the top left hand corner of the park.
3. Boomerang: A double boomerang shaped slide that brings you almost right back to where you started.
4. Hydro-Magnetic rocket: I will just have to record a video of this one when it’s build, but magnets propels you forward in a rocket shaped vessel surrounded by water. I am betting this will be my nephews favourite.
5. Dark Mammoth & Bubba Mammoth: Two serpentine water slides and you guessed it one is completely in the dark.
6. Interactive Pool: This is a shallow pool with lots of rides and games for children.
7. Pipe Line, Bullet Bowl and Topsy Turvy: A number of different water slides which I say will finally quieten my hyperactive nieces and nephews.
Of course there is a beach with a wave pool, right next to the beach bar and numerous restaurants and eateries dotted around the whole complex. Changing rooms and rest areas are also well distributed throughout the water park. Just outside the entereance there will be a large tiered car park with special areas for buses. All I can say is I am really looking forward to seeing the first sod being turned on this project which has been a long time in the pipeline.

Waterpark Plan

AyamonteWaterPark1

Junta de Andalucia Backs Ayamonte Water Park

waterpark

The Junta de Andalucia have approved this morning in a council meeting their support for the Ayamonte Water park and funding of 2.36 million euros for the 8.77 million euro project.
The Mayor of Ayamonte Antonio Rodríguez Castillo said that the people of Ayamonte can expect to see machinery on the plot of land where the water park is to be built before the end of the year.
The water park which is being developed by the Company Ayamonte Water Park SL will bring 81 new jobs to Ayamonte, 49 during the construction. The water park which will be located just behind the old Martinsa Fadesa showrooms is set on a plot of 97,760 square metres.
Having seen the project in full myself, I can safely say once it is built my days of driving down to the other end of the Algarve with my nieces and nephews are well and truly over.

 

New Venture Opens On Isla Canela

bicilandia

Just in time for Easter week, Bicilandia has opened on the roundabout of Isla Canela in Punta Moral. A young Dutch couple Frans and Marcha with their three children have opened a café activity centre where you can hire bikes, chill out drinking a coffee or take a kayak out for a couple of hours along the beach or the marismas tides permitting.
The business which officially opened Saturday 13th April will be offering special guided tours in kayak through the Marismas throughout the year.

Mundialito Returns To Ayamonte

mundalito14

For seventh consecutive year the Mundalito returns to Ayamonte and Vila Real de Santo António. The tournament is open to all clubs that are affiliated to an association or federation associated with FIFA. There are four different categories, children born 2002/3, 2004/5, 2006/7 and finally 2008.

In the categories (2002-2003) and (2004-2005) teams are divided into groups of five or six teams.
In the categories (2006-2007) teams will be divided into groups of four or five teams.
In the category 2008, all groups will be formed by four teams.

The first phase will run in "league" system. The two best will remain classified for "GOLD TOURNAMENT", and the following for "SILVER TOURNAMENT". The rest of the teams will play for "BRONZE TOURNAMENT" and "FAIR PLAY".
The tournament will be played from 12th -19th April in nine different stadiums two of which are in Ayamonte: Estadio Ciudad de Ayamonte and Blas Infante. A total of 4,000 children will take part in this year’s tournament, 54 different nationalities and 200 football teams, playing over 750 matches. For full details on the matches please follow this link

Esuri Residents Meet Mayor

reunion
Last Thursday 20th February an informal meeting was held in Ayamonte town hall between the Mayor of Ayamonte Antonio Rodriguez Castillo and a number of residents on Costa Esuri. The main point of discussion to find out how and when the monies attained from bank guarantees would be used and who would govern how these monies would be used.
The Mayor first wanted to clarify exactly what monies had been attained from the bank guarantees. Four million euros are already being held in a bank account for use solely on the Costa Esuri urbanisation.
A further 1.7 million euros is being claimed on a bank guarantee held with Novacaixa Galicia. This bank is slow in releasing the monies and the Mayor also stated that although they have been actively demanding the money from Novacaixa Galicia for some time they have taken a more serious legal stance (judicial action) with the bank in the last 15-20 days.
One of the key points raised from the meeting was to find out when works would begin on repair of roads etc on Costa Esuri and if the residents would have any say on how this money would be spent.
The Mayor explained that the timeframe was dependant on when they could get the last outstanding monies from Novacaixa Galicia as all repair works would be tendered together. As for who decides what the monies would be spent on, the Mayor clarified that it would not be the EUC or resident but competence of the Ayamonte Town Hall Technical Department on how monies would be spent. Ayamonte Town Hall Technical department have already written up a report on what repairs will be done.
There were a number of other questions fielded from the people present, myself included and to ensure most was understood, Amparo Lalinde acted at the translator for the non-Spanish people present while Philip Johnson acted as spokesperson.
Below are some of the questions fielded by people present at the meeting and answers. A full report on the meeting is being complied in both Spanish and English and will be sent out to the various resident communities on Costa Esuri in the coming days.
• The safety of the fencing around the hotel and commercial centre was questioned as was the cranes which have been stationary for a number of years. Asked if some of the monies could be used to resolve this problem, the Mayor again clarified that all of the monies which have been attained for Costa Esuri via bank guarantees would go on infrastructures and could not be used for this purpose as it is a private plot. He did say that he would check into the licences to see if there was retention on the promoter of these plots that could be used to remedy the situation.
• The problem of sporadic delivery of post on some parts of Costa Esuri. The Mayor said he would speak to Correo about it but urged any residents who are having delivery with post to report it to the Postmaster in Ayamonte.
• Access to landline broadband on the whole of Costa Esuri. The Mayor admitted that there was enormous difficultly in speaking to the relevant parties and has had the same problem for years in Punta de Moral. Miguel Paredes one of the Spanish residents present at the meeting offered to mediate on the matter.
• Cement trucks driving within the urbanisation. The Mayor said there was already a dedicated route and timetable that heavy vehicles were obliged to use when entering Costa Esuri and urged any resident who saw inappropriate use to call the local police and report the matter.
• A bus service. The Mayor said that the current contracts for bus routes in the Ayamonte area still have approximately 12 months to run and that after that period a route from Esuri to Ayamonte could be looked at.
• Possibility of opening up a direct line of communication with the Town Hall. The Mayor said that he regarded Ayamonte as another neighbourhood of Ayamonte and both Philip’s and Amparo’s e-mail addresses were given to the Mayor for future communications.

Absolutely Brilliant

Christmas brings out the best in people and once again I have to take my hat off to the people at the Esuri Book Club for their brilliant donation to Ayamonte.esurihelpI met with four book club members (Avril Maxwell, Shelia Butler, Shelia Johnson and Bryony Collins), just before Christmas and they told me their plan for this year. All I can say is that I am proud of what the English speaking community does here.
Many of you already know the club that meets on a Wednesdays from 4pm at Costa Esuri club house and where you can get a book for only a euro and then every other book you swap is only 50 cents. The club has many sides to it, from being a meeting point to a source of good information and guidance. However they have to be recognized for the great charity work they do year in year out. Charities like Aones, British Legion and the Red Cross are just a few that already know the generosity of this club which was set up a few years ago by Shelia Butler and Shelia Johnson. They have donated thousands of euros to local charities.
This year the club is making their donation to needy families living in Ayamonte. With the help of Janice Malone they have elaborated a shopping list for food hampers for over 20 families.
Mercadona, who kindly donated the wrapping paper and shopping baskets, delivered the shopping list to a house in Costa Esuri where members of Costa Esuri Book Club gift wrapped the parcels. They then delivered the parcels themselves to each household so the families would have something nice on Christmas Eve.
They spent over one thousand euros and to top up the kitty the golfers at Costa Esuri donated another two hundred euros.
And it doesn’t stop there, as on the night of January 5th when “Reyes Magos” deliver the presents the book club is also buying kiddies presents so no one is left out.

 

Florencio Aguilera Andalucia’s favourite son of 2012

 

Local artist Florencio Aguilera Correa was awarded today 28th February 2012 the distinction of Andalucía’s favourite son of 2012.Florencio Aguilera

Florencio Aguilera Correa was born in Ayamonte in 1947 and under the guidance of his father the late Rafael Aguilera painted his first painting in 1961 (un bodegón) at the age of 14. In 1962 he exhibited at with a number of artists from Ayamonte and Isla Cristina.However it wasn’t until 1966 that Florencio became a full time artist.

Today with an irrefutable career spanning over four decades Florencio Aguilera Correa, with many of his paintings coveted in both private and public collection all over the world, receives the acknowledgement from the Junta de Andalucía and the people of Andalucía for his works and cultural promotion in Andalucía.

Congratulations Florencio!