It is not often that one gets elected a second time. What do you think has convinced the people to vote for you for another term of office?
I believe that as a woman, given a blank cheque, I am quite close to my electorate and I think that it was essential to identify the needs of this pueblo which comprises Manilva, Sabinillas and El Castillo and I realised that with 6500 empty dwellings, 15,000 registered residents and more than 40,000 summer visitors the first need was to achieve political stability,
cleanliness of the municipality and security but mostly an investment needed to improve the equipment and infrastructure of the area.
It was necessary to provide the people with more than just a house such a parks, remodelling of all streets, ensure that the 8km of beach are in good condition. This is where I concentrated my efforts in my first term. It was necessary to re-organise the internal affairs of the Town Hall but most of all to change the image of the municipality offering greater facilities to its inhabitants such as parks for the children, additional schooling facilities, the guarderia, the new health centre. It is all this that helped to start changing the image of Manilva and this has evidently been noticed by the electorate.
Sabinillas has become a seaside resort, but the recession seems to have hit traders pretty hard. We have a fantastic paseo that does attract visitors of all nationalities with good spending power, unfortunately the parking problem discourages them from coming to the area. The Â€200 parking fines most definitely put people off. Will something be done about the parking problem?
You can tell your readers that for this summer, after Easter, the council will make available to the public the parking lot in the new sport centre. As the sale of these parking places has not yet started, the space will be made available free of charge to relieve the problem that visitors have when coming to Sabinillas. This represents additional parking for some 300 vehicles, which I think is sufficient to relieve the problem.
I think the problem extends to residents too like me. Imagine coming home after a long day at work, hungry and tired and not be able to park? Is it not possible to provide some sort of parking advantage to residents, like it is done elsewhere?
This is somewhat more complicated, there is very little space available left between the carretera and the paseo, nevertheless I shall look into this and discuss it with the local police. However I do think that the additional 300 spaces will relieve this problem too.
I think that we need to attract quality visitors, albeit consumers. What else is being proposed to improve the image of Manilva?
Manilva, is a place of natural beauty and tourist attraction and the Council does and will provide services of the highest possible quality, however the businesses in the area, especially restaurants must also be willing to provide a top quality service. People do not mind paying a little more as long as they get quality. It is not all down to the Council, everyone has to cooperate to ensure the growth and prosperity of this Pueblo. Mediocrity is not the future. This year, the Council will be investing more than 2 million Euros of its money in Sabinillas alone. In the first place the 4 teachersÂ’ houses obstructing the paseo will be demolished and the paseo will be extended all the way to the camping. Furthermore, as from March, we are starting another phase at the sports centre to complete and provide a first class gymnasium manned by qualified personnel.
Is the public aware of this?
I think they know but do not believe it!
What is being done to improve the Puerto de la Duquesa?
The port is a beautiful place with good quality businesses. I have discussed with the Local Police measures such as music licences, correct opening
hours, opening licences and so on in order to maintain certain standards of trading and a balanced equilibrium between businesses and residents. What I cannot do is control the running of businesses and their mentality.
Anything you might like to add with regards to the future?
We must not forget Manilva which has its own attraction and history yet is so little-known even by neighbouring pueblos. We are creating an informative centre, next to the fire station, where, from May onwards, visitors can obtain all the information they want about the area and even taste our own great wine produced from our own muscatel grapes.
We live in difficult times one of my priorities has been to re-organise and sanitise the Council, which has grown in size and wisdom, the accounts have been brought up to date from year 2001 up to 2011 thus achieving credibility and respectability. Additional parking is being provided in Manilva itself and two more parks are planned for. We are not forgetting the maintenance and preservation of our heritage like the famous Church of Santa Ana in Manilva and the Castillo. I am also hoping to reach an agreement with the various presidents of the different urbanizations in the area, in order to improve their roads, some of which have deteriorated quite a bit after some 30 years.
Thank you DoÃ±a Antonia, I sincerely look forward to finding myself living in a quality, sought after pueblo