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Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Budget 2009 - Everyone is to blame except C.L.A.R.O.

On the 27th January the CoastRider paper published a letter from Mr Bob Houliston the President of the C.L.A.R.O. political party in which he criticised the opposition parties in the Orihuela Town Council for not speaking out on behalf of the Orihuela Costa area in relation to the municipal budget for 2009.

In the following week's edition, on the 3rd February, the CoastRider published a reply by Los Verdes of Orihuela to the letter from Bob Houliston. On the same day I posted an article on the Los Verdes in Orihuela Costa blog which included both the original letter and a copy the article in the CoastRider and additional replies to the original letter.

A Press Release was published by C.L.A.R.O. on the 6th February, on the party's web site, in reply to the response of Los Verdes, and reference to it was included in an article in the CoastRider on the 10th February.

Once again the C.L.A.R.O. spokesperson continues to mislead both it's supporters and the general electorate of Orihuela Costa with generalised and unsubstantiated accusations against Los Verdes and the Elected Opposition parties.


The public should be informed of the facts and not the C.L.A.R.O. fiction!

At the election on the 27th May 2007.

  • Orihuela Municipality

    Total Votes 31546; Los Verdes 2847 (3rd with 9.02%), C.L.A.R.O. 916 (8th with 2.90%)

  • Coastal Area ( Orihuela Costa & Torremendo)

    Total Votes 2652; Los Verdes 334 (4th with 12.59%), C.L.A.R.O. 895 (1st with 33.75%)

  • Orihuela Costa only

    Total Votes 2113; Los Verdes 155 (5th with 7.33%), C.L.A.R.O. 835 (1st with 39.52%)

C.L.A.R.O. did receive the highest number of votes in the coastal area but only received 2.90% of the total votes cast within the whole Municipality, well below the 5% necessary to be included within the parties eligible for the appointment of Councillors in accordance with the D'Hondt method of proportional representation, effective in the Spanish electoral system.

Los Verdes, as the party that received the 3rd largest percentage of total votes, was appointed 3 Councillors out of the 25 total allowed, to represent all parts of the Municipality including Orihuela Costa. The party is the second largest member of the Elected |Opposition. Of the 25 Councillors allowed the allocation to the parties is PP with 14, PSOE with 7, Los Verdes with 3, and CLR with 1. The PP have an outright majority of 3 and therefore are the governing party and do not need to work with any other party.

Proposals put forward for 2009 Budget

  • Los Verdes

    Total of 74 of which 17 were for Orihuela Costa.

  • C.L.A.R.O.

    Total of 0 of which 0 were for Orihuela Costa.

Proposals accepted by PP ruled Council within 2009 Budget

  • Los Verdes

    Total of 14 of which 5 are for Orihuela Costa.

  • C.L.A.R.O.

    Total of 0 of which 0 are for Orihuela Costa.

Los Verdes worked in conjunction with, and on behalf of, the public of Orihuela Costa and the remainder of the municipality and put forward meaningful proposals for inclusion within the 2009 Budget.

C.L.A.R.O. failed to put forward any proposals on behalf of the electorate of Orihuela Costa, the people they say they are working for, and therefore have failed to honour their pledge made on the 9th May 2007 within their 2007 election manifesto; “C.L.A.R.O.’s mission is to be close to the people, to protect their rights and ensure they benefit from the services to which they are entitled and for which they pay their taxes.”.

I accept that this is more difficult for a party that is not a member of the 'Elected Opposition' on the Council, but I believe that the C.L.A.R.O. leadership made no attempt to work with any of the Opposition parties to ask for their (PSOE, Los Verdes, or CLR) assistance to put forward any proposals.


When entering the C.L.A.R.O. website it says “Welcome to C.L.A.R.O - A New Hope for Orihuela Costa” they say they are working for “A better future for Orihuela Costa” and they pose the question “What do we want?” and provide the answer as “To participate democratically in decision-making in the Orihuela Municipal Council to protect the legal and social rights and the interests of those living in Orihuela Costa”.

The undeniable failure by C.L.A.R.O. to participate, where possible, in the production and amendment of the 2009 Budget is a total failure on the part of the leadership of the party, to honour it's pledges and promises to the electorate of Orihuela Costa, the people it says it supports.

Bob Houliston ,the President of C.L.A.R.O., accuses Los Verdes of Orihuela of ignoring the needs of the public, not standing up for the needs of the people, of Orihuela Costa, in respect of the Budget; where as the facts show that it is the party that he leads that has failed by the lack of action in respect of the 2009 Budget. He is quick to criticise the Opposition parties for not being able to stop the PP majority ruled Council agreeing to an unacceptable budget, so as to mislead the C.L.A.R.O. members and the general public into believing that the party is not at fault but everyone else is.

In the Press Release dated 6th February 2009 C.L.A.R.O. says “Change has been postponed until 2011. But change will come.” in respect of the political map of the Orihuela Municipality.

Yes change will come in 2011, with the removal of the PP as the ruling party, because of the work of the current Elected Opposition parties to show the public what the future could be, with a democratically elected alternative government that cares for the interests of the public and not for the benefit of the PP and it's friends the developers, building constructors, and Council hanger-ons.

Because of the proportional representation electoral system it may well need a coalition of two or more of the current Opposition parties to ensure a majority government team in 2011 that does not include the PP. This would not be an insurmountable solution as the current Elected Opposition parties have a good working relationship, whilst maintaining their independence.

But what if C.L.A.R.O. were to obtain a Council presence in 2011, who would they work with? Would they work with the Opposition parties that they are currently criticising with such venom, or would they work with the PP, if this gave C.L.A.R.O. an element of power to obtain benefits for Orihuela Costa to the detriment of the Municipality as a whole?

Now is the time for change from C.L.A.R.O.

Bob Houliston and his fellow party leaders of C.L.A.R.O. should stop criticising the Opposition parties, to try to cover up the failings of their own party in respect of the 2009 Budget, begin to liaise with the Elected Opposition in a positive working relationship to try to improve the services provided to the public by the Council and to work towards eliminating the possibility of a PP ruled Orihuela Town Council in 2011.

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