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The British Consulate responds I AM writing as the new British Consul in Alicante in response to a recent letter from Kay in Pego. The British Consulate in Alicante covers the regions of Valencia and Murcia and the province of Albacete. Kay, I am sorry to hear about your experience with a lawyer. We have quite an extensive list of Englishspeaking lawyers and translators throughout the regions of Valencia, Murcia and Albacete, which you can see on our website: http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/otherlocations/alicante-consulate/local-contacts. This information, which is regularly reviewed, should have been made available to you on visiting or phoning the consulate. Though we have access to these contacts, we can’t take responsibility for the lawyer in question, and I suggest you contact the local equivalent of the Law Society, the Colegio de Abogados de Alicante (www.icali. es) should you be unhappy with the service provided by a lawyer acting on your behalf. Though we are aware of the numerous British nationals in the area who require financial assistance, the British consulate does not have the resources to provide economic support. We do, however, work closely with local organisations – British and Spanish – with various characteristics, which include but are not limited to those for ex-service personnel, for example Age Concern España and HELP. Since arriving in Alicante two-months

ago I’ve been fortunate to meet representatives from these organisations, many of whom are volunteers who work very hard to ensure an excellent level of care for those in need. Working together with these groups means that people can get help quickly from those who know how the Spanish system works. We have recently set up a directory for all our partners, including social services, to be able to contact each other directly. This has been a great success, and we hope to see the relationship between organisations strengthen. In regards to THH’s comment about property, while we understand that a minority of British residents in Spain have problems, this is really a matter for the Spanish authorities. We have expressed our concern at the impact these problems are having on the lives of some British Nationals. We have raised property issues with Ministers in Spain on several occasions. Although we cannot provide advice or support in individual cases, the UK government does explore opportunities to raise awareness of property ownership issues with the appropriate Spanish authorities. I’d like to thank the RTN for bringing such feedback to our attention, and assure you all that your comments are taken into consideration. Yours sincerely, Paul Rodwell

We had to fight for our rights I WAS very disappointed with Los Verdes party recently after reading Martina Scheurer´s article regarding Pau 26. Either Martina (or Los Verdes) is wrongly accepting ‘a pat on the back’ or she is misinformed regarding Los Verdes’ co-operation in the closure and removal of the illegal rubbish tip at Pau 26. It was the hard work and persistence of the neighbours of Pau 26 along with the support and assistance of Councillor Pedro Mancebo from the CLR party who were responsible for the closure and removal of the illegal tip. This was not just happily and voluntarily agreed to by the PP party after the denuncias made by Los Verdes, as they had given up on this a long time ago. We had to fight hard for our rights to bring the petition to the plenary meeting of the Council which was accurately prepared

and lead by Pedro Mancebo, who succeeded in having the tip removed. Mrs. Scheurer is quite correct in mentioning ‘The Day of the Tree’ being just another publicity stunt of the PP party. Very typical of them really making a big show of planting 300 trees but nothing put in place afterwards to make sure the trees are watered and taken care of. Never mind, the councillors looked good on the day swinging their shovels dressed in suits! However, if it was not for the neighbours’ dedicated hard work and the assistance of the Centro Liberal Renovador (CLR) party, the illegal tip would most probably be still there in its earlier form. I am afraid to say that is what the PP wanted and what Los Verdes consented to. Thanks to CLR who cared about us and the trees. Yours sincerely, Mari Morgan

Do they have no morals? LIKE MANY of your readers of issue 107 (10th Sept) I am absolutely appalled, disgusted and have been brought to tears that someone could abandon and put out onto the streets a blind dog. Do the owner(s) of this dog have no morals whatsoever? When you take on an animal you keep the animal for life. It is not a toy that can be discarded when you get bored or feel it’s too expensive. I ask the question would people have a child or adopt/foster one, and then throw it out when it gets too expensive or they become bored with it? Each region in Spain has its own legislation for animal protection and SEPRONA the arm of the Police that deal with animal abuse investigate cases but as usual in Spain the authorities act slowly or from what I can gather not at all. If people, both ex-pats and Spanish nationals, want to help the animals of Spain you can do so by writing to the Government and requesting that they adopt legislation where cruelty to animals is included in the criminal code. One day perhaps Spain will look after its animals better. Dominique Kirkwood, Hull – East Yorkshire, UK

A pensioner SUPERMARKET, BANK and the post office The GPs surgery, and a restaurant or bar Occasionally the optician, dentist would suffice For a retiree here, but not without a car! Farms sequestered for building purposes Roads well-laid and the roundabouts grand, Since man proposes and God dispose Businesses go bust, even the best-known brand. The pensioner seeks a few like-minded people Enrols in a class to learn the host language, Hires a handyman for jobs not quite simple Settles for a life with the minimum of baggage. Depending upon the daily exchange rate The pension from the state becomes a variable feast, Our senior citizen must succumb to a fate Decreed by powers s/he knows about least. Migel Jayasinghe

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