Opening the meeting, the President of Pro Monte Pego Association (PMP) Snr. Vicente Portes (VP), welcomed everyone to the Pego Tennis Club, and thanked all for attending. He apologised for any misunderstanding over the date of the meeting and then turned to the agenda.
Item 1- Approval of the minutes for the EGM (04/12/2018) and the previous AGM (20/06/2018) which had been available on-line prior to the meeting. No alterations were requested and no questions pertaining to the minutes were raised ; therefore they were unanimously approved.
Item 2- Update on the Legal Action
Mai-Britt Davidsen gave a brief review of why the legal action was necessary, for the benefit of new members.This included the failure of Pego Town Hall to supply basic services, which are mandatory regardless of the dispute over responsibility for the urbanisation; the failure of the parties to enact previous court judgments; broken promises by the Mayor of Pego to adopt Monte Pego into public ownership and restore the infrastructure, all of which led to the creation of PMP association. It was the verdict of the Sindic de Greuges (Public Ombudsman) and his advice to sue for compensation over the devaluation of the properties as a result of Pego Town Halls’ (PTH) actions, that triggered PMP’s legal action. Also relevant were the “guarantees” paid for building work- not repaid- and the refusal of PTH to issue cedulas for properties making them technically illegal and unsafe to live in.
Current situation - Six months of administrative silence have passed , PTH have not showed any interest in achieving an agreement out of court therefore finally our legal process has now begun. We can expect in October that the judge will write to PTH and PMP requesting within 20 days all their legal documents and arguments to continue with the court case procedures.
In order to estimate the patrimonial damage to the urbanisation’s infrastructure the judge will then demand an independent technical report from a suitably qualified engineer, specifying exactly the restoration works that must be completed.
This also ensures that the three town Halls, when instructed by the court to complete and repair the urbanisation’s infrastructure, then do all the identified work, and not just parts of it. The additional cost of this survey is initially estimated to be 2000 euros and existing funds will cover this. As a point of clarification it was confirmed that late entrants to the group action, after the closing date of July 1st 2019, will be asked to pay 200 euros for joining the legal action. The meeting was reminded that any property owner can join the action and does not have to join PMP.
At this point the President appealed for any written and signed evidence of repetitional damage to the urbanisation, or “damage due to lost sales, rentals or purchases ( because of the state of the urbanisation), refusal of cedulas, damage to vehicles and effects of having no basic services. Anything of that nature would help with the legal case. Members were urged to think of their own experiences and to talk to friends, neighbours, businesses and professionals (e.g. estate agents and lawyers)
Please send all possible written evidence of such damages caused to our urbanisation by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Item 3 - Feedback on recent local elections in Pego
Peter Fry, who is now a member of the PP party, gave a report and thanked all those who took time to vote in the election. The PP party increased its share of the vote by 3% compared with 4 years ago and against the national trend. Sadly it was not enough- by only 3 votes- to secure a fourth member of the council which would have changed the dynamic of the council. Peter strongly urged members to ensure they were on the padron (census) and on the register of voters for the next election. Both can be done at the Town Hall, but further information on this will hopefully be available in the near future, as contacts with Town Hall staff are cultivated
Peter ended by saying that in contrast to another Association that advocates boycotting Pego Town and its businesses as a political protest, it was vital that we integrated as much as possible into the life and activities of the Town - fiestas, paella competition etc - in order to show we are Pegolinos too, and to foster understanding of Monte Pego’s problems.
Vicente also appealed for ideas of how PMP could further develop its political influence. A number of options were suggested ranging from forming a political party, to joining and advancing the aims of an International Committee of (non-Spanish) residents living in Pego and Monte Pego, to more attendance at events in Pego. If members have any other ideas, please make them known to the committee.
Peter was asked from the floor about what the representative of the Diputación de Alicante, Mr. Juan Bautista Roselló had said at a recent political meeting held by the PP party in the Bellavista Bar. The representative had explained that monies were available annually for two projects on urbanisations such as Monte Pego but it had to be requested by a Town’s Mayor. Surprise, surprise, it has never been requested by Pego.
Item 4- WhatsApp Group Report and Feedback on a meeting with Guardia Civil
Chris Howard-Haggerty reported that the WhatsApp group was a great success and at a recent meeting with the Guardia Civil the officers were very supportive of such groups and were advising other urbanisations to set up similar groups. In the case of Monte Pego there has been an 85% reduction in crime. Chris suggested that the next steps should be to increase the number of signs on the mountain and expand the numbers of people using the group. He also strongly rejected the actions of another Association that recently denounced the Guardia Civil (for not preventing burglaries in the Rafol area), as stupid and counterproductive. Collaboration was the way forward, not alienating the police. He pleaded for people to use the group appropriately - for reporting emergencies, security concerns etc, not idle chit chat - and to include as much information as possible in reports as details were important (only take photos if safe to do so). A round of applause followed Chris’s report.
Item 5- New conditions for joining the Legal Action
As covered in Item 2, new entrants to the group action will have to pay 200€, the extra cost being due to the added administration for the lawyer and the IBI refund claim.
Item 6- Upcoming Fundraising Events
Geoffrey Bartlett was not able to attend the meeting, but in his absence the President reminded everyone of the change of date for the Summer Ball at Ambra Events venue, now on September 20th, 2019. The theme for the evening is The Circus. It was important to stress that fancy dress is not compulsory- just come! V.P. offered to organise the paella contest next year and also appealed for new fundraising ideas and was happy to discuss with people their ideas after the meeting or at any time.
Item 7- AOB
A number of issues were raised
A question from the floor was about the Denia part of the urbanisation, and why only small sections of a road had been resurfaced rather than the whole road. The answer was that PMP cannot influence the decisions of Denia Town Hall, but a positive judgment in the legal action would help enormously.
Another question from the floor asked if the road resurfacing in the Denia sector was a sign that the a Town Hall had assumed the urbanisation into public ownership . The answer was ‘No’, as confirmed by Denia Town Hall Urbanistic Department, but it was because of the many regular visits to Denia Town Hall by PMP to inform them about the necessity of work needed on the mountain, and the pressures exerted by the Sindic de Greuges and the EU Parliament’.
A member raised the existence of a document on display in the "Oficina de Servicios" produced by an individual who had personally talked with Denia Town Hall and questioning why he could not join PMP. The answer was that we can not stop people using their right to visit their Town Hall, either as a group or as an individual, and we applaud any and all of them who are doing this for the benefit of Monte Pego. Also it was noted that previous offers to join our association had been rejected, for reasons best known to the individual or individuals.
On a matter of road safety on the urbanisation a member asked that people remember (and spread the word) about the “law of the mountain”. Drivers coming down the road should slow or stop and move over, to give priority to those driving up the steep road. The reminder was widely applauded.
There being no other business the meeting was closed.