The Orihuela City Council will shortly begin the refurbishment of its headquarters, the Palacio de Arneva. The contract has now been awarded and if there are no setbacks, they should get underway in July, before which, however, many of the current facilities must be moved to alternative locations.

There will basically be two alterative spaces, the annex building and the facilities of the old CAM Cultural Room, which the town hall has leased. However, the council will also install mobile offices in the Ayuntamiento car park to enable that each of it’s area’s or council departments will be able to maintain minimum services.

However the move has already generated a political debate with the PSPV spokesperson, Carolina Gracia, saying that if the council had carried out the refurbishment of the old courts, exchanged with the Generalitat for the new building, it would already have facilities to house all of it’s services.

Gracia said that had they complied with the agreement with the Generalitat, these further expenses, additional rents and inconveniences would be avoided.

“This was one of the most urgent demands made by the City Council to the president, Ximo Puig, however once the ownership of the property was transferred to Orihuela, the mayor has failed to rehabilitate the building of the old courts”. Therefore, Gracia has said that her party will raise a motion at the next plenary session to demand that PP and Cs comply with the provisions of the original agreement.

The Councilor for Heritage, Rafael Almagro, however, disputes the PSPV version. He argues that the refurbishment of the building has had to be carried out for two reasons: because of the damage caused by Dana and because of a grant from the Ministry of Public Administrations, which has assumed 50% of the cost.

Almagro also said that the mobile offices that will accommodate the staff are of considerable comfort, so they cannot be called barracks. “We are not in a war; the offices will have the best facilities,” he indicated. “The details of the move remain to be defined, but it could begin in July,” he added.