Organised by Jean Heald, a gathering of friends was held at the Captain’s Table on Wednesday where former members of the Orihuela Costa and District Branch of the RBL were delighted to welcome Mark Nolan of the N332 and Gitte Lund Thomsen, Torrevieja’s very popular Councillor for Foreign Residents.

With over 30 people keen to get the proceedings underway, first up, was Nicola Louden with half an hour of seated exercise, always popular with the group, after which Mark took to the floor, bringing the gathering up to date with new traffic laws, signs and regulations, in Spain, with particular emphasis on emission ratings and eco-stickers. Although not yet introduced locally, at this time, those towns with a population over 50k must ensure they are introduced before the end of the year.

There was lots of interest and following the presentation Mark was rightly flooded with questions.

Just four days before the municipal elections, resplendent in a PP t-shirt, Gitte gave up her valuable time to explain the need for Digital Signatures. She spoke about how easy they are to obtain and how convenient they would then make Spanish bureaucracy for residents. The councillor recommended that everyone should seriously consider ‘signing up’.

As well as lunch of course, one of the main purposes of the gathering was to advise attendees of the situation regarding the local RBL Branch as, quite clearly, despite promises to do so by both London and Spain District North, people are not being kept up to date. Although the branch committee had been ‘sacked’ and a number of loyal and long standing committee members suspended from the RBL, a show of hands confirmed that over 60% of those in attendance had received absolutely no correspondence relating to the matter so were keen to be brought up to date.

Unfortunately, 6 months after the most successful branch in Spain was closed down, with 140 members left out on a limb, nothing new is known. Many of those in attendance confirmed that they will not be renewing their membership when called on to do so, unless the individual responsible for the debacle is called to task, and the status quo restored, something that the RBL hierarchy in London seem loathe to do.