The council majority enjoyed by PP and Vox was enough to defeat a vote on no confidence, submitted to last Thursday’s Plenary Meeting, by the PSOE, Ciudadanos and Cambiemos opposition group, for her disastrous management of Christmas activities and lighting, by councillor Rocío Ortuño.

The socialist leader, Carolina Gracia, who began by pointing out that it was not a “comfortable” motion, criticised the leadership of mayor, Pepe Vegara, who she said, “has been silent for six months, during which time he has shown absolutely no management or leadership”, despite requests from the public that “Someone explains how it is possible that he left the districts without Christmas lights ” during a holiday period that she described as “the most disastrous in Orihuela’s history.”

The motion was submitted following the “fiasco” of the Christmas lighting contract that was arranged far too late, with the lights not turned on until December 15, but the districts were also left out of the contract.

It was the most austere Christmas lighting in years, the result of a contract carried out quickly and hurriedly by the Department of Festivities, for which Rocío Ortuño, a long time family friend of the mayor, is responsible, and with a budget of only 61,000 euros, well below that expended by other towns of similar number of inhabitants (Torrevieja has spent more than 400,000 euros on their lights).

In addition, it was a contract surrounded by controversy for leaving out the 24 districts, which were left in the “dark” in terms of Christmas lighting, something that angered many residents. Meanwhile, the lighting was focused on the city with many roads and squares illuminated, along with various decorative elements including a large tree located on the Glorieta. There was also minimal lighting displayed on the Orihuela Costa.

Cambiemos, councillor Quique Montero said that “the explanations given are not enough” criticising the fact that 65% of the lighting budget went to three decorations and “a more equitable distribution should have been made.”