CHRISTMAS lights have been switched on across the Costa Blanca but Orihuela council has been left on the starting line as politicians blame each other for a big festive foul up.
Orihuela City will eventually get some belated seasonal twinkling from December 15 at La Glorieta to coincide with the solidarity market.
It’s also been revealed that just Orihuela City and the Orihuela Costa are getting Christmas lights this year, which means absolutely nothing for the 30,000-plus residents in the districts.
No festive spirit has been shown either by the PP-Vox council- blaming the delay on the previous PSOE-Ciudadanos administration who did not prepare for the lights contract expiring in late June.
Opposition parties meanwhile have called for ‘heads to roll’ due to the non-advertising of the Christmas contract by the new council in July.
The previous government team has been described as a ‘poisonous legacy’ by Fiestas Councillor, Rocio Ortuño, who tendered a reduced one-off contract for over €50,000, meaning there are fewer lights to go round- hence nothing for the districts.
Ortuño claimed that since she did not inherit a fiestas budget, her seasonal priority was to ensure that Father Christmas and the Three Kings events went ahead so as not to disappoint children.
That meant the number of Christmas lights has been significantly reduced in those areas that do get them,
“These are not the lights we want nor Orihuela deserves, but it has turned out this way this year,” said Ortuño.
“When I took charge of the Fiestas department there was no budget, no staff, no contracts,” she added.
Former mayor and PSOE spokesman on Orihuela council, Carolina Gracia, has called on Ortuño to resign.
“For the first time ever, our districts are left without lights and they(PP and Vox) have been in government for six months, and time after time they show their inability to manage,” said Gracia.
“There are no excuses as Ortuño should have tendered the Christmas lights for the entire municipality last July,” the ex-mayor added.
The Ciudadanos spokesperson, Jose Aix, accused the government team of ‘taking people for fools’ by repeatedly blaming all of their problems on what ‘they inherited’.