BENALMADENA COUNCIL has reduced its debt to €87 million in two years.
Mayor Victor Navas explained the figure had hovered around €123 million when he took office but his team had now restored “solvency and credibility.”
He added the council had overcome “an indebtedness that hovered around 127 percent, well above the minimum of 110 per cent required by the State,” explaining he hoped it would be around 40 per cent at the end of the political term. His opposition, however, has criticised “a reduction” in basic services, including maintenance of parks and gardens and cleaning.
Benalmadena is not the only council to benefit from improved finances this year. Fuengirola and Mijas councils have both also reduced debt, with Fuengirola’s town hall now reaching out to residents for ideas for its 2018 budget.
Locals will be able to decide on a special project with funding of up to €1 million. The initiative, put forward by Mayor Ana Mula, is aimed at allowing residents greater control over how council money is spent.
An online suggestion submission app has been created and all ideas will be analysed for their viability. Mayor Mula explained, “like I always say; My best team is the residents themselves. And in that sense, we have put in place different tools that have allowed us to work as a team with the people of Fuengirola so that they can also send us their requests, their concerns, their complaints, … and in short, that they participate as a team to improve our city.”
The news comes after Fuengirola Council last week announced it has reduced its debt by 75 per cent to €10.1 million.
The amount has gone down considerably from the €42 million owed at the end of 2014. The town’s Mayor, Ana Mula, has said the council’s economic policies were responsible for the achievement, claiming they were “above all transparent.”
She added, “I have a plan which is reflected in our yearly budgets and how we manage them. The approach is paying off.” Mayor Mula explained, “thanks to good economic management we even have the opportunity of running a surplus,” which allowed the council to pay off some of its loans.