ARE you sitting comfortably? If you’re not, then 24 members of the Almoradí council certainly are in their brand new chairs that have cost more than €10,000.
The Almoradí City Council has spent €416 on each seat that is going to be used by the councillors and the mayor, María Gómez and have been placed in the council chamber to be used during the official sessions. The decision taken by the coalition governing group of the Partido Popular (PP) and the Ciudadano (C’s) has been heavily criticised by opposition party Izquierda Unida (IU) as a waste. “Is this kind of expense what the people of the municipality want to see?”
The seats are wooden with a classical design with wheels and armrests and upholstered in red. The controversy doesn’t just end with the amount expended on them, as the IU are asking why a company outside of Almoradí were commissioned with supplying the chairs considering the municipality contains several local furniture stores.
Mayor María Quiles explained that as from after the 2019 municipal elections there will be an increase in councillors to 21 from the present 17 since the municipality has now broken the 20,000 inhabitants registered on the padrón. Add to that the numbers of extra officials that will be accompanying the councillors, the current chairs simply take up too much space and hence the need to buy lighter ones.
“I have not chosen the chairs,” said Quiles. “I was only responsible for authorising the purchase. It’s a mid-range model and they are designed to last for many years.” She also added that the chairs had been bought from the company that won the tender as there is “currently no company in Almoradí that is dedicated to office furniture.”