FOR the first time ever, the residents of Rojales are paying for their rubbish collection via a separately issued SUMA bill.
Up until now, a percentage of their water bills went to pay for the ‘basura’ which is a common practice among many local municipalities.
However, the local PADER political party are asking for answers to how the SUMA were able to get people’s personal details – such as bank accounts – if they were only previously held by the water company.
The new payment system has apparently already resulted in several errors with people who are exempt being charged.
PADER believes that the legislation on data protection has been breached and asks for clarification.
PADER spokesperson Des- iderio Araez said that there are dozens of local people registering complaints about the collection system.
“They are concerned that they have had the rubbish collection fee taken from their bank accounts without giving their formal authorisation to do so.
“As a rule, SUMA would send any new charges to the individual first who then decides how they’re going to pay the bill, either at the bank, by cash or by direct debit.”
In this case, it appears that SUMA has sent the receipt directly to the banks as they were supplied with all the relevant data which included individual account details.
PADER believes that the PSOE-governed Rojales Council had asked for bank details from the water company to be passed directly on to SUMA.
In the opinion of PADER, this contradicts a previous agreement which only gave the council such authorisation.
In reply, and according to reports in the Spanish media, Councillor for Finance Nahum Mendez said that after PADER raised the issue at the last plenary council meeting, “we spoke to SUMA and they assured us that this passing of information is legal.”
He went on to state that “I doubt SUMA and the water company would take this risk of transferring such data if it were against the law.”