Are you aware of all the complaints Bulletin readers have made about Puerto Pollensa?
I am aware and I was rather surprised. I live in Puerto Pollensa and I read the correspondence with interest.
Yes, some of your readers have valid complaints. It has been an unusual year. The storms of November and then February of this year caused a lot of damage and also work which should have been carried out was delayed. On the issue of building I would like to say that I have stopped three separate construction projects because we felt that they were disturbing tourists and residents alike. Legislation states that building work can take place during the summer as long as heavy equipment is not used. Don't get me wrong, and taking into account that the building industry employs a lot of people, I would not hesitate to stop any project which I felt was causing a disturbance.
As you have seen we have also received complaints about the beach and the state of the sea-water?
As you know we have a problem with sewage flowing into the sea. Over the last few years we have spent hundreds of millions of pesetas on a completely new drainage system which will mean that the overflow will stop. This will mean that the sea-water will be of a high quality once again.
Are you saying that Puerto Pollensa beach failed to win the blue flag for excellence from the European Union because of this state of affairs?
Yes I am. I am also confident that the blue flag will be flying over Puerto Pollensa, like it does in Cala San Vicente, again next summer (Puerto Pollensa has failed to win the coveted award for the last two years).
Why are there no toilets or showers on the beach?
This is something we are studying. Naturally to build toilets and showers would be a complicated operation, because a drainage system would have to built on the beach. But I can assure you that we certainly have this project in mind.
And the sea-weed which has been allowed to stack up on the beach?
The sea-weed has been left there in piles simply to protect the beach and the pine trees behind from the sea. The piles act as a breakwater which means that the pines we have planted at the back of the beach will not be washed away, and to a lesser extent sand on the beach also.
But many tourists say that the sea-weed smells?
Council technicians are dealing with the problem.
Some residents and tourists have said that from the sea Puerto Pollensa looks like a mini Las Vegas with all the neon lighting.
Yes, we are in the process of introducing legislation which will counter this problem.
Dog dirt and unclean streets is also causing concern?
We have installed literally hundreds of rubbish bins along the promenade. Some have had to be withdrawn because they were being stuffed with bags of household rubbish. We are trying to make people more conscious and get them to throw their litter into the bins provided and not on to the streets. If you were to tell me that there is rubbish on the streets and there are no bins then I would say that it is a council problem. But if people throw rubbish onto the streets when there are bins it's a question of trying to get people to be better citizens.
What message would you give to the people who have complained in our paper?
I would say to them that their complaints have been noted and we are dealing with them. We have tourist information centres and also a citizen advice centre where all complaints can be directed. Puerto Pollensa is a beautiful place and we value our loyal British tourists.
Has the council also received complaints?
When the first letters started to appear in your newspaper I contacted our tourism department and they said that they had not received an avalanche of complaints and most tourists were satisfied with their holiday.
It is our duty as a newspaper to publish letters from our readers. Can we set-up a system in which we send all letters we receive about this area to you and perhaps then we can all work together and iron out faults which are pinpointed by our readers?
I am more than willing to do so. We depend on tourism and we want our visitors to be happy and come back year after year. As you know Puerto Pollensa lives from tourism and I as Mayor become very distressed when criticism is levelled at us. We have a fantastic place here and everyone would like to see it remain so.
So hopefully in a short space of time Puerto Pollensa will have a blue flag again, there may be showers and toilets on the beach, neon light kept to a minimum etc, etc.
As I have said earlier these are things we are hoping to achieve. Unfortunately this year we have to weather two storms. The freak storms of November and February and the drop in visitors. I am confident that we can do both. The people of Pollensa are a very proud people and we like to see tourists go home happy. If this is not the case then we will work hard to remedy the state of affairs.
Lady Mayor, thank you I am sure that our readers will be happy to see that the council is dealing with the problems they have expressed....