New council wants to open Marivent Palace gardens to the public. | ULTIMA HORA
Deprived neighbourhoods in Palma are one of the central themes that the new council administration will address.
Mayor José Hila (PSOE) stresses that the aim will be to improve the lives of residents of these communities, such as Corea, where there needs to be comprehensive intervention in order to address the social environment.
Hila says that attention has to be paid to parts that have been neglected, to provide adequate community services and to in particular repair Bloque XII. A rehabilitation plan for Corea was initiated by the previous PSOE administration under Aina Calvo but suspended by the Partido Popular council of Mateo Isern. “Corea cannot continue as it is,” insists Hila.
El Molinar is another priority area.
The mayor recognises that the council is not able to prevent the expansion of the port there, but further reports will nevertheless be called for.
He is critical of the report prepared by the Isern administration which left its conclusions open, despite the same report having expressed opposition to the port’s enlargement. A plan to protect El Molinar, similar to one for El Jonquet, will be developed.
In the case of Playa de Palma, Hila believes that there has to be redevelopment but that this should not solely be confined to private-sector investment. He intends to see if there is still time for the the Playa de Palma plan to be eligible for the Juncker Plan (of the European Investment Bank) and assign to it part of the Capital (Funds) Law, which is a funding mechanism that applies to Spanish cities.
El Terreno is another area that requires attention as it has great potential in terms of tourism and also has significant cultural history. The gardens of Marivent are also seen as offering a great opportunity for the city, an idea being to link the gardens with the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation in order to create what would become “one of the most important attractions in the city”. Asked whether he was concerned that the king might choose not to come on summer vacation to the Marivent Palace, Hila said that this was not an issue for him but one for the king and queen to decide. “They usually come here and if they continue to do so, then I will be delighted, but it would be their private decision and one that I would respect.”
Also on the king, he was asked about the possibility that his bust will be removed from the council chamber. It was not something, Hila said, that he had given a great deal of consideration to as there were greater priorities and he noted that it was an issue that would need to be studied as there is a law which needs to be adhered to. Hila will be succeeded as mayor in 2017 by Antoni Noguera (Més), who believes that removing the bust is “a matter of real justice”.