Alcudia mayor Toni Mir (right) with President Armengol and environment minister Vicenç Vidal. | Elena Ballestero

The Balearic High Court has acknowledged an Alcudia town hall right to compensation from the regional government for the cost of running the municipal sewage and water treatment plant. This refers in particular to the period 2015-2017, for which the government has provided 4.1 million euros but should, says the court, pay 4.79 million.

Alcudia is one of only four municipalities in Majorca which manage plants directly. Manacor, Palma and Sant Llorenç are the others. The government's Abaqua water agency looks after all the rest. These town halls are entitled to an annual payment from the government. In the case of Alcudia this is 1.37 million euros. However, in 2015 the town hall sought a revision of the arrangement and a higher annual payment to reflect the real cost of its maintenance of the plant - a figure of just under 1.6 million.

The government turned down this request and approved an extension of the payment as it had been up to 2014. It did so without engaging in full consultation with the town hall. Alcudia therefore decided to appeal, and so the matter ended up with the court, which has ruled that the government did not present sufficient justification for having refused to increase the annual payment.

There is now a further period - up to early November - during which the government can lodge its own appeal, but meanwhile the mayor of Alcudia, Toni Mir, is satisfied that the court ruling will mean that a hole in the municipal accounts will be plugged. "I'm happy, because it's justice. It's clear that the plant generates certain costs which have to be met."

* This financial issue is separate to that for work to modernise the treatment plant and sewage network. The town hall pays for this initially and is then reimbursed by the government. It trusts.