The mayors of Campos and Sa Pobla have met Palma's mayor, Antoni Noguera, and voiced their opposition to a plan to relocate families from the Son Banya shanty town to their municipalities.
This opposition is based on some social unease which greeted the announcement that these relocations were being contemplated and also on the two town halls' current housing situations. Biel Ferragut of Sa Pobla wants Noguera to rethink the plan to put families in apartments that belong to the regional government's Ibavi housing agency. Ferragut says that there is a lack of social services resources in Sa Pobla and a long waiting list for obtaining social housing accommodation.
"We have around one hundred people who are waiting. They don't understand how they can't get access to housing and that a family from Son Banya can. Sa Pobla has shown on many occasions that it offers solidarity, but given needs in the municipality we cannot welcome this family." Ferragut stresses: "This is not an anti-ethnic sentiment."
Sebastià Sagreras, the mayor of Campos, echoes Ferragut's words. Palma needs to look for an alternative solution. "We always shown solidarity when we can, but where housing is concerned we have our own necessities."
Following the meeting with the mayors, Palma's social services councillor Mercè Borràs said that the request for a rethink represented an "improvement in information and coordination" without making any reference to a possible halt of the relocation process. She and Noguera had listened to the mayors' concerns, adding that relocation will be based on "criteria for dispersion".
Borràs explained that there is no intention to relocate more than one family to either Campos or Sa Pobla. "We have assurances that they are families with good prospects for integration and are motivated to do so."
Meanwhile, residents of Son Banya were granted a meeting with Noguera yesterday to discuss their concerns about the ongoing evictions and demolitions.