Maybe it has been Covid and the health crisis and the consequent priority placed on up-to-date health facilities. Or has Pollensa’s mayor undergone something of a Damascene conversion? Having placed obstacles in the path of the building of the new health centre in Pollensa on the Can Conill plot (the parking lot), Tomeu Cifre is now celebrating the fact that the Balearic health ministry has sent the town hall the project of works for the centre.
The document, the mayor said earlier this week, “has arrived after a long wait; it is finally a reality”. The aim now is “to move ahead as quickly as possible so that the PAC is ready by 2023, as we had planned from the beginning”.
It isn’t as if the mayor hadn’t wanted the new health centre to become reality; it was just that he hadn’t wanted it to be a reality on Can Conill. He had preferred a site on Can Bach, the land that acts as a dodgy car park (in terms of its unmade surface) off the same road as Can Conill - Cecili Metel. Seemingly now forgotten is, for example, the petition that he organised against Can Conill and for Can Bach when he was in opposition.
The health ministry helped to make up his mind. The Can Conill plot had been ceded to the ministry by the town hall when Junts were in power, and that was that. Ministry technicians had been working on the basis of it being Can Conill and weren’t minded to go back to the drawing-board because a new mayor fancied a different location.
In November 2020, the regional government drew a definitive line under all the argument. It declared that expediting permissions for Can Conill and guaranteeing the health centre’s construction on this site were in the regional community’s interest.
Declarations of community interest, which are legal tools, are made so that there is greater agility in processing building work, and the government has been keen to make them as part of the Balearic economic recovery plan. At the same time, such a declaration could only be undeclared through a lengthy legal process that would be almost certain to fail. It was job done, where the government was concerned.
The ministry technicians, it should be noted, will still be required. The mayor, joyous at the delivery of the project of works, noted that town hall technicians now have to do their own bit and analyse the construction project. An “urgent meeting” with the ministry’s technicians will therefore be required to consider “issues raised”, which will cover not only the building itself but also the provision of services and utilities and adaptation of the plot.
“It is very important that we meet face-to-face with those with responsibilities from the government and jointly analyse the next steps with the aim of raising the tender for works in the near future.”
While there may yet be scope for technicians to disagree, it would seem that the health centre is indeed a reality, Junts have noted that the mayor’s statement of celebration and of his doing everything possible to ensure the reality in 2023 go against all his actions when he was in opposition. “If he had acted with political co-responsibility, this new facility would already be under construction.”