Part of Avenida Pedro Mas y Reus in Alcudia. | Andrew Ede

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Given different nicknames over the years, not all of them complimentary, the Avenida Pedro Mas y Reus in Alcudia may just now be looking forward to a new era when compliments can flow fulsomely. May be looking forward.

At Thursday’s council meeting, the opposition Partido Popular raised a motion which demanded a plan for regeneration, security and assistance for Pedro Mas y Reus and the surrounding area. The motion was passed unanimously, thus committing the administration to amending the budget or using part of the town hall’s massive budget surplus for such a plan.

The PP’s motion, it was explained in advance, was “due to the neglect and lack of maintenance of this tourist zone”. At a council meeting in May last year, the PP had called for urgent action to modernise, repair and clean up the area. “But to this day, everything remains the same.”

At that May meeting, reference was made to a one-time “pioneering” tourist zone having been totally degraded. On top of a general lack of maintenance and care and attention, there was a lack of security, manifesting itself in robbery and illegal street selling.

When the budget for 2022 was presented last month, there was no provision for improvements to Pedro Mas y Reus. The view of the PP was that the administration should not differentiate between parts of the municipality. Those suffering the greatest degradation should be “the most visible” in the budget, not least when there are 80 million euros or more of accumulated budget surplus.

As there was nothing in the budget, the PP tabled their motion, support for which was such that there wasn’t sufficient room in the council chamber for all the members of the public who had wanted to hear the debate.

Unanimous the vote was, as it would have been odd if anyone had been against. Approval given, there are now the questions about budgeting and indeed about the plan. How broad might this turn out to be?

Fina Linares, PP spokesperson and once a councillor for tourism, noted in advance of the meeting that in 2012, when the PP were in power, they had begun a process of regeneration. The “left”, however, have allowed the area to deteriorate. It is true that there was some work along the Mile. It included painting the bridge’s railings. But all it amounted to was a bit of tarting the place up. To suggest that there was much by way of regeneration would be an exaggeration.

The motion presented on Thursday, every point of which I agree with, does provide for a good deal more than some cosmetic improvement. Of significance is that the administration will also have to commit to “approving subsidies for home and business owners to carry out modernisation of and improvements to their facades and their businesses”.

To me, this is the most important aspect, but it also the most challenging. The establishments on and off the Mile are decades old. With certain notable exceptions, they have had precious little investment. The consequence, and because of facades and businesses bearing no harmony with each other, is the mess that there is. Much of the area, and let’s be brutally honest, is a dump.

What I greatly fear is that whatever plan emerges, it will be no more than piecemeal, whereas what is required is an overarching master plan for the whole zone. Ideally, it wouldn’t stop at the top of the Mile. It would go along the Carretera Arta towards Magic, take in the utterly miserable section that contains the abandoned tennis courts and then cut down along Tucan.

When Toni Mir was mayor between 2015 and 2019, he told me that in addition to wanting to reactivate the one-time commission for the area around the Mile (which never happened), he desperately wanted to do something about the appearance of the Alcudia access roads. Tucan and Pedro Mas y Reus are two of these, and both leave an enormous amount to be desired. Mir was right, so now the ambition shouldn’t be confined to Pedro Mas y Reus. The one-time “pioneering” tourist zone is much greater.

Modernisation is one of the current tourism keywords. It has been for years, but this time there is a funding mechanism not previously available - EU Next Generation funds. Alcudia, as a tourist destination, is of strategic importance. It is one of the largest in Majorca, yet the main tourist zone has been allowed to deteriorate. Fina Linares is correct in highlighting the differentiation. Investment pours into the pueblo and the port, but nowhere else. She knows that, I know that, everyone knows that. And have done for years. Now, an opportunity has arisen, and one that should most definitely not just rely on some town hall moving of the budget numbers.

One hopes, therefore, that the PP’s motion will get the ball rolling and in an ambitious manner. But there is one other element, and a very important one, that has to be factored in. The hotels.

As has been the case elsewhere in Mallorca, hoteliers have been very much better than the public sector when it comes to modernisation. On and off the Mile, there have been some good examples. But the greatest presence is of course the complex by which the area is often referred - Bellevue. It has to be part of a dynamic plan for modernisation, all the hotels need to be. They should all be kicking up a noise and demanding transformation.

But when do we ever hear anything from the hoteliers as a collective? How unified are they?

If you have a moment, take a look at the Alcudia Hoteliers Association’s website - alcudiahotels.com - and at the list of establishments. Who’s a member, who isn’t a member. Any guesses as to the latter?