When historians look at the dizzying boom period between 1995 and 2005 they will certainly find entertaining names to use. The names will refer to the collective folly, which took hold of some people, and the noose that they tightened around our necks until we almost suffocated.
These were the years of ‘anything goes’, when truth became stranger than fiction and almost laughable, with mega-projects and megalomania. Basically it was pure punk, a ‘pointless future’ in the making. This needed our firm determination to say ‘enough is enough’. These bitter awakenings made us understand that ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it’. Goodbye innocence, goodbye.
As the PSOE government elected in 2011 with the majority support of the residents of Xàbia, we applied common sense to the concept of growth. This is why we like the expression ‘small urban improvements’. We are convinced that this is right way forward and it has become one of the pillars of our behaviour as a government.
‘Small urban improvements’ refers to advances which take into account the wishes of local people. That makes sense, doesn’t it? It means prioritizing public works which employ local businesses, and generate employment in Xàbia, which consume no additional land, nor threaten our model for the town; which have a clear and immediate usefulness, which we can afford to pay for, and will not place an absurd debt burden on our citizens.
But ‘small urban improvements’ are also a declaration of principles. When we decided that a plot of land should become a plaza, we are saying that we want a friendly, open town for all. When we restored the windmills on La Plana, or the lime kilns, or the Riurau de Arnauda, we declare ourselves to be a part of the story that we wish to continue. If we renovate the roads or improve the pavements, as in the case of Jaume I in the Port, or improve the Arenal promenade, renaming it after the Xàbia tennis player David Ferrer, this further demonstrates our commitment to a
quality of life for all those who come to visit us, and for those who live in Xàbia, all year round.
We need to find a balance between the ambition to further advance our society, yet have the common sense to understand that economic and social progress must be in harmony with each other. In the same way, supporting the renovation of the Central Cinema as a means of providing a cultural dynamism for the Old Town, or the Port’s new library which guarantees access to education for all; these are providing a solid basis for the Xàbia of the future. These are the ‘small urban improvements’. This is the responsible way to govern.
In the time remaining between now and the elections you will hear my colleagues and I use this expression many times. On each occasion we say this, we will be talking about the best guarantee for continued growth and for consolidating the well-being of everyone.
The Xàbia PSOE has a clear vision for the future. And so do I.