The meeting was introduced and presented by Mayor Gorin and Steve McKenna. Four or five other Council members were present. The meeting was intended to present the future plans for Santiago but firstly the Council explained that, although the party currently in office is socialist, all the members present had "crossed the floor" to the PPP, or conservative party. The reason given was their frustration that previously promised budgets from Santa Cruz had been cut to the extent that none of the party's planned projects had been possible under their period of office. The belief by the Council members present is that the conservatives will win in May on the Peninsula and therefore it would be to Santiago's advantage to have a conservative council in office here, which could have improved links with the Peninsula.
The presentation on future projects followed. These included - improvements to Los Gigantes beach; building of a car park (200 + cars) in the Crab Island baranco, along with a beach, landscaping and walks (the council have already purchased the site); a footpath on the cliffs around San Sofe, making a continuous path from the LG Hotel to the Barcelo, then round to Puerto Santiago and down to the square at the far side; improvements to Puerto Santiago beach area; a complete refurbishment of Playa Arena beach, along with a 1-way system and diversions round the back streets (this is number one priority); improvements to the beach area towards Alcala, where the surfers surf.
All of this will be funded by the Costas, assuming that Spain adopts a conservative party, that the PPP wins in Santiago and that the Costas then have the necessary funds (approximately 12 million euros in total). The timescale was estimated at within 5 years.
The question of the water quality off-shore was raised by a member of the audience, as it is relevant to all these beach projects. The Council stated that Playa Arena has a Blue Flag and assurances were made that the water off Los Gigantes beach is regularly tested. There are settling tanks in Los Gigantes which remove all the solids, so that only clean water is pumped into the ocean. It was suggested that the opinion of the Diving Club, the local medical proffession and Oasis (including the Bowling Club) be sought on this issue.
The future of the abandoned building shells at the entrance to Los Gigantes was questioned and the Council advised that it is a matter for the courts and that there is no way of expediting this, or estimating the timescale. The same applies to the new, but still closed, car park in Puerto Santiago. This is privately owned and outwith the Council's jurisdiction.
It was pointed out by a member of the audience that some residents may not be too happy about some of the developments, particularly those around the baranca car park and in Playa Arena and in San Sofe.
No mention was made of any other projects for Los Gigantes, other than those funded by the Costas.
Finally, the Council stated that it no longer possible to cast a postal vote from outside Spain.