Casto Marim’s mayor continues to suffer thwarted plans, the latest example being the rejection by his socialist opposition to project to build a beach on the Odeleite river.
The plan has been voted out and €200,000 of free EU money now is lost, moans the mayor, when in fact many did not want the beach where the council wanted to put it, noting that an area already used as a bathing area would have been preferable, closer to the village and certainly more convenient for locals
The €700,000 beach plan always was ridiculously expensive and the alternative, to build a beach near the village, would cost around €100,000 yet this was rejected in favour of the 'big spend' beach project.
Mayor Francisco Amaral said he has built a river beach before, in Alcoutim, and claimed the new Odeleite one would have brought in lots of tourists. The rejection of Amaral’s proposal is being seen by the mayor as a politically inspired move, rather than the good sense displayed in stopping something being built in the wrong place.
Back in May 2017, Amaral said that his new 6,100 m2 beach will be opened 'before the summer' and will help “diversify the tourist offer and contribute to the sustainability of the rural territory.”
Amaral, said this was a first step in the Odeleite dam development plan, "It is a job that will boost the tourism that already exists in this area through gastronomy and landscape, and that brings to a halt the current illegal and dangerous use of the reservoir for bathing in, as it has been happening."
All of this will not go ahead, despite the mayor’s joyful proclamations.
Amaral is still smarting from having the 2018 Castro Marim municipal budget rejected on Monday, blaming opposition councillor, Célia Brito, for all his woes. The problem in Castro Marim council is that the executive is led by Amaral, a Social Democrat, while the socialist opposition enjoys a majority.
"They took away all my power,” bleats Amaral, who now has to get agreement for the simplest piece of local administration.
As for the beach, Brito said she did not vote against the idea, just the procedure, claiming she had been railroaded and had not been given enough time fully to study the beach plan.
Amaral already has accused his opposition of being willfully contrary and he seems unable to manage his council with any success at all.
The location of the Odeleite river beach was part of Castro Marim’s development plan, approved by the Council of Ministers back in 2014, but now will not be built due to a council that is paralised by political infighting.