It was lovely to see how proud the Foreign residents delegation was to present their new campaign to the press and public together with our Mayor, Angeles Muñoz last week.
Oti G. Diaz-Ambrona heads up the department together with Eduardo Agüero of the Las Chapas offices and Moises Martín from Nueva Andalucia. They and their dedicated teams dedicate more time and personal interest in our international community than most could imagine and they are always very supportive of our needs.
However right now they want to remind us that we are living in a city that also has many needs, not just ours and we must get more involved. As a first step we need to understand that if we spend time here and are using the local services we have to sign on the town register – the padron.
It doesn’t cost us money to register, it just helps get money in to our city from the central government. The facilities of our city are pro rata population and right now we’re double the population using the facilities than those registered and there is not enough to go around. This is largely our fault because many have decided it’s not in their personal interest to register although it is a legal and moral obligation to do so.
According to the latest figures only @148,000 people are currently registered in our Town Hall but there is a population of some 250,000 plus. This means over 100, 000 people are not registered but are using the facilities, which is literally draining the city’s resources and making others suffer the consequences.
What’s more we tend to complain precisely about the issues that wouldn’t be issues if people registered. In many cases it would seem that folk fear fiscal repercussions or changes in their fiscal status. This is not the case. Nothing changes when you sign on the padron, you don’t have to be a resident either, just someone who is spending time here and using the local services.
So how to get this through to the 140 different nationalities that live here? Hopefully with this latest campaign that, created together with a think tank of international locals, has really hit the nail on the head.
This new campaign makes it very clear – if we want to have sufficient garbage trucks, police and firemen, health centres, ambulances, doctors, nurses, teachers, schools and other essentials, we all have to register, no more, no less. It’s the least we can do in view of its significance not just for us but also for those who have welcomed us so warmly to their country, to their city. As they say, when in Rome….