«Water and housing are two very critical issues for which we have to make our great contribution to resolve them», said this Thursday, May 18, Vítor Aleixo, mayor of Loulé, at the formal session of the Municipality Day.
Taking stock of what has been developed within the scope of the promise made by the electoral programme, the Loulé mayor spoke of the «constant changes» that have required a quick response from the municipality.
Regarding the «critical water problem», Vítor Aleixo reinforced that «the situation of water availability at this time of the year is clearly more serious than last year» and stated that «the Chamber has been working, in a real race against time to find possible solutions to safeguard this fundamental right».
The Loulé mayor highlighted the projects underway with the aim of reducing losses and increasing water efficiency in public spaces, such as the installation of telemetry in municipal consumption, the creation of more than a hundred measurement and control zones or the replacement of older and less efficient network sections.
«Combating waste and reducing consumption are everyday tasks and, therefore, we have already reduced the value of unbilled water from 40,9% to 33%. With the projects we have in progress, we want to achieve a good classification, which means losses of less than 20% in the indicators of unbilled water by the end of 2025», he reinforced.
During his speech, Vítor Aleixo also wanted to make it clear that he is «against the authorization of more agricultural areas for new intensively irrigated crops», be they orange orchards, carob trees or avocados.
“We cannot continue to silently watch the destruction of thousands of hectares. The availability of water in the Algarve and, of course, in the municipality of Loulé, is no longer enough to irrigate current cultivation areas, let alone new areas that appear almost every day », he said.
During this PDM revision phase, the Loulé municipality will propose to CCDR that, «whenever there is a new project for intensive irrigated agriculture», the City Council issues a «binding» opinion.
Regarding housing, Vítor Aleixo assumed that this is also one of the major problems of the municipality, but stressed that much has been done by the municipality to overcome it.
In addition to the approval of the local housing strategy for 2019/2030 and the creation of a specific office for this dossier, as well as a municipal regulation on the right to housing, the mayor stressed that the Chamber has promoted, so far, four consultations with the market real estate to buy housing fractions, has so far rehoused 35 families and launched two notices for the municipal subsidy for renting, which has already enabled 295 families to be supported.
Soon, five dwellings in Salir will also be completed, with 130 applications received being under consideration.
In addition, 12 more dwellings are under construction in Salir, which has already been awarded contract for the first phase of Clona, with 64 dwellings, in an investment of 12 million euros, and also the first phase of rehabilitation of the municipal district with 18 dwellings, with an investment of around 2,8 million euros.
According to the Loulé mayor, «there is also a contract tender for the rehabilitation of seven dwellings on Rua de São Paulo, in Loulé, with a base value of 1,1 million euros» and, within a few days, «the construction of 129 housing units at controlled costs, by a business group with extensive experience in the sector».
«We have been working hard to use funds from the PRR. I can confidently assure you that more co-payment contracts will follow which will expand the Municipality's financial availability for housing and, with confidence, I can also assure you that work will continue to expand the housing supply in Quarteira, Almancil and Boliqueime », he added.
With these measures, Vítor Aleixo wants to «solve this very serious problem». «Not having access to a first right, which is the right to housing, is something intolerable and, therefore, the Municipality of Loulé, articulating with the new Government policies, has sought to solve these problems and we are on the right path».
In this solemn session of Municipality Week, which also marked Espiga Day, the mayor spoke about what is being done in the field of active ageing, biodiversity and energy transition, with Loulé being "one of the largest national producers of solar energy photovoltaic».
The formal session this Thursday, May 18, also featured the presentation of the new brand of Loulé and the award of the "Grand Prize Crónica e Dispersos Literários", promoted by the Portuguese Association of Writers and Câmara de Loulé, to Miguel Esteves Cardoso.
At 16 pm, the Day of the Cob festivities began in Salir.
During the week, there was also the IAPMEI Awards ceremony and the distinction of companies from the municipality of Loulé with the PME Líder/PME Excelência status, the inauguration of the Sociocultural Building of Quarteira, in Praça do Mar, and the signing of a protocol between the Municipality of Loulé and the GNR in terms of security in Vilamoura, as well as the delivery of medals to municipal employees with 25 and 35 years of service, among other initiatives.
This Saturday, May 20, in the morning, the former president of the Parish Council of Almancil João Martins and the associative leader Hermes Alberto will name two streets in the village of Almancil, a posthumous tribute to two personalities who stood out in this parish from the municipality of Loulé.
The commemorative program ends with yet another awarding of medals to the recipients, figures or entities that stood out in the most diverse areas of activity. This year there will be 15 medalists, in a ceremony that will also take place on the 20th of May, but at 15 pm.
Photos: Mariana Sedge | Sul Informação