24h Galicia.

24h Galicia.

Avances en presupuesto de Santiago incluyen medidas contra inundaciones, expansión de red de bicicletas eléctricas y gestión del ruido.

Avances en presupuesto de Santiago incluyen medidas contra inundaciones, expansión de red de bicicletas eléctricas y gestión del ruido.

BNG, Compostela Aberta, and PSdeG celebrate a pact to push through the budget that reflects the "social majority" of the city

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, December 29 - The government of Santiago, shared by BNG and Compostela Aberta, has signed an agreement with the Socialist Party to pass the 2024 budget for the Galician capital. The budget includes measures such as an action plan against flooding in certain areas of the city during intense rainfall, the creation of an electric bicycle network, and noise reduction actions in nightlife areas.

The pact, negotiated in recent weeks, was signed on Friday morning by the mayor of Santiago, Goretti Sanmartín (BNG), her deputy mayor, María Rozas (CA), and the general secretary of the Santiago branch of the PSOE, Aitor Bouza, in a ceremony held at Pazo de Raxoi.

After the signing of the document, all parties emphasized the importance of a pact that is framed within "dialogue" and "collaboration" among the three political forces to address the "demands" of the citizens of Santiago in a budget that amounts to 141 million euros and whose draft was presented a week ago.

In statements to the media, Sanmartín thanked the socialists for joining a budget agreement that "includes many of the proposals already initiated" by the previous government "and incorporates new ones" from the new team led by the nationalist party, of which the PSOE declined to be a part after the local elections.

"Today is a day to celebrate good news for Santiago," Sanmartín emphasized, noting that the city, with budgets from 2022 still in effect, needed to pass a budget that would provide "stability" and a "roadmap" with the capacity to "respond" to the "needs" of the city.

The mayor, who hopes that the budget will be brought to a vote for final approval within a month, stressed that the agreement between BNG, CA, and PSOE is the "result of dialogue" and "the willingness to prioritize the needs of the residents of Santiago over any other considerations."

For his part, the local PSOE representative, Aitor Bouza - who is not a council member in the city council of Santiago - emphasized that Friday is a "good day" for the Galician capital as there is an agreement that reflects the "progressive majority" that the people of Santiago expressed in the elections in May.

Bouza wanted to distinguish the "constructive" role the socialists play as an opposition to a PP party that he says "has yet to accept" the results of the municipal elections, which, in his opinion, are now reflected with the budget agreement that includes measures "already initiated" in the previous government led by the socialist Xosé Sánchez Bugallo.

In response to journalists' questions, Bouza denied that the agreement with BNG and CA could open the door to a possible entry of the socialists into the Santiago government, but rather it is an intention to "not block" important issues for the city.

The deputy mayor and local representative of Compostela Aberta, María Rozas, also praised the attitude of the three "progressive" forces in the city for pushing forward with a budget of a "social nature." Rozas particularly thanked the "constructive" spirit of the PSOE and their willingness to "not delay the process" so that the budget can be approved and put into operation at the beginning of the year.

The agreement signed between the local government and the socialists includes measures such as the implementation of a plan to address flooding in certain areas of the city that regularly occur during intense rainfall.

It also includes strengthening the resources of the Local Police and urban planning discipline to combat nighttime noise in the city's leisure areas, as well as an increase in funding for public transportation, which will reach 9 million euros to promote initiatives such as the creation of an electric bicycle network.

The pact includes the tendering of new public contracts such as for public transportation itself, the home assistance service (which will significantly increase its budget allocation), and the establishment of a plenary commission to evaluate the "most sustainable" management of the comprehensive water cycle.

It also allocates €400,000 for the construction of the new regional fire station and commits to implementing an annual family reconciliation plan, including a pilot project for an in-school cafeteria with its own kitchen, as well as creating a municipal advisory service for the LGBTI community.

In terms of infrastructure, the agreement mentions the renovation of sports facilities (such as the Vite, Santa Isabel, and Lamas de Abade pavilions, or the continuation of the San Lázaro stadium renovation plan) and the maintenance of the playground network.

Another noteworthy measure is the launch of an ideas competition for the transformation of the axis that goes from Campo da Estrela to Basquiños, i.e., from Rúa da Senra to San Caetano. The groups put it into writing that they will seek "a change in the layout in favor of the recovery of public space, which implies improving mobility and creating a priority area for strolling."

It is also stated in the agreement, which increases the budget allocation for rural actions by 3%, a commitment to acquire public housing for rental purposes, restore areas in Pontepedriña or the Corgo River to create green spaces, and revamp streets such as García Lorca, Ponte da Raíña, Mallou, Castrón Douro, Carlos Maside, or Santiago de Chile.

In addition, the budget agreement reflects the implementation of a study to create a citizen card aimed at "simplifying" access to municipal services and the promotion of a strategic tourism plan with a horizon set for 2029 to encourage "sustainability" through governance, including the implementation of a tourist tax in the city center.