We spoke to the Socialist Mayor of Tías, José Juan Cruz – known to most locals as “Pepe Juan” – to ask about his government’s achievements and future plans if he continues as Mayor after May 28th.
How have the last four years been?
Well they weren’t normal, obviously. The pandemic was a catastrophe which paralysed things for almost two years. There were a huge amount of local people on furlough schemes, Puerto del Carmen was closed and the Avenida empty. We quickly diverted funds from areas such as sport and culture to social services to deal with the real problems people were suffering.
In Tías we were surprised to discover that many of the people in most need were foreign residents in Puerto del Carmen. Locals tend to have support networks of family, but these people had nothing to fall back on.
Is it important for residents to vote?
Yes. A third of Tías residents come from abroad, and we want them to feel at home here, and take part in politics and local activities. British residents don’t do this as much as other nationalities.
Why do you think that is?
I’m not sure. Many younger people and families do integrate – they’re running businesses and get involved in activities like sport – but maybe older, retired residents don’t need to do that as much.
What do you regard as the main achievements of the last four years?
We’ve carried out 77 public works since 2019, and full details are listed on our website www.ayuntamientodetias.es. Among those works are €4.5 million worth of improvements on the Avenida de las Playas, the creation of 900 parking places in the resort and the new roundabout at Macher.
We’ve also improved the Fondeadero social centre, established a 24-hour emergency service at Tías health centre and made many more improvements that make life easier for Tías residents.
What are your priorities if you’re re-elected?
I want to keep working to look after Tias and the island which has Biosphere status. We still need to improve a lot of things, public transport and energy efficiency, and we need to continue to look after our tourism, focusing on higher quality and experiences.
Big plans include getting 500 more children involved in sport, removing the big concrete wall at the Old Town harbour, extending the health centre in Puerto del Carmen and improving the sewage system throughout Tías.
Housing is another issue we need to look at – we’re losing our residents to Arrecife because rent and prices are so high.
So why should we vote for you?
I’m leading a young capable team who have already shown that we can govern Tías responsibly. With a sufficient mandate we can do so without confrontation and problems.
For regular updates, pictures and videos of Lanzarote be sure to like and follow our Facebook page “Gazette Life Lanzarote”.