Óscar Noda was a councillor in Yaiza for several years until he stepped up to the Mayor’s position in 2018, and was elected to the post in the 2019 elections. This month he’ll be standing for re-election as Mayor, as well as a seat in the Cabildo.
His party, Unidos Por Yaiza (United For Yaiza), is a local platform, and will be standing as part of an agreement with Nueva Canarias, a Canarian regional party.
The pandemic arrived a few months after you were elected. How did it affect your plans?
The economy halted, but at the Ayuntamiento we never stopped. I’d say that in Yaiza, only the first two weeks of lockdown saw complete paralysis. After that, we channelled funds into social assistance and we also took advantage of the situation to invest and build.
We were the first municipality on the island to hold a major sporting event and open sports facilities, and we got a lot of improvements done.
What have you achieved in the last four years?
We’ve re-surfaced 90 roads, opened eight children’s playgrounds with shaded areas, invested in several sporting facilities including the new Sports pavilion, which was delayed by increased costs last year but will be ready by summer.
We have no debts, we pay our creditors faster and invest more than any other Ayuntamiento on the island. We’ve invested €2.8 million in a new rubbish collection service.
We also commissioned the reports that removed fish farms from Playa Quemada. We’re not against this industry, but it has to be done correctly, and these installations were causing serious pollution.
We’re planning a Family Relief Centre in Playa Blanca, a new library, more parks and leisure zones, including a skate park in Playa Blanca. We want to see the main road to Playa Blanca widened to a double carriageway.
Will there be cruisers at the new harbour?
We’re currently working with the Canarian Port authorities to be included in the next season’s schedules, and if that goes well I hope to see small tomedium cruisers arriving before the end of the year. A lot of people, including tourists and cruise operators, want this to happen.
The Cabildo president recently claimed the island was “saturated”. How does the opening of the biggest hotel on the island, the Barcelo in Playa Blanca, fit with that?
I don’t agree with the use of the word “saturation”. What we need to focus on is sustainable, quality tourism, and hotels can be an important part of that. Things are changing – all-inclusive holidays seem to be losing popularity, and we’re seeing more and more tourists getting out and about, spending money with local businesses.
You’re standing for the Cabildo too. Can you handle two high-level jobs?
I’m doing it for Yaiza. Currently, my party is not represented in the Cabildo, which means we don’t have a say in many of the issues that affect us such as water, public transport or island planning.
Why should Yaiza residents give you their vote?
We’ve shown firmness and confidence in our decisions, with a clear project for the municipality, and we’ve had real results. It’s a work ethic that applies in Yaiza, but which we’d also like to bring to the island as a whole.
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