Your spanish town hall - Your link to public services and local life

Both the Ambassador and the Consul in Alicante recognise that town halls are key to almost all local public services in Spain and that those who are not registered with them – on the "padrón" - are likely to miss out. This is why town halls with a high percentage of British nationals registered and who have a specific councillor dedicated to working with European residents have been invited to attend this forum to talk about common problems and look for innovative solutions.

 

One of the main aims of this forum, titled "Working together to help British residents" will try to look at creative ways of encouraging British nationals who are habitually resident in Spain to register on the padrón and to see the benefits of doing so, rather than seeing it as a hassle or simply another bureaucratic process to follow.

Many British residents in Spain have the idea that by not registering on the padrón, they can still remain residents in the UK, whereas in fact they end up not being considered a resident in either and thus missing out on vital support and services.

The British Consul, Paul Rodwell, said – "The Consulate is here to support and advise British nationals, but I am convinced that the main source of support for communities and residents who are more vulnerable can also come from their town hall. They are the ones who are able to offer long term help, from social services or the use of meeting facilities for local clubs and associations. I urge all British nationals who haven't registered yet on the padrón to make it their new year's resolution for 2013 to register. It's simply a way for the local town hall to know how many people live in their area, and enables each town to be properly resourced for their population. The benefits to the person who registers far outweigh the hassle of having to go down to the padrón office and fill in the relevant forms."

The event will be attended by councillors from over 15 town halls in the Alicante province as well as Mercedes Alonso, the Provincial Councillor responsible for European Residents. Her department provides helpful information on the padrón and other issues such as local taxes, social services, NIE numbers and driving in Spain on the website www.residenteseuropeos.com.

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