Latest News 18-07-2008 Issue 108

Sticky Sweet Treat


Pop icon Madonna is set to play in Valencia on September 18th, the only date scheduled in Spain. Council spokesman, Alfonso Rus confirmed that the the biggest female star of all time would be bringing her “Sweet & Sticky Tour” to the Ricardo Tormo race circuit in Cheste. More than 60,000 fans are expected to flock to the city from across the country. Although the ticket sales date has not been confirmed there has been suggestion that they will be cheaper than those for the recent Police concert which were priced between 70 and 195 euros. Madonna live is one not to be missed, but generally tickets sell out in seconds, so be quick. It’s going to be a sticky sweet treat in Valencia.


Over 6,000 police officers will patrol Formula One 

PLANES will be diverted out of Valencia airport during the Formula One season, local authorities reveal. They also say around 6,000 police officers will be on patrol during the event. The Guardia Civil and the Local and National Police will be on the street, in the sea and even in the air to ensure the safety of the 200,000 spectators gathering in Valencia from August 22 to 24. MP Ricardo Peralta says the army could even be drafted in. Valencia’s air-space will also be closed for the three days, but it has not been revealed where incoming and outgoing flights, if any, will be directed.

These sophisticated safety measures will be put to the test during the Formula 3000 trial that takes place on July 26 and 27.

 ‘Tanorexia’ the new addiction 

Always seeking for that deeper tan? This ‘obsession’ for being brown is called: tanorexia, a rare disease which is becoming increasingly common. People who are obsessed with the colour of their skin, mostly women, are considered to be "addicted to UVA." There are no official figures of people suffering from this disease, although every day people pack the beaches to lie in the sun for hours.

Gorillas only understand English

Bioparc in Valencia has three new tenants who only understand English. Three gorillas and five chimpanzees arrived from Germany and France, but the gorillas only understand commands in English. Mambie, Fossey and Dorle are the new stars of Bioparc and not surprisingly, the newcomers have become popular with visitors in the first day. The gorillas and chimpanzees have been released in to the Equatorial Africa zone of the park where they have over 3,000 square metres to run free.

Jazz Festival tickets now up for grabs

TICKETS are now on sale for Jávea’s much-loved jazz festival.

For the eighth year running, the huge event features a star-studded line-up of international artists throughout its six days of unrivalled entertainment.

Jazz fans will enjoy acts by The Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, Slide Hampton on the trombone, Grez Gisbert on the trumpet, sax legend James Moody and Brazilian Bossa Nova singer and pianist Eliane Elias.

Singer Ann Hampton Callaway, dubbed the next Ella Fitzgerald, will put the words to the Barcelona Jazz Orchestra’s music, and Canadian pianist Oliver Jones will play tributes to the recently-deceased Oscar Peterson.

Over-65s and under-25s qualify for reduced tickets of 12 euros per show, or 50 for the entire festival.

Remaining tickets cost 15 euros for one night only or 60 for the whole six nights.

This year, the festival will be held in the Plaza de la Constitución between August 3-8

Speed limit should not be increased, says MP

SPEED limits of 120 kilometres per hour on the motorways are too low, transport minister Mario Flores said in a Valencia parliament meeting last week.

He believes that given a little more leeway, motorists would be more inclined to stick to the rules.

But the idea of increasing the speed limit on motorways in the Comunidad Valenciana was met with disapproval by socialist MP Joan Calabuig.

Calling the idea ‘irresponsible’, he cited statistics claiming that road-traffic injuries increase by up to three per cent for every kilometre per hour above the speed limit.

Calabuig also stated that other EU countries were reducing their speed limits, since driving at 90 kilometres per hour rather than 120 cuts carbon emissions by 25 per cent and uses less fuel.

Drivers still cannot find Alicante airport, despite ministry’s promises

MOTORISTS travelling to El Altet airport and the port of Alicante continue to lose their way on the AP-7 due to lack of signposts. The ministry of public works in Madrid had promised to have the signs in place by July at the latest, following complaints from drivers and Benidorm’s tourism body HOSBEC. Until they reach the toll-booths, motorists heading south have no indication whatsoever of where the airport is. But by then, they have already overshot it by at least 20 kilometres and paid considerably more in toll fees than necessary. The problem has become worse since the Alicante bypass was built recently, although even in the past, there was no sign for the airport until after the tolls. Motorists are not diverted onto the A-70 towards Sant Joan d’Alacant, as they should be, to reach El Altet. This means they face between 30 and 40 minutes’ extra driving if they fail to take the correct sliproad. And despite Benidorm’s decades-old popularity with holidaymakers, there is no signpost to the airport from anywhere in the town, HOSBEC complains. Faced with a second complaint from HOSBEC, the ministry says it will attempt to solve the problem as soon as it can.

Guardia civil officer faces prison sentence

A Guardia Civil officer faces eight years in prison for the attempted murder of a truck driver. In 2006 the officer pulled over a truck driver in Gandia for reasons which are still unclear. As the driver climbed down from the cab the officer put his pistol against the drivers head and pulled the trigger. The gun failed to shoot as the safety lock was still engaged. According to the prosecution, unable to shoot him, the officer then beat the man with the butt of his gun causing several skull fractures. The court in Valencia heard how the truck driver had apparently made an "obscene" gesture to the officer as he drove past him.

Bodies found in bathroom

The bodies of a British woman and her 18 month old daughter were discovered in an apartment in Els Poblets on July 12th. Neighbours called police complaining of a smell coming from the flat and said that they had not seen the 27 year old and her young daughter during the week. Police broke in and discovered the naked bodies of the woman sat on the floor of the bathroom and her daughter lying on a changing mat next to her. Police have ruled out murder as there were no apparent signs of violence and the key was in the door of the property. There have been suggestions that the woman had become depressed after her German partner was arrested and deported back to a German prison last month. Els Poblets Mayor, Jaime Ivars said “residents were very surprised and shocked by the deaths. The cause remains a mystery as there were no signs of violence, no forced entry to the property but we cannot rule out suicide.”


Insurance fraud suspect arrested

GUARDIA Civil officers in Crevillente have arrested a 59-year-old Englishman in connection with an alleged insurance fraud relating to the theft of a number of solar panels. He reported the matter to the police on March 10, but in fact the theft had taken place on February 13. Crevillente police found that the suspect, D. G. E., had successfully claimed the sum of 12,880 euros from his insurance company for their theft. But the theft had taken place prior to the inception of the insurance policy, meaning the company would not have paid the claim if it had been made aware of the incident date. The man faces a preliminary court hearing this week.

Prison sentence for former minister

Former minister of Health and Mayor of Orihuela, Luis Fernando Cartagena is off to prison six years after the original four year sentence was imposed. Cartagena was found guilty of the misappropriation of 49,000 euros of government money by the Provincial Court in Elche in 2002. The former Mayor has until August 1st to present himself to a prison of his choice to begin his four year sentence.

Higher death rates for Spanish

More than 13,000 people died in the Alicante Province last year, 12% of whom were foreigners. The figure is the highest across the Comunitat where in Valencia just 1.6% of deaths were foreigners. In the case of men the most common cause of death was throat and lung cancer followed by heart disease and strokes. Broadly speaking, more Spaniards die from cancer while foreigners tend to suffer more coronary artery diseases. In women the differences according to nationalities are not as great, both Spanish and foreign women die of cerebrovascular diseases such as strokes. Interestingly, lung cancer is one of the top four causes of death in foreigners, but does not come in the top 10 for Spaniards.

Catalan supporters fined

The High Court has sentenced two men from Catalan to 15 months imprisonment for burning pictures of the King and Queen of Spain. Jaume Roura and Enric Stern burnt the images in Gerona in September 2007 in an act they described as “exercising their right to freedom and expression”. The Judge said during the hearing that “the constitution does not protect this type of action”. The final judgement stipulates that "the Spanish Constitution recognizes the right to freedom of expression and political participation even those contrary to the constitutional system", but "it is a different matter to abuse the right and seek to undermine the dignity of another, in this case, the institution of the Crown ". The pair has been given a 2,700 euro fine each instead of a prison sentence.

Immigrants die

Fourteen Saharan immigrants, including nine children aged between twelve months and four years, have died during their journey to Spain. According to survivors - after 5 days at sea in small boats many died from starvation and dehydration and their bodies were thrown into the sea. Thirty four survivors, including a baby and thirteen women, three of whom were pregnant, were rescued during the night, thirty miles to the south of Punta Sabinal west of Almeria.

Cartoon Network Tour

The Cartoon Network CNixon Tour will be in Alicante on July 26th from 11.30am. The tour has activities for children aged between 4 and 14. You can find the tour outside the ‘I Voy’ building. All activities are free and include sport, music and environmental themes.

Drop in British Tourists

The Deputy of Provincial Tourism, Sebastian Fernandez has reported that there has been a fall in the number of British tourists coming to the region mainly due to the poor exchange rate. With regards to expectations for the summer season he continued “There will be no decrease in the number of tourists, but there will be a fall in the amount of money people are spending and the amount of time visitors are staying." British tourists are now choosing to holiday in Turkey and Egypt or the U.S. where the exchange rates are more favourable. This affects national tourism and more specifically that of the Costa Blanca, British holidaymakers account for 37% of the total number of visitors to the province. The loyalty of Spanish tourists and visitors from Holland, Belgium and other Scandinavian countries is "crucial" to strengthen the Costa Blanca as a holiday destination.


Valencia region generates more electricity than it consumes

For the first time, the Valencia region is generating more electricity than it consumes making it entirely possible to become self sufficient. All plants in the region are operational and producing 12% above demand. In 2011 investment in new facilities will see production rise as high as 20% above demand.

30% of accredited beaches are in Valencia

The Valencia Council has reported that 30% of beaches in Spain which have been given the ‘Q’ of Tourist Quality are in the Province of Valencia. There are currently 47 beaches across the country which hold the mark of quality, 14 of them are in Valencia.

Foreign prisoner numbers tripled

The number of foreigners being held in Spanish prisons has tripled in the last eight years and is reported to be on the increase. Around 34% of prisoners held in jails across the country are foreigners, a growth of 300% in eight years compared with a growth of just 24% for Spanish prisoners. The latest official study indicates that there are 24,088 prisoners from other countries, 16,188 more than in 2000. Experts believe the reason for the increase is due to economic and cultural reasons. Foreigners have been experiencing financial hardship and have resorted to crime. Experts also believe that many foreigners are under the impression that punishment in Spain is less severe than in their country of origin and that they are less likely to be caught, making them more likely to commit a crime. The largest numbers of foreigners in prisons are Moroccans, Colombians and Romanians.


17 people killed on Spanish roads in one weekend

According to information from the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) 17 people were killed in 16 accidents over the weekend of July 12th – 13th. Twenty three people were wounded, twelve of them seriously and 17 people died, nine less in for the same weekend in 2007. The granddaughter of writer Miguel de Unamuno died when she was involved in an accident which left her husband dead and two others injured.

Arcos Iris for city council

Sax Townhall has been awarded the Arco Iris by the DECIDE-T Association in recognition of the city’s approach to defending the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals. Sax Mayoress, Ana Barceló, and Social Welfare councillor, Manuel Gomez, collected the award at a presentation held at the Alicante City University. Sax Townhall thanked DECIDE-T for the Rainbow award and confirmed that the council has always tried to promote equality, tolerance and respect. Overcoming obstacles and social stereotypes requires commitment from everyone including local authorities and Sax Council believe that everyone must strive to achieve equality in today's society.

MEDALS IN THE EUROPOLYB 2008 GAMES

Llíria Local Police team celebrated with a win of 13 medals at this years European Police and Firefighters Games in Pontevedra in Galicia. Officers from both emergency services competed in the EUROPOLYB 2008 games where the Lliria relay swim team took a silver medal. Officers Jorge Bustos, Dolores Hidalgo, Isidro Romaguera, Juan José Rodrigo and Veronica Estinguín represented Lliria Local Police at the games.

Natural landscapes revealed  

A new hikers route called “La Vall” has been officially opened in the Enguera valley. The valley has an average altitude of 400 metres and is southeast of the Caroche Massif. The region has beautiful scenery which walkers can now enjoy on the new 10 kilometre route. Enguera Mayor Santiago Arevalo explained "the route is flat and circular running through the town and olive fields on pathways". The best time to visit is spring or winter. During the summer it is best to go late in the evening as there is little shade along the route. The route starts at the ADENE centre in Enguera and heads to the west taking in various ‘monumental’ trees including the “el Almez”.

Signatures in favour of lower IBI rates

The PSPV party in Torrent have collected 5,000 signatures during the first week of a campaign calling for lower IBI rates in the city.  Representatives started the petition after an increase of up to 70% was predicted for 2009.  According to a PSPV spokesman the increase "has caused deep dissatisfaction amongst Torrent residents."

Storms cause damage

After a week of soaring temperatures the region was hit by storms on Saturday evening which caused substantial damage in Xativa and Enguera. The heavy rainfall caused large tree branches to come crashing down causing serious damage to several cars parked along the main avenida in Xativa. In Enguera 46 litres per square metre of rain fall left homes flooded. And in L' Olleria several fences were destroyed as the storm swept across the region. The State Agency for Meteorology has reported that the weather will remain changeable for the next few days.

Week of celebrations

Torrent is preparing for a week of festivities in honour of the Patron Saints of Torrent Abdon and Senent. From July 24 there will over 30 musical concerts including jazz and rock at the Hort Trenor gardens. National and internationally renowned artists will perform at the central park including Amaral who will perform his latest single on July 25th. There will be various activities for young and old including games and workshops accompanied by traditional Moors and Christians music and gunfire. The celebrations will end on July 30th with a procession in honour of the patron saints of Torrent.



Homeowners told to install private sewage treatment
Owners of thousands of villas in Llíria which have no sewage systems must install individual plants. The council has announced that it will carry out inspections of homes in the region and insist that individual sewage treatment systems are installed in properties with no means of disposing of waste water.

Family murder and suicide

A man committed suicide after killing his wife and two young children in Yecla. Juan Perez Valera, a 43-year-old bricklayer is believed to have stabbed his wife and two children, Alba 6 and Samuel, 4 before shooting himself in front of officers at his home near the Las Teresas estate, in Yecla. Sources revealed that Juan Perez killed his entire family in the early hours of the morning of July 12 while they were sleeping. He then took the bodies to the front door of the house and called the police to confess, saying he wanted to hand himself in. When officers arrived at the scene, he fired shots into the air. He was ordered to hand over the weapon, but he turned the gun on himself. Juan had left a letter with the bodies of his family saying he was unable to cope with economic problems.

Bogus doctor works in health centre

A first year medical student has been working as a doctor in the A&E department of the Tosca Hospital in Elche for six days despite not being qualified. The Ministry of Health reported how Italian student, Doménico QR had been contracted by Public Health since the beginning of July, but had only achieved 40 of the required 400 credits required to qualify.

Volunteers clean bottom of lake

Volunteers have spent the weekend cleaning the bottom of the lake at Anna. The Group of underwater activities Deportivo de Valencia (GEAS) and Civil Protection of Anna have removed camping chairs, packaging, bottles and other rubbish from the bottom of the lake. Ricardo Soria of the Civil Protection la Alcúdia commented “we have found large amounts of waste at the bottom of the lake, it is unacceptable." Visitors from across the country come to enjoy the lake and parks at Anna.

Day centre for drug addicts

People with drug addiction problems will soon be able to seek help and advice in Ontinyent thanks to “Project Man”. The day centre is set in the countryside o the outskirts of town and is expected to open in October to offer help to those who are drug dependant." President of the Archbishop Miguel Roca Foundation, Jose Ferris said "The county house is an ideal setting; it has good access to the town, but at the same time is discreet¨. The centre can offer care for up to 55 addicts at a time and will have a psychologist, a teacher and a social worker on the team.

Rape allegation
A 17-year-old Youth is arrested after allegedly raping a girl aged 7 and recording it on his mobile phone.  The young girl was playing in a local park in Ontinyent with her brother and friends when she was lured back to the home of the Youth on the pretext of getting something to eat. According to sources the 17-year-old forced the child to watch a pornographic video, after which he sexually assaulted her. The alleged assailant knew children through another couple, known to the family.



Sea-lions help MS patients


A SAFARI park has organised swimming with sea-lions for multiple sclerosis patients.

Elche’s Río Safari’s ‘water therapy’ sessions with the ADEMA association for women with MS have been a huge success, with members saying it helps their balance, confidence and mobility. Two resident sea-lions, Curro and Aragón, allow the women to climb onto their backs in the water – and do the same in return.

They have also learnt to greet the women with a kiss on each cheek.

The centre’s psychologist, Silvia Sebastiá, says the patients are initially nervous but find the process relaxing and enjoyable. Río Safari has organised a total of 10 sessions between now and September.

Benidorm should un-adopt Franco, say socialists

MORE than 30 years after the death of Franco, he continues to hold the status of Favourite Son in Benidorm – much to the indignation of its residents.

This week, socialist spokespersons Maite Iraola and Agustín Navarro stressed that the dictator should be stripped of his title so that it can be awarded to someone whom ‘is more deserving of Benidorm’s respect’. Iraola and Navarro pointed out that the Law of Historical Memory, which came into force last year, forbids sculptures, signs or any other historical traces of Franco to remain in public. They say he was responsible for numerous crimes against human rights, divided society and drove it into civil war.

His posthumous title of Hijo Adoptivo should be passed on to a person who truly represents the spirit of Benidorm. But the PP rejected the notion, saying the socialists were ‘just trying to run away from the past’.

Elche will ‘stop at nothing’ to bring the Dama home


ELCHE authorities have pledged to fight to the bitter end for their beloved Dama to return to the town. The Iberian statue of a lady, which was discovered by a farmer’s son in Elche in the late 19th century, has spent very little time in its home town.

Since her acquisition by public authorities, the Dama de Elche has spent most of her time in Madrid’s National Archaeological Museum. Only on two occasions has she been exhibited in Elche. The last of these was summer 2006, an historic moment that provoked huge festivals and concerts by international pop stars in the city.

Elche’s mayor, Alejandro Soler, said last week that he intends to seek support from president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and his right-hand woman, María Teresa Hernández de la Vega. Soler says the sculpture “has more value to Elche than it does to Madrid,” and that it would be the perfect centrepiece to complete the Iberian display in Elche’s local museum. Councillors say recent laws would have prohibited the Dama from leaving Elche if she had been found there. PP spokeswoman Mercedes Alonso said “the Dama should never have been taken out of Elche.”

Swimming pool tragedy for Irish family in El Campello
An 18 month old baby Irish girl died at the weekend after falling into a private swimming pool of a villa in Calle Beniarbeig, in the Muchacista area of El Campello.
Sources close to the investigation told the información newspaper that the child fell into the water and drowned without the parents, both of whom are from Ireland, noticing and all that emergency workers could do on arrival was certify the death.

Calpe Town Hall ordered to pay driver 6,000 € compensation
Calpe Town Hall has been ordered to pay 6,000 € to a driver whose car engine was damaged by water. The court considered that the town hall was responsible as the drains could not cope with the heavy rain thus forcing the man to drive through the water.
The total repair bill was 10,513 €, but the court awarded only 6,000 € as they considered he should also have been more diligent. Avenida Juan Carlos I, was in known for recent flooding.


‘Please jail me’, begs fraudster

A MAN who faces trial for seven charges of fraud is desperate to go to prison.

Police have told Juan he has to wait until his cases come to trial before he can be granted a custodial sentence. Juan has admitted to six charges of selling goods on the internet that did not exist, even dogs. He also reveals he deliberately did not return a hire car.

Juan is wanted by courts in Dénia, Gandia, Alicante, Ciudad Real, Barcelona and Madrid.

He says he has no other option because he has an elderly mother and no money.

The fraudster says it is nearly impossible to find a job at his age – 50 – and that he has thought of killing himself. He also confessed to stealing a car when he was a teenager to enable him to travel to meet his girlfriend. But Juan says his swindling started in 2005 after his son was run over by a car and killed. He says he sank into a depression.

Now based in Valencia, he has persistently asked authorities to put him in jail ‘to prevent him from having to defraud anybody else’.

Mayor of Benitatxell charged with bribery

CORRUPTION charges against the mayor of Benitatxell and his first assistant are unfounded, insists acting mayoress Nieves García. She has known the town’s leader Juan Cardona Bolufer for 16 years and claims to have always had faith in him.

He was detained last Wednesday along with his right-hand woman, Austrian-born Hannelore Rheindorf, for allegedly accepting a bribe to allow a resident to reclassify his land. Guardia Civil officers say Kai Oliver Wagner, German national, acting as middleman, banked a cheque for 50,000 euros which the mayor is suspected of having taken in order to let a Benitatxell inhabitant build on his land.

After their arrest, the three were separated and taken to the police stations in Calpe, Jávea and Vergel so that they could not talk to each other and ensure their stories were consistent. Last Thursday lunchtime, they appeared in court for a preliminary hearing, and were released on Friday without bail, pending trial.

Cardona’s family has reassured Benitatxell, a town whose population comprises two-thirds expatriates, to stay calm.

And the mayor has assured the town that he is pleased to be released, and has no intention of resigning from his post. If found guilty, he and Hannelore could face up to six years in prison.

Police banned from protesting over pay

A POLICE protest planned for Monday was banned by Gandia town council so as not to put a damper on Spain’s vice president’s visit. Local Police in the town complain that their salaries are well below those of their counterparts elsewhere in the region.

They say in Oliva, just eight kilometres further south, officers earn 300 euros a month extra. During the summer months, with officers’ being on holiday coinciding with the influx of tourists, police will be required to put in extra hours. But they say there are insufficient officers to give 24-hour cover and that they are paid less than the going rate for overtime. So far, say the disgruntled agents, attempts to negotiate have reached a stalemate. The force had planned to hold a demonstration earlier this week on the main street through the town, Paseo de las Germanías.

But Zapatero’s second in command, María Teresa Hernández de la Vega, visited Gandia on Monday to open the municipal summer school at an event in the Casa de Cultura.

Local Police say their march, which they had planned for between 7pm and 9pm that evening, was ‘peaceful’ and ‘would not have disrupted proceedings’.

Raw deal for Dénia’s new mayoress

SUPPORTERS of ex-mayoress Paqui Viciano hurled coins and insults at her successor last week during Dénia’s patron saint festivals. Ana Kringe, new leader of Dénia council after a no-confidence vote cost Paqui her seat, burst into tears when she was hit by spectators’ loose change and told to ‘get out’. By contrast, Paqui Viciano and the councillors in her party in charge of fiestas, Vicenta Bixquert and María José Lorenzo, were applauded. Paqui and her councillors also became emotional at the support expressed for them by the public. But Ana had to hide behind ten National Police officers who stood between her and the crowd, for protection.

Pego man loses out to fraudulent car-seller

A MAN from Pego has been duped by a fraudster posing as a car salesman, losing 2,000 euros. He saw a Volkswagen Golf for sale on www.segundamano.es, a site purporting to sell used cars. The seller told him to transfer half the price into his bank account in Almuñécar (Granada) as a deposit. But the buyer was never to see his money again, or the vehicle. A suspect was arrested last Wednesday night after the Pego man and another buyer from Toledo came forward.  Police have not ruled out more victims, saying that another three reports have been made by purchasers in Palma del Río (Córdoba).

Expat found drowned in sea

RESCUE workers have discovered the body of an elderly expatriate in the sea off Guardamar del Segura beach. The victim is thought to have been practicing water-sports at the time of his death, since he was wearing a life-jacket and harness.

Red Cross workers alerted emergency services on Tuesday afternoon that a gentleman of German nationality and aged around 75 years was floating face-down off Playa de las Ortigas. Paramedics attempted to revive the victim, but without success.

According to lifeguards, the yellow flag was flying on the beach, but the waters were perfectly safe. The deceased has not yet been identified.

100 homes evacuated at a moment’s notice

RESIDENTS in a beach front apartment block were given half a day to leave their homes when police warned them the building was about to collapse. The Frentemar complex on Calpe’s Playa de la Fossa, near the Peñón de Ifach, has been propped up with metal poles over fears that it could crumble with its occupants still inside. Now, owners and tenants of more than 100 apartments are faced with finding accommodation at the drop of a hat.

Others had let their apartments to holidaymakers until the end of August.

Restaurants and retail outlets on the lower floor have been forced to close and employees sent home until further notice. The council says there is a very real risk that the block could collapse at a moment’s notice, but the cause of the damage has not been found.

They reveal that it was built in the sixties and residents have become increasingly worried about apparent structural faults that have come to light in recent months.

Patients suffer 42ºC ‘due to transport strike’

PATIENTS and doctors at a health centre near Torrevieja have been forced to suffer inside temperatures of over 42ºC. The air conditioning unit at the clinic in La Mata broke a month ago and the transport strike held up delivery of the required parts, say managers.

Meanwhile, patients and staff alike have been suffering blackouts and fainting fits due to the insufferable heat. One person was taken to casualty last week.

And patients say the centre boss has not had to suffer with the heat, because he brought in two portable air-conditioning units for his office. Nurses say their station has been the worst affected, since the sunlight through the windows in the early afternoon creates a ‘greenhouse effect’. At the time of going to press, centre sources say the air conditioning unit was in the process of being repaired.

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