Xátiva council are preparing to install CCTV in the cultural centre, youth centre, city archives, ‘Prop’ building and at the Town hall in a bid to prevent  acts of vandalism and to increase vigilance in an around these buildings.

The request will be made at the Government Delegation in Valencia. The petition will propose the type of CCTV system to be installed and justify the need for the additional surveillance.

The Town hall’s   intention is to install the cameras on the buildings exterior and for the system to be directly connected to the new Local Police headquarters.  From these headquarters, officers will be able to carry out a through monitoring of the buildings and surrounding areas. The town of Santiago de Compstela will be used as a reference for the positive results they achieved from the resent installation of CCTV. 

It has also been announced this week that they intend to install street cameras to regulate traffic. 


The town of Beniatjar is in the process of planning a  development of a small urbanisation consisting of 150 chalets. The plans may also include a further 100 properties to be built on the land between the town and the new urbanisation.  The Planning Office are working with the local town hall and the PP, which has the support of a turncoat councilman. The opposition group (Bloc) believes that these plans will quadruple the present population of Beniatjar. At  present the population occupies just
64,800 m². According to the information given by Bloc the new urbanisation is predicted to increase the occupation area to 470,000m²


The Highway Department has opened it´s doors to its new road education centre located at the industrial estate of the Mercado de Abastos in Alzira, next to the CV 42 and CV 43. The centre is well equipped to educate children about road safety including: eight bicycles, four mopeds, six karts and other instructive material. The circuit recreates all the situations that students may encounter in real life, from roundabouts to zebra crossings and  parking zones. The centre has been built in collaboration with a number of companies upon a municipal plot of 6.111m².  Further plans include the construction of several classrooms.  


Over 55.000 vehicles circulate daily in Alzira.  This volume of traffic combined with the road works in Avenue of Santos Patrones, make journeys difficult. However, it is hoped the opening new of the new Tulell ring road, when finished will absorb 50% of the traffic entering the city centre. The new 800m dual carriage way will join the commercial centre and the Pont de Ferro. Road works also continue at the Carrefour roundabout, where an additional lane is being added in order to ease traffic jams at peak times.


Road improvement are to be carried out to the CV 640 from L’Olleria to Montaverner. At present, this road is frequently used as it is a direct link with the CV-40 and  the 340. The local council stated that the standard of this section of road is not sufficient for the amount of  traffic and poses serious safety risks. The work will be carried out by the Valencian Council at a cost of more than four million euros.

Sierra de Mariola

Fire has destroyed three hectors of mountain at the natural park in Sierra de Mariola, close to the town of Banyeres. Quick action of the fire brigade ensured control of fire in just over three hours. The Valencian Province Fire department and several helicopters remained at the site until the fire was completely extinguished. The fire, which above all effected the pine trees, started the day the Valencian Parliament declared the Province and North of Alicante on maximum alert as a result of high temperatures and strong winds. The cause of the fire is unknown, but it appears that it started near a hen coup, close to the ‘Llar de Mariola’ hostal.


A fire destroyed a drugstore in Cheste and caused the evacuation of local buildings. The fire spread quickly through the drugstore, situated on the lower floor of a building in the Padre Núñez street. Chemical products stored on the premises caused several explosions. Fire crews finally gained control of the fire 11pm, three hours after it started.


Residents living in the Nicolás Andreu district of Torrent have been plagued over the past few months by rats. Local residents confirmed that the rats pass under the subway fencing, over window ledges and can be found in the local parks. Reports suggest the rodents come from the countryside in front of the subway lines. The neighbourhood association for Nicolás Andreu have reported the matter to the Town hall who have assured them that they will put a plan in action to eradicate this problem. The residents did report the problem last spring after already suffering with the problem for 6months.

Moors and Christians

The Iman (head) of the Malaga Mosque and president of the Spanish Federation Of Islamic Organisations (Feeri), Félix Herrero, has demanded the suspension of the traditional Moors and Christian festivities because of the image the Muslim community receives and has announced that the festivities have “no capacity in democratic Spain”. The Islamic leader called the festivities “offensive” against Mahoma. In smaller Valencian villages like Bocairent and Beneixama the festivities may be deemed “offensive” as the celebrations conclude with the Christian flag hoisted on the recapture of their castle and fireworks ignite a statue of the Muslim prophet Mahoma.

Whilst the Islamic Federation demands the suspension of the Moors and Christian celebrations, the villages located in the folds of the Mariola mountain range (as well as other diverse villages in the Alicante and Valencia Province) are struggling to tone down acts that may offend the Muslim community. One example of this is in the village of Bocairent: during last February’s fiestas the statue of the prophet was thrown from the castle turrets, as is the tradition, but on this occasion there were no spectacular fireworks which would normally explode the statue.

The reactions to the Iman’s demonstration were not hopeful. The President of the Islamic Community in Ontinyent, the businessman Awadallah Khalil said that the Moors and Christian celebrations were “unavoidable”. Awadallah plans to  speak with the Iman Félix Herrero to discuss and clarify the matter. On their behalf, the various different ‘Festeros’ association (Festeros are the group who organise and participate in the fiestas) were surprised at the demand. The President of the Moors and Christian Association of Denia, María Jesús Monfort, said these festivities only represent “a piece of our history” and that at any moment does it have the objective to “mock any religion”. The President of the Moors and Christian association in Bocairent, Vicente Silvestre confirms that the demands of the Iman “are out of place. I want, for example, to see a Muslim,  not disguise the Muslim. and I would like the people to understand the real significance” of the celebrations. Francisco López, President of the Festeros Union (UNDEF), will organise a gathering of all the ‘festeros’ throughout Spain and invite the Iman of the Malaga Mosque to “come to the celebrations, be there and understand them from the inside”. Paco López, from Petrer, assures us that “the festivities remembers eight centuries of co-existence between Muslims and Christians and we actually celebrate the opposite of what he accuses” Added to this “the town’s shall continue with the Moors and Christians’ as they know how to, with the respect that they have always had”.

The various celebrations will be treated as an “artificial” debate and “fruits of the unknown”, according to the Islamic Superior Board of the Valencian Community. This organisation is mainly represented by a self governing body and consists of 18 mosques and another 7 non religious groups, and who regret the demands made by the leader of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Organisations (Feeri) also a member of the Malaga and Granada groups. The Valencian Superior Board stress that the communities Moors and Christian parade is a celebration that should be enjoyed with “no intention of offence” to Islam.


Since the British Consulate General in Madrid began producing biometric passports in late May 2006, a significant number of passport applications have been received with photos that do not comply with the standards necessary to capture biometric information successfully.   Photographs that do not comply with these standards are rejected by the biometric passport system and the application has to be returned to the customer to provide new compliant photos, thus delaying delivery of the new passport. . The Consulate General in Madrid would like to offer further advice on how to comply with the biometric photo requirements.

Terrorists and organised criminals attempt to use passport fraud and identity theft to facilitate their activities.  Countering this is a key priority and the enhanced security of  biometric passports is an important improvement, which also facilitates more robust border controls. There are various new security features, but most importantly, the unique facial biometric derived from the passport photo is stored on a state of the art microchip at the back of the passport, which can be read and verified by machines at border controls. For this process to be effective, the photographs need to be of a certain standard.

The photo standards are set out in detail, with clear examples and pictures, on our website,  The most common problems with rejected photos are eyes not clearly visible, being too far away from the camera, unsuitable pose (not looking directly at the camera, mouth open etc.) and the paper the photo has been printed on.

We would recommend the following additional advice to all customers to ensure their photos are accepted:

You need to ensure that the photo shows a close up of your head and shoulders so that your head, from the bottom of your chin to your crown is between 29mm and 34 mm high.  More detail, including a diagram, is on our website.

Please do not print your photograph out on your home printers as both the paper and the photo quality may not be acceptable.

Please do not digitally enhance your photos. A photo that has been enhanced may not produce an image of sufficient quality to be read by passport machines and could therefore result in difficulties at border controls.

If you wear glasses, make sure your eyes are clearly visible, avoiding reflections and the use of dark or tinted lenses.

Photos of children 5 and under - Photographs must show a clear image that is a true likeness of the child, but the biometric system allows for simplified procedures for young children for whom full compliance can be very difficult. We will accept photographs of under 5's with their mouths open eyes looking away from the camera or head to one side.   However, the rest of the photo standard requirements, including size of photo, must still be met.

Photos of children 6 and over - Photographs for all children over 6 must meet the full standards with one exception: photographs submitted of children under 11 years may show the head size between 21mm and 34mm high, instead of the adult requirement of 29mm to 34mm high.

For more information on biometric passports please visit
Town hall officials of Ontinyent joined together on the 9th of October for Valencia Communities Day to recognise local residents and business who have contributed and worked for the good of the community in Ontinyent.   

This year those receiving  recognition included Maria Barbarà, of the neighbourhood  association of Sant Josep, businessman Manuel Taberner of Colortex,  the ´Daughters of Charity of Saint Vicente de Paul’ and ADIEM an association who work to improve the quality of life for  those suffering from mental illness´. The awards ceremony took place in the ceremony room and afterwards the delegation went to the bowls park in Xalet to open the new headquarters of the neighbourhood association of Sant Josep.

Castelló de Rugat

The park at Castelló de Rugat has now been declared part of the Municipals Protected Natural Parks. The Forestry Commission approved the declaration which began more than a year and a half ago and shall be finalised this month with the official opening of the smallest park in Spain. The Town hall brought the land to create the park and explained that there is still a lot to do such as cleaning, planting, and water irrigation. In addition to its environmental values, the park is a perfect location for festive celebrations such as the celebration of Sant Antoni and Cassoletes, which is celebrated on Sunday 15 of October.

Xàtiva, Pobla Llarga and Enguera have requested that the Ministry of Health’s medical  centre’s should welcome practising doctors specialising in family medicine.´ This should be treated as a beneficial exercise for both the student doctor’s as well as  veteran doctors as  it will refresh existing knowledge and improve the service provided. From 2001 the Department of Health sector 14 (of which Xátiva and Ontinyent belong) has had almost 70 resident intern doctors studying family medicine. The Lluís Alcanyís Hospital in Xativa presently has 7 student doctors who will be practising in the hospital during their internship.  It is predicted that by June 2007, over 100 students will be studying in the hospital.

Alicia de Miguel, of the Welfare Department, visited the Alzheimer’s Day Care centre, two months after it opened, with the hope of creating a day for Alzheimer’s that would be recognised throughout the world. The Valencia Parliament representative stressed the importance of the day centre, and how it is currently relying on financial collaboration between the Town hall, Caixa Ontinyent and the Valencian Parliament. The maintenance alone of the day centre costs 100.000 euros annually. This year the self governing body of the government will spend 36 million euros to help improve the conditions that people with the disease live with.  One of the new ways in which the Valencian Community is trying to help is by creating a unit in private and public Residential homes, which will specifically be for those with Alzheimer’s.

Another idea was to have informal courses for carers to help them prepare both mental and physically with dealing with Alzheimer patients.

Additional information