WITH AN attendance of 82 members and guests, Americans in Portugal (AmP) gathered for lunch at the Cascais Cultural Centre recentlyto hear their invited guest, Cascais Câmara President, António D’Orey Capucho, talk about Portugal and Cascais, the present and the future.
After a buffet provided by Maria José and her team of caterers, it was time for Mayor Capucho to take the floor. He spoke – in English – briefly about the present and his four year reign as Cascais President, so he had plenty of time to answer the written questions put before him by his audience.
He outlined the fact that he has chosen to stand for re-election as Cascais Câmara President for a second term, based on the fact that he had received great support from the majority of local citizens of the municipality, who had confidence in his last four-year mandate.
Capucho stated that he felt Cascais Câmara had worked well through a tricky, adverse financial climate and political instability. From the outset of the present mandate, the Câmara had met and corrected the sustained development policies. For example, in the past three years, they had only approved 1,900 homes for development and some 3,000 homes were no longer going to be built as their licences were obtained during the previous mandate.
The new Cascais Hospital will now be adjudicated by the government before the end of the year. The construction of three new health centres is underway in Alcabideche, S. Domingos da Rana and S. João do Estoril and are to open next year.
The moving of the urban waste site from Trajouce to Mafra will go ahead, the new PDM (Plano Director Municipal) is approved with greater restriction on the planned development of the municipality. The tourism incentive for the area will see the development of the Cidadela Fortress in Cascais, the construction of a new five star hotel near the Casino and the Santa Marta lighthouse being transformed into a museum. Also, recently, two municipal libraries were inaugurated.
Additionally, the municipality had successfully competed and won approval for a number of major sporting events, including the Laureus Sports Awards, and 2007 will see the world sailing events being held in Cascais.
Mayor Capucho answered a number of questions. Salim Patel, president of the St Dominic’s International School PTA, asked the Mayor if he was willing, through a committee of foreign residents, to outline his plans and listen to their views of ideas for the municipality. He agreed that it was an excellent idea and that it should go ahead immediately. He confidently answered all the questions and, on concluding, received a standing ovation from members and guests.