President of the AIRC Raymond Parfait and Loulé Mayor Vítor Aleixo

Contrary to the belief of some people, Loulé is not a wealthy council,’ says Mayor

Mayor of Loulé Town Hall Vítor Aleixo was the guest speaker at a recent dinner meeting of the Almancil International Rotary Club (AIRC).
Born in the S. Clemente parish of the Loulé municipality, Aleixo was appointed President following the elections in October last year. As well as being Loulé Mayor, Vítor Aleixo’s other claim to fame is that he is the grandson of the famous Portuguese poet António Aleixo whose statue sits proudly outside the Calcinha Bar in Loulé and is a magnet for tourists keen to have their photograph taken with him.
Vítor Aleixo spoke at some length about the growing needs and financial problems facing citizens who have increased in number since 2009.
Compared to the boom years when money was readily available for the building of roads, schools and health centres, when maybe two in every 10 citizens requested financial support from the Câmara Municipal or help to find work, that number has now grown to eight in every 10 people.
“It is for that reason that the Câmara intends to concentrate its finances and resources on social needs rather than large building projects or heavy construction,” he said. “We plan to help those most at need with the payment for medicines, help to pay rent, water and energy bills, and minor repairs to properties. We are aware that some schoolchildren are going without food at home and we plan to open school canteens during the holidays to help alleviate this problem.
“Contrary to the belief of some people, Loulé is not a wealthy council. We have a high rate of unemployment. We are working hard to attract investors and, of course, we need to do more to invest in publicity to promote tourism, which is a great source of income for us and for businesses.”
Loulé Mayor ended his speech with praise for the Safe Residence Programme established in 2010 at the instigation of local people with the “full cooperation and hard work of the GNR” and which has now grown to cover most of the Algarve.
In conclusion, Vítor Aleixo thanked AIRC for their charitable work and their efforts in helping local communities, especially UNIR which provides day care and activities for adults with mental disabilities.