Corruption

Dear Editor,

First, thank you for responding to the issue relating to the construction of the communications tower in Carvoeiro. Giving this issue some publicity will help to force change.

I wish that you as a newspaper would start looking into a number of other issues that relate to zoning changes where the (Lagoa) Câmara was definitely involved.

Given the press coverage of the Freeport case, it would be helpful if the press started looking into all of the major zoning changes that have taken place in the past few years.  You will find substantive cases where agricultural land is purchased by a developer, then miraculously converted to high density residential land in a relatively short period of time.  It is common knowledge that pay for planning has been in place for some time.  

The quote from your own newspaper from the Mayor of Lagoa “Lagoa Mayor told the Algarve Resident that ‘the Câmara does not have to inform residents about everything that it does’.”  It is my experience that a lack of transparency and an autocratic approach to decisions foster corruption.  We as foreign residents will have the power to vote in elections. In an area like Carvoeiro, this might have a major impact on our governing body. At some point, the Câmara will have to start working for the citizens of the area, as opposed to developers with deep pockets.  In a modern democracy, I think the government does have the responsibility to inform residents when they are making decisions that impact the value of their property. However, in Lagoa, all of these decisions happen behind closed doors.

MATTHEW HADLEY, by email