MIGUEL FREITAS, president of the Socialist Party (PS) in the Algarve region, outlines the party’s manifesto for the forthcoming local council elections.
“In these times of change, we have to be aware that we depend on a good capacity to plan and manage our region well. We must choose key investments carefully and improve the organisation of public services and companies.
Health and the environment are two issues, which demand competitiveness and sustainability in order to deliver the quality of life essential for the Algarve. These priorities will not withstand any hesitation or ambiguity.
The Odelouca dam must be constructed to guarantee a level of autonomy with regard to water supply for the Algarve. It is also essential that the Hospital Central do Algarve is built at Parque das Cidades in order to guarantee hospital care in the region.
In our agenda for change at councils in the Algarve, we make new pledges that promise sustainable development and propose Agendas Locais 21, an environmental improvement programme specific to each area, and Município Saudável, a healthy council campaign which aims to place public health at the forefront of our attentions.These two programmes are the mainstay of our innovative council plans.
We choose the sea as playing an important part in our regional plans.The discoveries, culture, history, fishing, sun and beach tourism, the marinas, yachting, water sports and diving – all of these relate to the past and to the future and are strongly enriched in this region.We must not forget this.Projects such as the building of the Centro Oceanográfico de Sagres, the oceanography centre for Sagres, and the Museu dos Descobrimentos, the discoveries museum, must be among our priorities.
As well as these, we hope that the Socialist câmaras will be setting an example for the rest to follow in terms of new concepts in council management.To this end, we pledge to implement in every Socialist câmara a participative budget, involving the local population in the main decision making at the councils, but also finding ways to organise our towns, to give more life to our neighbourhoods and bring about community spirit.
Transparency and efficiency in our management are the central aims of our party. We also believe that the ‘Município Online’ (online council services via the internet) could be one of the elements to drive forward this change.”