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Striving for sustainability in Silves

By ELOÏSE WALTON eloise.walton@algarveresident.com

Silves Câmara President and social democratic (PSD) party candidate Isabel Soares spoke to the Algarve Resident as part of its series of articles on political candidates for the local elections on October 11, about the priorities in her 2009 local election campaign and the measures being taken to better integrate the foreign community.

Isabel Soares is keen to continue what she has already started as President of Silves Câmara, aiming to create sustainability and quality in her council while including the vast array of different nationalities that make Silves so multicultural.

“I want to continue working in a manner that promotes not only an image of quality for the council but also private investment, as well as to develop projects that improve the tourist offer,” she said.

Isabel Soares’ priorities for the 2009 local election campaign include education, the preservation of the council’s heritage and tourism.

“Education is one of the key areas in the council. Schools in the council are in very distinct locations and with very different socioeconomic characteristics, which present challenges in terms of managing transportation, food, maintenance works and staff,” she said.

According to Isabel Soares, the preservation of heritage is also important to the council and she is always attentive to any financial assistance that can help the council in this task.

Multicultural

Land planning is also a key factor in her manifesto. Isabel Soares says that she wants the council to grow harmoniously, without clashing with what currently exists.

“Naturally, tourism is also an area in which we are strongly focused,” she said. “The council knows that there are new kinds of tourists who demand better quality of services and infrastructure and a more specialised offer. Silves council is not just sun and beach; it has a lot more to offer.”

She also said that she recognises and values the fact that the population in the council includes many nationalities.

“We are a council marked by multiculturalism. Our Muslim roots are present in our identity, but we are essentially a people marked by tolerance,” she said, adding that in some of the schools in Silves, there are students from more than 20 different countries.

“During my leadership, the council has been working towards integrating foreign citizens in community life,” she said.

An example of this is with the local CLAI, an immigrant support centre that provides information and advises foreign citizens about who they can contact for different problems.

She added: “We have also been working on the creation of a Senior University, which could hold Portuguese language lessons. We believe that a great part of the foreign community with a high level of culture could help with the creation and development of this initiative.”

For more information about the PSD party in the Algarve, please visit the website, available in Portuguese only, at www.psd-algarve.co

Socialist (PS) party candidate, Lizete Romão, is also running for the position of Silves mayor in this year’s elections. For more informaiton about her campaign, please visit the website, available in Portuguese only at www.lisete2009.com.

Communist (CDU) party candidate, Rosa Palma, is also running for Silves mayor. For more information about her campaign, please visit the website, available in Portuguese only at www.cdusilves2009.yolasite.com.