Tavira Views and News

The headline may give the subject away. This is a forum to expand on what we think about what is happening today in Tavira. It is not a political platform, just a view from the edge where we hope to provoke thoughts and comments from within and without. We welcome your views whether you be a visitor or resident.


"Luz sobre a Ria" - Junta de freguesia de Santa Luzia (Tavira)

On Sunday 7 April an exhibition opens in the Junta de Freguesia de Santa Luzia Tavira. That might not seem so unusual to you the reader. However, to me this exhibition is an expression of the hope and vitality that exists in this beautiful part of Portugal.

F/18.1 Is a group of local photographers based in Vila Real who are using their art form to help raise the capital required to restore an old style fishing boat currently located in Cacelha Velha.

The group are creating a series of exhibits across the Algarve to promote this cause and through their photography highlight the issues created by the powers that be´' against certain areas of the Algarve´s and Portugal’s historical heritage.

The name given to the exhibitions is 'Luz sobre a Ria' or ´Light on the Ria' but the recipient of the proceeds of the funds raised by the exhibitions is an old style fishing boat called O Golfinha. The boat is desperately in need of restoration. Prior to this campaign it was destined for a funeral pire in the Ria Formosa. It represents the wonderful historic past of this area, whilst Paulo and Fatima, the driving force behind the project represent the future.

Both need to be fostered, nurtured and demand your respect and recognition. Paulo and Fatima both claim to be unemployed. What they mean is that in a conventional world they are not employed in the traditional sense of the term. From what I can see they are oversubscribed and desperately short of daily hours to fulfil all the projects they are involved with.

In association with ADRIP Cacelha they intend restoring the boat now known as ' O Golfinho' and housing it in an open air museum in Cacelha with two previously restored boats.

ADRIP (Associação de Defesa, Reabilitação, Investigação e Proteção do Património Natural e Cultural de Cacela) is based in Cacela Velha. The organisation was formed in 1991 and it´s main objectives are the Defense, Rehabilitation, Research and Promotion of Cultural and Natural Heritage of Cacela. Over the nearly two decades of existence ADRIP has developed numerous and varied projects in defense of Cancela Velha, the local population and its historical and cultural heritage and natural.

The exhibition in Santa Luzia is the 7th one held in the Algarve. The location of Santa Luzia seems very appropriate, being the ´Capital of the Polvo´and with a rich tradition of fishing. It is also very much a living fishing village with it´s own small fleet of fishing vessels run by the stoical fishermen who form the character and backbone of the village.. It is also home to a group of young Portuguese men and women who despite the inherent economic problems faced by the area promote all that is good in this great part of the Algarve. The music, traditional arts and crafts and a respect for the elderly through their volunteer work with Associação Âncora and Associação Almadrava. Thank you for all your splendid work.

The campaign needs to raise over 5000€ so the exhibition so please come along enjoy the works on display and contribute as much as you can to helping with the restoration of O Golfinho and a small part of the heritage of this part of the Algarve.


Road Tolls in the Algarve

Via do Infante recorded last summer, a fall of 42.2% compared to car traffic in the same period before the introduction of tolls, indicate data of the report of the National Road Infrastructure (InIR).

According to this study, the Via do Infante (A22) daily turnover in the third quarter of 2012, on average, 13,451 vehicles, representing a decrease of 42.2% over the same period last year.

On the A22, where tolls were introduced on December 8, 2011, 9809 vehicles per day were recorded in the three summer months, when, in 2011, recorded an Average Daily Traffic of 23,260 vehicles.

The report focuses on the movement InIR in ancient Scut (roads no cost to the user) and the interior of the Algarve, between July and September 2012, reflecting the first effects of the introduction of tolls.

Re-printed with kind permission of www.tavira-news.com


Local Authority Reform - Tavira

It will not have gone unnoticed that there is an economic crisis in Portugal. Agreement has been reached with the EU Troika to introduce austerity measures designed to drag the country out of its current malaise. Much rhetoric has already been expounded but one thing is very clear. Every individual is now being affected and each individual will be even more affected in the current year to come. Sacrifices are being made and further ones will be extracted either willingly or not.

One area that appears to be more emotive than many is the reform to the local government sector. The current government structure is based on the 1976 Constitution, adopted after the 1975 Carnation Revolution. The Constitution specifically identifies the three tiers of government : civil parishes (fregusias), municipalities and administrative regions. So in this area, Algarve is the administrative region, with Tavira as the Municipality and Santa Luzia as one of 9 Juntas de Freguesia or parishes.

UTRAT (Technical Unit for the reorganisation of Local Administration ) put it´s new map of the parish councils before the Portuguese Parliament on November 5. The proposal would see the number of Juntas de Freguesia in the Algarve region reduced by 17 in 10 of the 16 municipalities. Six remaining unchanged including our neighbours São Brás. For Tavira this means the reduction of parishes from 9 to 6. Luz de Tavira and Santo Estevão will merge, as will Conceição and Cabanas de Tavira as well as the two Tavira City parishes of Santa Maria and Santiago. The changes for Tavira represents the biggest change of any municipality in the Algarve region. Maybe this is as a result of the lack of perceived co-operation from the present administration. No doubt as with everything else in this country, politics will have come into play.

If the proposals go ahead, how will they affect the Tavira area? Will there be significant changes to the services provided? Will there be the requisite reduction in costs? Will they result in significant job losses?. As previously mentioned there are local elections next year and the new changes could be the responsibility of a new administration. Let´s hope that they manage to extract all the positives that they can out of this situation and lead Tavira Munipality forward to a prosperous and happy future for all of it´s inhabitants.

If you have any thoughts on the reforms or comments you would like to make please feel free. We have no political allegiance in this country so we will not be offended.

Re-printed with kind permission of www.tavira-news.com


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