The Pressupostos Participatius of Reus drag pending and vandalized projects
Delayed for years, unfinished, with a different result than expected or vandalized and awaiting repairs. This is how some of the projects have been seen that the residents of Reus, with their proposals and votes, commissioned the Reus City Council through the Pressupostos Participatius of 2018 and 2019. Now that the government has just launched a new call for this system that allows citizens to decide the allocation of public resources, endowed with one million euros, the initiatives of previous editions that did not come to fruition emerge.
The family park (395 votes, 150,000 euros), whose barbecues were destroyed and have not yet been replaced; the Antoni Correig i Massó square (317 votes, 120,000 euros), which was approved in 2019, began work in April 2022 and raises neighborhood complaints about the finishes; or the drainage system of the Parc del Trenet (177 votes, 25,000 euros), without starting despite frequent flooding, are some examples.
But are not the only ones. At the closure of the gardens of the Festa Major and the seguici Festiu, only one of the two spaces was initially tendered; and in Astorga street, the zebra crossings were turned off after someone pulled out the wiring placed in sight.
Its promoters regret that the fruit of these initiatives has been far from what they proposed or has not yet been seen. They ask for everyone's involvement, bearing in mind that "a tool like Budgets is valuable and could be very useful." Until today, the Participatius have given the green light to 27 ideas with 1.5 million euros.
Up to 27 initiatives have received the green light, voted by the neighbors, in the two previous launches of Pressupostos Participatius
"The family park will be inaugurated on November 2," explains Ana García, who formulated the proposal that has allowed the creation of this new leisure area for children and adults in AgroReus. "The City Council has put a field, seats, has recovered the tables and it is excellent, although it is a pity to have lost the barbecues," she adds.
And it is that the family park has been one of the most successful interventions in terms of citizen acceptance. Before it was ready, people were already using it and there is no weekend that it is not full. But one night in early 2022, someone ripped out grills and bricks, snapping picnic furniture and rendering the place unusable. The City Council announced that it would look for a more robust system to recover the stoves, but in the end it seems that they will not be replaced.
García is proud of the park because “everyone has liked it and enjoys it”. However, she remembers that "earthworks, at the beginning, complicated the rest and thus it was not possible to make some of the ideas that were there, but we will request them again through the new Pressupostos". "It was a shame that it wasn't built when it was supposed to and, once it was ready, they go and break everything," she criticizes.
Waiting and discontent
The case of Plaça Antoni Correig i Massó is different. There, the objective of the intervention was "to revalue and consolidate the public space used by neighbors to transform it into accessible and inclusive for people with functional diversity", as announced by the City Council. Asked about the course of the square, the promoter of the reform Jordi Clua denounces that, "since the project won, we waited more than three years for it to be carried out."
“In addition, the works have not been carried out well; they are wrong and they will stay that way forever », he underlines. And it is that, according to him, "the rubber floor that was installed has not been flat, they had to change the swings because they were not the ones that corresponded and there are irregular areas." "The division between the different play areas was drawn in one part with impacted concrete and in the other with cement, and not even the lines that delimit them are straight," he says.
Clua complains that "I warned, but they have done what they wanted." And she remembers that "the tasks were going in fits and starts: they made a lot of progress in fifteen days and then they stopped." "In short," she says, "everything in the plaza has been late and wrong."
Nearly 1.5 million euros is what the City Council has dedicated so far to this system that allows citizens to allocate public resources
Not too far from there, in the Parc del Trenet, they are still waiting for improvements to be made to the floor and the drainage system. Last week, during the celebration of the Associació de Veïns El Santuari festivities, the park was flooded by rainwater and the organizers had to bail it out with buckets and brooms. The president of the entity, Ramón Palmerín, is clear: «We asked for it about four years ago, it was approved and nothing has been done».
“It is not normal for something like this to drag for so long because the park is a place for people, who cannot use it when it floods,” he values.
Despite everything, the Santuari does not give up its efforts to update the Parc del Trenet. Palmerín advances that "as the Participatius Pressupostos have reconvened, we will ask for something else." The Associació de Veïns thinks of proposing that the square be equipped with public toilets because "if there is an event or when the train runs, they are needed".
"It can be improved, we already took note"
When consulted in this regard, the Councilor for Participation, Montserrat Flores, indicates that "the Parc del Trenet project has not been ruled out, it will be done and will continue with the proponents." Regarding the family park, she specifies that "the work was carried out and, if we had inaugurated it at that time, the barbecues would be a later issue." The grills, for now, "will not be put back", although "if the formula is found later, it will be taken into account." And in Correig i Massó, "there was a process that was redirected."
Flores admits that "past editions can be improved, we take note and there is a commission that deals with it", although "not making a positive balance would undermine everything that has gone well".