You walked, you danced, you will save lives…

Over €35,000 raised on this year’s Walk for Life with over 5,000 people walking

A pink wave took over South Tenerife shortly after 10am this morning as over 5,000 people began to gather for the annual Walk for Life in aid of the fight against breast cancer. The 4 kilometre walk was from the Golden Mile in Arona to Plaza Salytien in Adeje and participants had performances and a flash-mob dance to keep them entertained as well as a steel drum band and bagpipes leading the way. The walk also has a new mascot, a Butterfly, who is still looking for a name, to be decided on after submissions online.

This year’s walk saw over €35,000 raised, and the money will be used for various cancer-related support and investigation projects. Among the 5.000+ walkers were the Foundation president Brigitte Gypen and various members of the the Arona and Adeje Town Halls, including both mayors, José Julián Mena (Arona) and, José Miguel R. Fraga (Adeje). Both mayors, in addressing the crowd before they set off, stressed the importance of having a fully functional oncology unit in the as-yet uncompleted public hospital for South Teneirfe. “My wish for next year’s walk is that we will finally have a public hospital here”, said the Arona mayor José Julian Mena. The Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, took up the theme, “we continue to press for a quality public health service for everyone and are doing everything we can to make that a reality.”

José Julián Mena, also said it was a day to remember and celebrate those who couldn’t be here for many different reasons, and that it was a source of pride for him, “to be here in Arona today and see the south of Tenerife united as one, dressed in pink, the colour of awareness and sensitivity”. José Miguel Rodriguez Fraga added that “for another year running the south of Tenerife have demonstrated their high level of solidarity with those most in need, today that is those with cancer, in particular those with breast cancer, and their families”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready to Walk for Life?

 

At a press conference to announce details the mayors of Adeje and Arona also called for an oncology unit in the public hospital being built in South Tenerife

 

The Walk for Life is on December 16th this year and will probably see over 5,000 people taking part, according to the organisers and the mayors of Adeje and Arona, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and José Julian Mena, who held a joint press conference this morning. Foundation president Brigitte Gypen was at the top table alongside singer and this year’s honorary walk Grand Marshall, Agoney, who said this “was very important for him. It’s not the first time I have taken part – in previous years I sang too”.

4,500 walkers turned out for last year’s event and raised over €20,000. This year walkers will gather at the ‘Golden Mile’ in Arona and walk four kilometres to Plaza Salytien. And there will be a lot of fun activities before and afterwards, with many local singers and groups on hand to entertain the participants.

During the press conference the mayor of Arona also took time to stress the need for “an oncology unit in South Tenerife which needs to be based in the public hospital”, a demand seconded by the mayor of Adeje who added the need to address the issue of mobility, “under the current system cancer patients had to be brought to the north for their treatments, so adding to the treatments and illnesses they had to face long journeys, often prolonged by traffic jams”. Mena added that the Walk for Life was a “day full of hope but awareness has to be something permanent. It’s not just about one day but about 365 days”.

Adeje mayor Rodríguez Fraga renewed the borough’s commitment to the Walk for Life, “which reflects the solidarity of the south with those, mostly women, who are suffering from this illness. The Walk for Life gives them visibility, helps, and also highlights the need for early detection and the gaps that still exist in the treatments available”:

Brigitte Gypen thanked all those who participate and the businesses and sponsors, those helping with printing, merchandising, transport, halls, etc. She had special mention for the volunteers who work all year round to make the walk what it is. She told press that with increasing awareness of environmental impacts, this year there would be no balloons, instead streamers and flags. There will also be a flash mob – and people are already practising using the videos online on the Walk for Life and council social networks.

Detailing the use of funds raised last year, Gypen said that money was spent on the BRA project, ensuring that every woman on the island who has undergone a mastectomy has access to a special bra, designed for her needs, an essential tool in aiding recovery. Another project that has benefited from funding is the development of liquid biopsies and in the oncological physiotherapy service. These, as well as the on-going activities that happen in the Pink Room, and the donations to cancer associations such as the AECC and AMATE. Funding is also used to assist in the Kilómetro Solidario Project which provides transport for oncology patients in South Tenerife.

 

A surprise visitor to the press conference was the new mascot for the Walk for Life, a butterfly – a mascot that is, as yet, unnamed – but the public will be asked to help find a name through social media. The press were also shown the new promotional video, with local Spanish and British journalists urging people to take part in the Walk for Life on December 16th. And if you want to contribute but can’t take part on December 16th you can always buy the 2019 Voices for Life calendar or other promotional items.

The mayors of both boroughs also outlined other ways in which they are working to assist residents who are suffering from cancer today, “even though it might not be officially our responsibility, that is no way to evade the issue…we will continue to invest but also continue to demand quality public health services particularly in the south”, said the Adeje mayor.

 

The mayor of Arona informed the press that they have given the AECC association a headquarters in a municipal installation and are developing aquatic activities for patients who need them. The council also recently announced the availability of free transport for those who need to travel to Santa Cruz/La Laguna for oncological treatments.

Adeje too contributes annually, with the Pink Room in the borough’s Escuela de Seguridad y Convivencia and are working on a lymphedema prevention programme, offering therapy, transport and working with the AECC. Both mayors said they would be taking part on December 16th, “walking for life, reinforcing these action plans, because they meet the needs of our people, together”.
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“Register, register, register”; words of advice from British Ambassador Simon Manley

British Ambassador meets Tenerife south mayors and British public

 (Photo Credits: Luz Sosa)

The UK Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, was in Arona yesterday to address a public meeting on Brexit matters affecting British residents. The ambassador said the timing was opportune, given the fact that the British prime minister Theresa May had finalised a deal, approved by the EU 27, on the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Manley also met with a group of Tenerife South mayors and councillors, and local business representatives, in advance of the public meeting, to talk to them about issues of relevance to them, considering the many thousands of Britons who live in their boroughs.

The Ambassador is in the Canary Islands for four days, visiting five islands, and yesterday morning also met the head of the Canarian government, and representatives of the Embassy’s social partners. Accompanying the mayor was the Consul for the South of Spain and the Canaries, Charmaine Arbouin, vice consul Helen Keating, and the consular staff who deal with British residents here on a daily basis.

During the public meeting the Ambassador sought to allay any worries people have about changes in status, pensions, and workers and business owners rights here in the Canary Islands. “Register, register, register” was Manley’s repeated call to residents, not just on the ‘padrón’ in local councils, but with the national police/foreigners office, adding that they were aware that the official numbers of Britons living in Spain didn’t reflect the reality. He told them that if they were registered as residents; “what the withdrawal treaty does, once it is ratified by the British Parliament and the European Parliament, is to put the guarantees set out in that treaty, your current rights as citizens here will then be embodied in international law. There can be no firmer basis for the protection of your rights…enabling you and your families to continue to live here in the manner in which you have lived here hitherto”.

One of the matters the Ambassador raised speaking to the mayors and authorities earlier, including the Arona mayor, José Julian Mena, Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and councillors Carmen Rosa González Cabrera, Ermitas Moreira García and Zebenzui Chinea Linares (Adeje) and David Perez (Arona), was the right to vote in local elections. While it is one of the few rights not currently guaranteed under the withdrawal treaty the Ambassador said talks with Spanish authorities were on-going and they hoped that UK citizens in Spain would be able to continue to participate in local politics here both as voters and candidates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supply and demand in a tourist town!

Tourism towns need particular financial considerations

The Alliance of tourism towns in Spain, the AMT, made up of Adeje, Arona, Benidorm, Calvià, Lloret de Mar, Salou, San Bartolomé de Tirajana and Torremolinos, outlined their priorities as the leading tourism destinations in Spain, during a meeting in Madrid earlier this week. Also present were members of the British embassy and consulates.

The eight member boroughs together represent only 0.92% of the Spanish population, but received 13.52% of visitors to the country, 11,059, 430 last year. They have an average occupation rate of over 82% and employ over 86,000 people in the sector. Spain is currently registering as the second best tourism market in the world.

The strong competition in the sector globally and the permanent evolution of the demand of the new tourist are issues of concern for the members boroughs. All are working to digitalise the sector, to continue to grow as sustainable, safe and accessible places to visit, elements that are important in marking the difference between Spanish and many other destinations and maintain their position as world leaders in the sector. To further the aims of the boroughs the group has said they need a specific financial system with increased funding from public administration to put in place many of the new products which will increase their competitive edge. That in turn will continue to see positive returns for the country.

The mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, says this isn’t just about “asking for money”, but “allocating the tools needed to direct the finance along the lines to alleviate the kinds of pressure that tourism boroughs are under, boroughs that have to deal with a huge seasonal increase in their populations, people who visit not live in the boroughs, but who still require services. Without specific aid, the potential is that the resident population will suffer a parallel decrease in services.

“We are dealing with issues that mark us out from other Spanish boroughs, and as, for instance, there are laws the apply only to the larger cities in Spain, we think it is only fair that we have specific regulations that apply to those boroughs that have a large regular tourism weighting”, insisted the Adeje mayor.

 

The mayor of Arona, José Julián Mena, explained that while “tourism is a source of income and bring opportunities to the residents of our boroughs, we can’t forget that the industry also brings huge pressure to bear on local infrastructures and services”.

He added, “We want to be able to continue to offer both residents and visitors quality public services, but that isn’t easy with pressure from the local population as well as a daily floating influs of about 225,000, people, which is exactly why we need a financial structure that is particular and adapted to the needs here – roads, sanitation and health services, for example.

Also attending the meeting was Bill Murray, Head of Economics and Public Policy at the British Embassy, Sarah Jane Morris, British Consul for Madrid and Alicante and Lloyd Milen, British Consul for the Balearics, Catalonia and Andorra, who are interested in the evolution of this group given the importance of the British market.

During the meeting there was also discussion of worries regarding the question of Brexit and how this might affect tourism. However all were keen to stress the popularity of Spain as a holiday destination with Britons and an overall sense that Brexit won’t have a huge impact on tourism and commerce in that sector.
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Department of Communications

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Unacceptable” decision at Tenerife South airport

The mayors of Adeje, Arona and Guía de Isora held an urgent meeting to discuss the planned airport night closure situation

“The island will be without night time flight connections for three months, an unacceptable situa-tion” they commented
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The mayors of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, Arona, José Julián Mena, and Guía de Isora, Pedro Martín, held an urgent meeting today to discuss the planned night time closure of the Tenerife South airport for three months

The three mayors expressed their “total rejection of the position which will mean the island is without flight connections at night. The north airport isn’t open during the night time hours and now the south airport is also going to close for three months at night time. The island will be isolated and the consequences for the residents and for the tourism sector will be terrible. This is unacceptable”:

Rodríguez Fraga, Mena and Martín are asking the regional government and the Tenerife Ca-bildo to explain the gravity of the situation to the relevant national department for develop-ment, a situation which will leave the people of Tenerife in “a complicated situation”:

The mayors have outlined the importance of the airport as a fundamental infrastructure for the south of the island, fundamental for the residents and for the main economic motor of Tenerife, tourism. “This is the third most profitable airport in Spain, with 11.2 million passengers and more than €70 million in income annually. We cannot be treated in this way, the decision has been taken with no regard for the importance of this time of the year.”

The three mayors also pointed out how this decision only served to vindicate their support for a second runway, and also added this decision regarding the airport to the list of examples of how the south of the island was badly treated by the regional government, “motorways, the public hospital” etc.