Arona Mayor José Julián Mena. Photo: Arona Ayuntamiento
Update 26 January 2016: True to his word, Mayor Mena has announced the return of full, legal, permanent and stable contracted lifeguard services for all Arona’s beaches, saying that it “is a very important service in a tourist area with beaches that get tens of thousands of visitors every year”. The mayor stressed, too, that the service was a prerequisite to Arona recovering its blue flag status. “Step by step”, he said, “we are recovering our municipality’s good name, with the scandals of the past overcome, and with all efforts dedicated to working for the welfare of our residents and the development of Arona.”
The new service will comprise a permanent presence in Las Vistas, Los Cristianos and El Camisón beaches, with a seasonal service (July, August and September, as well as Easter period) in Las Galletas. The rest of the coast will be served by roving lifeguards. There will also be two lifeguards trained in offering disabled adapted bathing facilities in Las Vistas and Los Cristianos.
Original post 12 August 2015: I’ve written at length before now about the administrative chaos in Arona, and in particular the shaming of a municipality that resulted from the disgraceful treatment of the lifeguards by the previous Coalición Canaria (CC) council. I’ve also written about the electoral earthquake that took place in the recent municipal elections, and the sweeping aside of the CC administration, and the election of the PSOE (socialist) to power.
New mayor Mena has already made his presence felt by banning two-wheeled electric scooters and bikes from promenades and pedestrian areas, a situation that was giving rise to numerous daily complaints, and now he is turning his attention to another – the lifeguards. Mena has announced that after three years under the old regime where there was no firm contract for lifeguard services on the Arona coastline, the council considers it essential to recover the prestige of its beaches, and of course, it’s blue flags.
There will now be a proper firm two-year contract for Vigilancia, Salvamento y Asistencia along the entire shore of the municipality which will include disabled bathing and “universal access” measures. The council approved the administrative process for putting the contract out to tender yesterday. It will have a budget of around €800,000, and should mean that within the next few months at most, Arona will be ready to face 2016 with its beaches back in prime tourist condition. At last.