The ruling PA in Frigiliana under Mayor Javier López have used their absolute majority to approve the privatisation of the water supply, dismissing opposition PSOE and PP objections to the proposal.
The government argues that the water supply is not a profitable venture for the Council and is better in the hands of private enterprise, as has happened in several neighbouring municipalities (Nerja, Torrox, Vélez-Málaga), as they can provide, for example, a 24-hour breakdown service.
In addition, it will allow the redeployment of a number of Council workers to other duties.
The Mayor dismissed arguments that the privatisation of the water supply would lead to price increases, pointing to the other local municipalities where privatisation has occurred and where there have been no subsequent price increases.
It must be said, however, that these privatisations have all been fairly recent.
The successful bidder will assume control of the water supply for a period of 25 years, paying an initial €600,000 to €800,000 and an annual fee of €0.15 per cubic metre of water billed. This will earn the Council between €40,000 and €50,000 per year.
There are those who argue that the primary motive for such privatisations is, in effect, a back-door loan and a revenue earning scheme rather than it being primarily for the benefit of the residents. And who can blame them for this attitude when such schemes only crop up during a financial crisis?