SOME people might think fewer politicians is a good thing, but whatever your views two Marina Alta towns will be having fewer councillors soon due to their falling populations.  Parcent’s population has dropped below a thousand while the Vall d’Ebo now only has 224 official residents and both will have two fewer councillors after the next elections.

They will have seven and five respectively, and many of the political portfolios will be shared as tends to happen with smaller municipalities. Denia, Calpe and Javea all have the most councillors with the allocation of 21 for towns of greater than 20,000 residents, although Calpe now only has around 21,000 residents after also experiencing depopulation

PEGO residents have been given a short-list of six new names to replace Calle Zaplana, named after the disgraced former Valencian President. Three of the alternatives are named for well-known figures from the Marina Alta town, two of them female. They are composer Dolores Sendra, political party founder Carmelo Sendra Martinez and Pepita Estela Sastre, a well-known teacher from the town.

The other three options are Carrer de la Llibertat, Carrer d’Accio Urgent and Carrer La Crosta, the latter referring to the gastronomic history of Pego. Citizens can vote for their favourite on the municipal website until 24 March. The street was originally named after Eduardo Zaplana who is now on trial in connection with a major corruption case; the decision was taken last year to rename it due to this scandal.

PROSECUTORS have asked for a total prison term of 1,164 years for four Bulgarian nationals accused of people trafficking across Spain, including Pego and Guadassuar in the Valencian Community. They are accused of exploiting 33 fellow Bulgarians who they brought to Spain to work in the agricultural sector.

The court heard how they were then forced to live in “inhuman” conditions while the gang-masters kept most or even all of their compatriots’ wages. The four defendants, a father and three sons, have been in detention since 2016 and deny the claims, blaming the uncle of the three youngest defendants. The over 1,000-year jail term has been arrived at by cumulating 33 charges of people trafficking and 30 of infringing worker’s rights.

THE CV 700 which connects Pego to Denia was closed for just under an hour on Sunday after a vehicle lost control and rolled into a nearby orange grove, ending up on its side.

The car was balanced precariously over a small drop and the female driver was trapped inside. Thankfully the rescue team managed to remove the woman safely through the tailgate of her car and the road was quickly re-opened.

Today is world Bird Day and in recognition of this Denia is laying on some ornithological diversions over the weekend. 

On Friday 5 October, the focus is on urban birds and from 5 pm to 8 pm there are various events in the Interpretation Centre of the Montgo Natural Park. These are free for all and include family workshops with guides on how to construct a nest box and about bird ringing.

On Saturday there is a guided birding tour through the Montgo Park, starting at 9 am and running until midday.  A bus will be laid on from the Torrecremada Park for anyone who wants to attend.

On Sunday there is another guided tour, this time through the Pego-Oliva Marshes with its large variety of bird life.  Once again there is a bus departing from Torrecremada, this time at 8 am and returning at midday.

All activities are free but you will need to reserve a place at deniaviva@ayto-denia.es

A BRITSH registered luxury car was used to blend in to an area popular with ex-pats by two men who were growing marijuana on a large scale.

The drug was being cultivated in the Pego area by two Polish nationals whose operation first came to the attention of the police after neighbours complained of the strong odour coming from their house.  They ran a surveillance operation for several weeks and were able to identify the two tenants and the suspiciously high level of security at the property.

After gathering sufficient evidence to raid the property they found 400 drying plants and 700 grams of buds ready for sale.  There were so many plants in the house that they were in every room, including the living room and bedrooms.  The pair, Polish nationals aged 29 and 30, have been remanded without bail as they are considered a high flight risk due to their lack of Spanish ties.

RESIDENTS of Marina Alta towns Pego and l’Atzuvia are being given help in tracing their ancestry, possibly as far back as the sixteenth century. The parish archives go back as far as 1533 can be accessed at a special event in the Casa de la Cultura in Pego on 16 May. The records from the mid-sixteenth century to 1800 have now been computerised and this will also be of great help to those who want to look into their family tree.
In 1533 Vila Pegolina, as the municipalities were then known, had around 1,000 residents, many of whom will still have descendants living in the towns today. However, the task will not be straightforward as basics such as names and surnames were changed in many different official records while most ordinary people at that time were illiterate. As usual births, christenings, marriages and deaths were the most reliable source of information and the most likely to be recorded. If your descendants were in the church or army, as many people were back in that time, they may also be on other records.