It is Wednesday and since we haven’t heard anything from the local authorities with regards the progress of cleaning up the ravine, we decide to visit the town hall once again- as Wednesday mornings are an opportunity for ‘an audience’ with the Mayor. This time, we are received with less gentility – I feel we are rapidly falling out of favour and towards being a pain in the proverbial. Nothing significant has happened in the last two weeks, other than that the story has once again changed. It seems that the contract for cleaning ran out at the end of December and a new one hasn’t really been put into place, so the waste offices are in a bit disarray and cannot deal with any extra demands. On top of that, the news is that the cleaning of the ravine has been lumped together with two other clean-up projects and the three of them are out to tender, which will take a minimum of 15 days before a firm can be appointed, after which there are still more bureaucratic hurdles to jump before anything can happen. Giovanni the vice mayor gets a bit exasperated having to explain all this, after all he’s not responsible for the waste department but the tourism officer. In the end, he promises to send us an SMS with updates by Tuesday (which he hasn’t done!) and, if there is no progress, to take us to the regional office.
In the waste office, a man we haven’t met before looks at our photos and says, in his opinion, nothing will move until the summer at the earliest, and in any case it will be a very costly operation – in the region of 20,000 Euros, or more if the bridge proves not to be strong enough to hold ‘recovery’ vehicles.
I bump into Sergio (the consigliere) in the corridor and when I ask him how the story about the CCTV camera is unfolding, he just shrugs his shoulders and rolls his eyes – there’s no reply from the authorities on this front. He seems to imply that a lot of talking may have happened but not much action. While we are talking, the mayor passes us and studiously ignores me. I’m sure he remembers that 2 weeks ago he promised us that the ravine would be clean in the space of 10 days.
In short, nothing has moved and the stories change with every visit to the town hall.
Meanwhile fresh rubbish arrives in the ravine almost daily and stray dogs help themselves to the freshly dumped horses’ heads.
Maybe it’s time to go to the press?
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