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    • Today marks the end of March 2011– Time certainly doesn’t hang about and in this frenetic pre-election year we seem to be pushing forward at breakneck speed in every direction!


    • The ESG welcomes the fact that this week’s newsletter contains positive news as well as our usual gripes, so let’s start with some good news!


    • Many of you will already be aware of the sudden announcement by the La Linea Mayor of the planned reparations to their collapsed sewage system aiming to have works completed by the middle of June!! This is brilliant news for the thousands of beach users who hope to be able to use Western Beach this year but only time and monitoring of the area will tell if it will be clean and safe enough to use. On this occasion the combined efforts of beach users, NGO’s, agencies, Govt, cross border NGO co-operation and MEP support appears to have delivered a solution!! I mention all these because this is what it has taken to finally see appropriate action by the La Linea Ayuntamiento.  Just shows what can be achieved when communities pull together. Perhaps this heralds a change in our environmental fortunes? Let’s hope so!


    • Not even a few days had elapsed when we read in the local media that the European Commission had finally conceded shortcomings at the CEPSA Oil Refinery– well, our first official complaint was laid before the Commission in 2002! – Three Commissioners later, numerous petitions, trips to Brussels, and investment in time and energy and finally we get their agreement about the problems present at the plant. We are extremely happy about this result and are planning to celebrate this achievement as well as the next steps with increasing confidence.


    • We have also seen in practice the benefits of having a voice in Brussels via our MEPs and today the ESG will be meeting another of our representatives, Conservative MEP Julie Girling. We shall take the opportunity to also brief her in full on regional environmental issues and hope in future we will also be able to count on her support in Brussels.


    • On other matters the ESG has welcomed the announcement by Government of the contract for the new Power Station. It is desperately overdue and if the three aging power stations are shut down immediately the new station is operational, we should see wide spread improvements in our air and noise quality which will bring great benefits to all.


    • Sadly, we are nowhere near there yet and the ESG was shocked to see a “healthy” playground, (a pavement work-out ensemble), set up immediately in front of the spewing chimneys of the MoD and OESCO power stations- an area known to be an environmental hotspot with pollutants measured at levels considered harmful to health. We therefore call upon Govt to rectify this slip-up without delay and mothball this so-called healthy play park. We shall also be raising awareness in the nearby residential areas for people not to use this equipment until such time as the stations are removed.


    • This week saw a lengthy article in the Chronicle by Breast Cancer Support Group giving their views on breast cancer rates and the recently published Epidemiological Study carried out in Gibraltar. Please also look out in the media for the ESG article titled “Epidemiological Study – What now?” which you can also find on our website: www.esg-gib.net


    Thanks for listening-