Barcelona to open 10 new municipal nursery schools next week (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The current facilities still leave 61 percent of families who have applied for a place in municipal day care without a place. Though far from meeting the growing demand, the council hope to reduce this percentage to 30 percent in the next year. The expansion of facilities falls under the Municipal Action Programme for 2008-2011 which Jordi Hereu promised on his election. This includes doubling the number of places, from 3698 that were available in 2006-2007 to 7483 by September next year. For now, the plan is to open 10 new centres, which will take the total to 72. Hereu said yesterday that another 30 were planned and already meeting deadlines to open next year. The start date for 63 nursery schools is Monday 13th, the ten brand new centres, which offer 792 places for children aged between 0-3, will be delayed a couple of days, in order to finalise details. Hereu said, "there is no city in Europe to do this" and stressed that the quality of schools makes the demand even greater, which is growing faster than the current nurseries can accommodate. In 2006, just under 5,000 families applied for a place, while for this term over 8,200 applied. Of which 5,000 have had to seek alternatives.
Carles Martí gave his support to Jordi Hereu yesterday but did not rule out holding primaries for the forthcoming elections (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Carles Martí, president of the PSC party federation gave an impassioned defense of current mayor Jordi Hereu yesterday but did not rule out the conclusion of "primary elections" in January when they open the nomination process. "Nobody said Hereu should not be the candidate," appealed Martí. Yesterday, he also revealed that both deputy mayor Jordi William Carnes and Assumpta Escarp, had confirmed "personally" that they will not be candidates, reducing tthe list to two of possible candidates; ex culture minister, Mascarell Ferran, and the minister of economy, Antoni Castells. The two candidates responded by saying "We shall see" and defended work done in recent years as the best recipe to reverse polls that give Xavier Trias (CiU) an eight point lead after 32 years of a socialist council.
Engineers have called on politicians to plan works that are efficient and not just to win votes (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The Col·legi d'Enginyers of Camins, Canals, i Ports de Catalunya have asked politicians to not paralyse the transport infrastructure and not undertake projects of dubious economic of social return. Given the cuts from resources that affect the investment and the proximity of the elections (November 28th) experts have said that only projects that are worthy thanks to their effectiveness, efficiency and transparency. Josep Oriol, dean of the college said however, "We will not argue, but to give our opinion as technicians." The reports have been made in collaboration with the Institut Cerdà and based on data on various plans and projects. With regards to transport infrastructure, civil engineers are calling on the government to "implement assessment models with uniform criteria to allow from the prioritisation of investments according to a cost-benefit analysis of economic, social and environmental, said committee chairman the school who has worked in this field, Javier Vizcaino. They offer an assessment model they have developed and which rates the various works. Speaking of work currently stalled due to funding, Jordi Julià, chairman of the planning committee said "it seemed unlikely that Barcelona airport, which was the first in Spain to have a railroad, but has only a single track, has a new terminal with no train."