The new Organic Regulation of Citizen Participation of the Santa Cruz City Council is already in its last phase, which is the presentation of allegations to the document, after having been initially approved by the Plenary of last June and published, at the beginning of this month , in the Official Gazette of the Province (BOP). This was explained by the councilor of the area, Javier Rivero, who indicated that, “if everything goes well, it would come into effect approximately in November and from then on we will be able to start up all the machinery” of the new regulation.
In this last phase, “through the municipal portal of Citizen Participation, we have posted the document so that citizens can present allegations, and once the deadline ends, on September 14, they will be answered and from there it would be definitively approved and it would come into force ”, affirmed the mayor.
Those interested in submitting complaints or suggestions to these regulations may do so through electronic registration or in person, at the Citizen Information and Attention offices of Santa Cruz, until next day 14.
“When it is approved, it will be the most modern tool in the Canary Islands, in the sense of citizen participation,” emphasized Javier Rivero, who stressed that “we have taken advantage of these months of pandemic in which we have seen that the social situation has changed and that we needed to work more in a community way, to fight the issue of loneliness, to meet again in the neighborhoods and towns… ”.
Regarding the news that the regulations will bring, the councilor recalled that it allows the possibility of opening citizen consultations, which “means that referendum-type votes can be held for specific things in districts, neighborhoods or throughout Santa Cruz”, and in which those over 16 years of age may vote. But also the neighbors themselves “can promote the consultation, it does not have to be the will of the City Council”, for which they need to collect a percentage of signatures. Specifically, it will be necessary to obtain signatures equivalent to 4% of the census (about 8,000 signatures if it is on the total population of Santa Cruz, for example).
“It is not a binding vote, but the City Council has the obligation to tell the neighbors, within a month, what decision it is going to make, adopting or not what the citizens say,” Rivero said.
To this we must add that, in addition, through popular initiative, they will also be able to propose points to be discussed on the agenda of the plenary sessions; call public hearings; propose the creation of Municipal Councils; or even normative propositions.
On the other hand, Rivero also stressed that the new regulation reinforces “the role of the around 250 active entities that Santa Cruz has”, but also includes the possibility that residents can work with the City Council without having to be in an association. Likewise, it will allow “that there are groups of people who can register in Citizen Participation without being registered as an association, as the typical platform that is created for a specific purpose and when it is achieved it disappears”, explained the mayor. “Well, we are going to allow that platform to register without having to have statutes, directives, etc., to be able to respond to them,” he said.