Next year, Badalona will have the highest budget in its history. There are exactly 223,577,693.20 euros that will be distributed among the different departments and that will allow the most precarious areas to be increased, such as the internal municipal organization, for which 26.5 million will be allocated to, among other aspects, hire 110 people to fill the positions that until now were vacant and that had not been filled.
In general terms, as announced at a press conference by the mayor, Xavier Garcia Albiol and the first deputy mayor of Treasury and Finance, Juan Fernández, the increase is 17%. “We are the city of Catalonia with the greatest budget growth” boasted the first mayor, which “is an obvious example and a clear commitment to offer the best services” to the people of Badalona, who lack, he said, “the need to modernize the city.” .
The budget growth, according to the mayor, is due to the fact that in Badalona “there is political stability that gives the absolute majority” and allows actions to be initiated to “start towards the quality of the services” that the citizen receives. One of the most anticipated items is that of the Human Resources department, which goes from 61.9 million to 76.5 million that “will allow us to cover 110 vacant positions” for civil servants, according to Juan Fernández. Of these, 11 will be used to provide troops to the new department against illegal occupation.
How is it possible that there are 110 jobs missing in the Badalona City Council? It is the question that anyone would ask themselves in order to determine the extent of the municipal disorganization. “There are 110 consolidated vacant positions but they have never been filled or prepared.” If we add to this that the places due to retirement or change of destination “were not covered”, it explains why there is a lack of architects, engineers, lawyers and even civil protection or economic promotion personnel.
In this sense, the mayor announced that by the first quarter of 2024 there will already be a manager to direct the municipal machinery and that the renewal of the evaluation of jobs will be promoted and, therefore, an incentive for the professionalization of the officials themselves. . “We find that, being the third Catalan city, we pay the lowest salaries and the officials do not want to come,” lamented Albiol, so, with the modification of the current cards “we hope to attract talent from other administrations.”
Sports and Security are the items that receive the most relevant financial support with 2,014,885 euros (79%) and 1,957,650 euros (83%) respectively. In sports, the implementation of a scholarship plan worth 100,000 euros and another 400,000 destined for the promotion of sports stands out. In Security, private surveillance will be consolidated for municipal buildings and greater investment will be made in material for the Urban Guard.
Other notable increases focus on Economic Promotion, with an item of 5.3 million (16%) with several programs aimed at economic reactivation, boosting the Christmas campaign and municipal occupation plans, among others. 659,000 euros (31%) are allocated to Joventut and the reactivation of youth spaces stands out. The share of social policies rises to 13.3 million (15%) to, according to Fernández, “address social needs.” In this sense, he influenced the 7.3 million to reactivate the home care service, which “was left without allocation in previous governments” and to reduce the waiting list in social services.
Public roads are another of the items that multiply the most, up to 44.2 million (16%), of which six will be allocated to the new street cleaning contract. In the Environment, with 13.1 million (18%) new services can be contracted such as cleaning tree pits, cleaning animal defecation and cleaning the seafront with pelican boats in bathing areas. In Education, with a budget of 3.7 million (6%) school agents will be hired again to control entry and exit of educational centers, "which the previous mandate was eliminated without talking to the schools" criticized Fernández, as well how to promote new educational programs. The fund allocated to the maintenance of municipal buildings also rises to 14.6 million (10%).
The large increase in all the items that make up the municipal budget for 2024, according to the head of the Treasury, is achieved thanks to "an increase in direct taxes of 3% and 2% of indirect taxes" as well as income from the State, which are expected to reach 14 million, another two million from the Barcelona Provincial Council and the municipal collection that amounts to 33 million.
Another notable aspect is that the debt capacity of the Badalona City Council is 17 million, one of the highest of similar cities. This is because in recent months 18 million of debt has been amortized, so the level of debt assumption “is only 8%, one of the lowest in Catalonia” which makes it possible to “undertake important investments” with a great capacity to generate debt with the maximum guarantees.
The budget that will most certainly, thanks to the absolute majority of the Popular Party, be approved this week in the municipal plenary session does not include the investment section since, according to Albiol, “in January there will be an annex” to said budget for the investments and improvements, such as maintenance, street development or the construction of schools and libraries, among many others.