IN just over a week, the new Mayor will take office in Estepona and, if his pre-election promises are to be believed, bring about the “change we need”.

And I thought it only right to give him a hand, and make some suggestions of my own – just in case these important issues have slipped his mind.

Firstly, he needs to buddy up with the Mayor of Marbella and together they should provide all local residents with a new set of tyres. Anybody who regularly drives through the roadworks in San Pedro will sympathise with my plight here. It’s not even as if I drive through every day, even if it always seems to be raining torrentially when I do. What I hate most is that sinking feeling, just before you hit the pothole but after it’s too late to avoid it without colliding with fellow road users. Thud. How many poor souls have I seen at the side of the road, pondering how to change their tyre while shivering under their umbrellas?

And then there’s usually some bright spark working on the road who thinks, “I know, I’ll put a cone in the pothole so people know it’s there!”. Great idea in theory but when you’re driving in the pitch black, pouring rain at rush hour and suddenly there’s a plastic cone in the middle of your lane, what exactly are you meant to do?

Secondly, he should introduce a hotline whereby responsible dog owners can tell tales on those who do not pick up after their beloved four legged friends. A bit like the benefit cheats hotline in the UK. I’m fed up with one particular dog owner who lives near me and whose nationality I will leave to your imagination. EVERY night she lets her dog “decorate” the grass right outside my bedroom window and whenever I ask her about it, she responds with that inimitable shrug of the shoulders. I’m so worried that all the neighbours think it’s me and my dog that I end up picking her dog’s mess every morning. Hmmm, on second thoughts, may be she’s just being clever!

Thirdly, I’d like an explanation each time I see or get stuck in a police road block. Now I live in a pretty safe and suburban area but recently there have been police everywhere. Just tonight I went to visit a house seven minutes up the road and passed one road block on the way and two on the way back. Now, I’m all for police presence but I’m nosey and I want to know what they’re looking for! Who knows, I may have seen just what they’re after!

Fourthly, a decree is required to ensure that all local businesses who publish documents or web pages in English, make use of the British expat community (specifically me) to ensure that said communications are free from errors in spelling and grammar. I would recommend that our new Mayor joins forces with other mayors on the Costa del Sol and that each town draws up a list of English folk who can spell (and know when to use an apostrophe) in an attempt to ban badly written (although hilarious) menus, in particular. This would see an end to our local tapas bar serving Tomatoes Address (tomates de la casa), a selection of Friet Fishes, toast with brie and money and, most frighteningly, small God omelettes. There was an even worse misspelling of crab cakes, but I’ll leave that to your imagination.

Finally, I would like the new Mayor to kick start the property market so that I can earn a few more pennies please. I don’t need much, just enough to make sure we can pay the mortgage for the rest of the year, with perhaps some left over for a weekend or two away. The resulting job security wouldn’t go amiss for me or a lot of other people working here, in real estate or not. What’s that I hear you say? Don’t hold your breath? Oh well, it was worth a try.

So to the new mayors all along the Costa del Sol, I beg you to take heed of my suggestions, oh and drop me a line when you’re ready to have your websites translated into PROPER English, please!

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