MANILVA’s sole British councillor has left his party, saying that Spain needs to pay more respect to the ‘foreign vote’.
Dean Tyler Shelton, 44, told the Olive Press that he felt that after Brexit his status as a British councillor was tarnished, but was adamant that the English language gave him access to ‘almost all nationalities’.
The Nottingham-born councillor for foreigner’s affairs, commerce, consumers and the environment will retain his executive role, but worried that politics has got in the way of doing the best he can ‘for the town I love’.
Around 42% of Manilva’s 16,000 residents are foreign-born, with Brits making up the majority of this diverse group.
“I want the best for my town, not just for foreigners,” said Shelton, who moved to the Costa del Sol when he was 10 and has lived here for 35 years.
He said that foreigners nevertheless bring many different skills to the area, which could be harnessed for the greater good.
Shelton, who ran an estate agency in Torreguadiaro for 10 years, also told the Olive Press of his passion to create a ‘strategic plan’ for Manilva’s future, encompassing transport, infrastructure and economy.
He said such plans were vital if Manilva is to secure funding for large projects, such as extending the roundabout in San Luis de Sabinillas to create a pedestrianised town centre over the underpass.
His other big plan is to make sure Manilva gets a station on the proposed Costa del Sol trainline.
“Imagine the how attractive Manilva would be to live in if the train ran from Malaga to Algeciras?” the councillor asked.
Shelton confirmed that though he has left his party, he still has Manilva mayor Mario Jimenez Rodriguez’ blessing to continue in the coalition cabinet—Jimenez is from the Compromiso Manilva party, who share power with the Izquierda Unida Manilva (Shelton’s ex-party) and the Partido Popular Manilva.
He added: “I’m a managerial-minded man, and I just want the best for the town I love.”
More to follow…