The forced closure of Castro Marim Council’s municipal company, Novbaesuris, is descending into chaos, not helped by opposition councillors.
“The indefinite closure of the public facilities that are under the management of Novbaesuris now is at the beginning of the liquidation process,” announced the Council which added that Casa do Sal, the Revelim de Santo António, the Castle and Casa de Odeleite are closing as the company’s employees all have been redeployed or laid off.
According to the Council, the need to close down these facilities is due to the fact that the information and the necessary means to keep them open, were not available from 31st December when the company closed.
Célia Brito, president of Novbaesuris and an opposition councillor, informed Sul Informação that the closures were nothing to do with her, “These places are controlled by the Council, which has the power to allocate employees and keep them open.”
“The Chamber did not take care of the situation in a timely manner and opted to close these services. If they are closed, it’s all the executive’s fault,” said Brito, whose cooperation at this difficult time would have been useful.
The decision of the Social Democrat Council executive to close down Novbaesuris, announced in mid-December, was, contested by the Socialists despite the Court of Auditors concluding that it was being run improperly, possibly illegally, citing irregularities in the company’s procedures, some of which had been going on for years.
This report led the Council to close the company, stating that it had no alternative, later claiming that a solution might exist, but that it could not have been implemented in time and anyway, the company’s management had come up with nothing sensible to justify its continuation.
Célia Brito said to Sul Informação that the Board of Directors of the municipal company always had tried to find a solution, “What we have said is that everything could have been minimized had a contract been signed for another year. That would have given us time to transfer all the staff and the equipment, without a hitch.”
On 28 December, 2018, agreements were signed for the transfer of 24 workers to the Council, leaving 11 people not knowing what lay in store for them.
“If there was bad faith on our part, we would not have signed the 24 cession contracts, which we make available to do immediately,” added the Socialist councilwoman.
Despite this nasty spat between the Council and its main opposition party, the executive believes that in the next six months, Novabaesuris will see “its services, and its 38 employees, taken on by Castro Marim Council.”