Written on 9th May 2023 by Shirley Roberts
The last 24 hours have been a ‘fascination of social media’. Coming out the other side I am making a personal statement. Strong feelings on all sides mean that some views are one dimensional. I would just like to offer a little contribution to ‘both sides’.
Five months of the year the Soller Valley is the delight of residents, second homeowners and the low numbers of winter visitors. We live in an enchanted world of beauty and some of us embrace small town local life with all its foibles. Others are bored and relocate off to Palma or other parts of the world. The ‘season’ is what does it here for them. Many people are financially challenged at this time and find the winter months difficult to manage.
From April to October the Soller Valley is busy almost to the point of being full up. Saturation and massification are words we hear regularly. Staff issues regarding high rents and lack of workers in general are constantly discussed topics.
The whole of Mallorca appears to be in the same situation. This is not unique to the Soller Valley. Lack of reasonably priced rented housing is a huge issue and leads on to the next major problem.
In the last 25 years local people saw an opportunity to sell properties to the new wave of incomers. They were very happy to do so, and the money enabled their lives in the direction they wished to go. 2008 and the financial issues saw a slowdown but since then it has been individuals followed by builders and speculators who are a large proportion of the house buying fraternity. House prices continue to rise to previously unthought of amounts.
Today everyone has a view. At Sollerweb we have a view which is a hybrid. Half our year is devoted to tourists and visitors. The other half to local residents who want to gather information in English. We are pulled, pushed, sometimes ‘accused’ in two directions. We seek to tell stories and give a version of our lives in the Soller Valley. We are not political, and we hope we are kind. We raise money each year for local causes and the Food Bank is high on our list of priorities.
www.sollerweb.com is our website and we charge clients who want to have an advertising page with us. We operate Sollerweb Facebook 365 days a year with a mixture of photographs, stories, events information, and general chatter. Some readers donate to keep the Facebook page going, but overall, Tracey and I just about manage to cover the costs of the business each year. This is a labour of love of the Valley, for us both.
Our longevity in the Valley mean we have developed relationships all over the island. We tell the story of Soller to all who want to know. You will find us in the Majorca Bulletin, Celebrity Magazine, Radio One Mallorca, on Sollerweb YouTube, Sollerweb Calendar on the occasional UK TV programme and wherever else we are asked to tell the story.
There is no doubt that our success and existence over the past 15 years has brought new house owners and new visitors here. We have played a part and we continue to keep the flame of Soller alive for them when they go back to where they came from. They check in to the daily letters, send messages and generally love being able to be here in spirit.
We are at a crisis point in the Soller Valley now. We can’t undo the past, but the politician’s job is to create the social housing, schools, and services to ensure that a mixed community can exist. What I have seen from the manifestos published is that all political parties recognise this as a priority and have ideas for a solution.
The political decisions of 2023 are of massive importance. They all have the history, they all have the current anger and concern, they are all making their declarations of what they can do about the issues.
For those of us who can vote in the upcoming local elections – we must! This group of politicians are charged with ‘making a significant difference’. They can only do that with our vote…
Shirley and Tracey – 9th May 2023