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Lockless stairs.... from the bottom at least!
After years of tradition, whereby couples would leave padlocks to symbolise their never ending love for each other, the newly appointed Deputy Mayor of Benidorm Gema Amor has ordered their removal!

Miss Amor´s responsibilities also cover Tourism and Town Planning, which is where the padlocks come into play. It had always been on the Town agenda to instal a second handrail on the steps leading from Mal Pas beach up to the Mirador. Following a number of complaints from elderly people which required the use of a handrail, the Town Hall promised to act. Having seen them myself I could on one side sympathize as the handrail was literally covered with padlocks and so deemed it unusable, but I also felt it was an important attraction to the Old Town. The staircase had become a sanctuary of love... However, due to lack of funds the second handrail was never installed.

The speed with which this has happened has shocked everyone, especially as things normally take forever to happen here and particularly at this time of the year. When Gema Love took office this week she was quoted as saying "despite being aware of these complaints, the previous minority government had done nothing to remove the locks, so it was one of my priorities"
Padlocks still remain at the top for now....

It may look like she is amazingly efficient, but remember, her CDL Liberal party held the balance of power at the Town hall for the last year and she could easily have voted with the PSOE and had the situation dealt with months ago. As it is, its a brownie point for her...

The withdrawal commenced on Friday, with Gema Amor on hand to supervise the operation, accompanied by some residents of the Old Town. Workmen from the Town Hall, armed with a radial saw started cutting sections of the handrail, laden down with padlocks and loaded them into a municipal van. No-one would disclose where they would be taken or what would happen to the thousands of padlocks, with names, dates and inscriptions etched onto them.

Half off  - half on
As of yesterday (Saturday) the bottom half had been removed. I should think that the van used was probably over the weight limit with the amount of metal in the back. So I assume that the workmen will be back on Monday morning to complete the operation. However, the original problem still remains... there is now NO handrail at all for people to use!

I wonder whether Miss Amor will miraculously find some funding to instal a new handrail... and if so why couldn´t they have just placed a second one slightly above the existing one for those requiring it. Surely if a new one does appear there is obviously the danger that the same will start happening again - Im fairly certain they won´t have a guard or camera monitoring the location.

Perhaps the padlocks will be taken to the scrap metal yard and the cash used to purchase a new handrail! I think the Mayor, Agustin Navaro should hand over the unfinished Cultural Centre project on the Avd Europa which has been left abandoned due to lack of funding to Gema Amor. With her eager and determined atitude she may find a solution and have it completed for Christmas!