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Paphos Local News April 2017

Vandals cut down newly planted trees in central Paphos - a second time

By Bejay Browne

Vandals have cut down newly planted trees in the centre of Paphos old town which is currently undergoing a massive renovation project to beautify and upgrade the area.
It was the second such incident in a matter of weeks.

Paphos municipality issued a press release calling on police to immediately identify and punish the criminals responsible.

“The mayor and the council are extremely angry,” said a municipality spokesman.

The four saplings had been planted along Makarios Avenue, the main shopping street in the heart of the commercial area of the old town, said the spokesman.

“The municipality of Paphos condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent vandalism of uprooting seedlings in Archbishop Makarios III Avenue, and calls the police to proceed swiftly all necessary investigations to identify vandals and bring them to justice, while taking all necessary measures to prevent such or similar incidents in the area,” the announcement said.

A month ago, vandals were caught on CCTV cutting down three newly planted trees and smashing shop windows, aided by insufficient street lighting.

Paphos Green Party district secretary, Andreas Evlavis, said that he is ‘incensed’ by the latest incident and again warned that unless such actions are stopped immediately, arrests made and the young people concerned brought to justice, Paphos will have another Ayiou Antoniou street on its hands.

He was referring to ‘bar street’, in Kato Paphos, which is in the heart of the tourist area and full of bars, clubs and cafes.

Although poor lighting was blamed for the first incident, he said that this was not the case with the second incident, and that the police must do more to secure the area.
“The police are investigating and I believe they have an idea who committed this crime. This is a big disaster and students out drinking are responsible for the way they behave. They are adults and should be punished as such,” he said.

He said police should increase patrols, especially at weekends and after midnight.
“We have lost the game if our youngsters are insensitive and don’t understand the consequences of their actions, we can’t let this happen,” he warned.

The municipality statement added: “Such behaviour must not be tolerated. Paphos municipality is determined to protect and preserve the upgrading work, which has cost millions, and has made our city a gem.”

Protest runners from Polis run to presidential palace

By Bejay Browne

Dozens of protest runners set off from Polis in Paphos and arrived at the presidential palace in Nicosia to express their dissatisfaction that successive governments have failed to invest any money into the area.

This has led to poor job prospects in the district, said protestors, and the initiative is being backed by the Polis district youth, with the support of the Polis municipality and other nearby communities.

The 215-km ‘Ultramarathon’ consisted of three relay stages, taking in the Polis to Paphos road, the old Paphos to Limassol road, and then Limassol to Nicosia. The young runners delivered a memorandum with the demands of the region.

“The goal is to demonstrate the injustice experienced for decades, enforced by the state, on the region and the residents of Polis, which unfortunately despite our efforts has remained underdeveloped, neglected and isolated. This is in contrast to the other cities of Cyprus, which receive better treatment from the state,” said Polis Mayor Giotis Papachristofi.

He noted that delays and stagnation in construction of the Paphos to Polis highway were of particular concern, and said that residents were frustrated and dissatisfied with a lack of interest in the project shown by the authorities. He said the delays, which date back more than two decades, were unacceptable.

The mayor also noted that despite the fact that Polis and the surrounding areas display excellent growth prospect, no significant advantages have been exploited. He added that the absence of 4 and 5 stars in the Local Plan for the area, was a great weakness and degraded the region compared with others.

He said that the municipality wants constraints lifted so as not to ‘rely on the discretion of the planning department to give permission, as and when’.

He also noted that under no circumstances would the municipality or local authorities accept limitations, whether indirect or direct, or any ‘hidden agendas’, which would lead to a further expansion of the Natura 2000 protected zone beyond its current limit.
The mayor also wants to raise awareness about ongoing problems being faced at Polis hospital. He said that it is imperative that the facility must be able to at least provide a satisfactory level of primary health care to the residents and visitors to Polis and the wider area.


Paphos bikers publish definitive handbook for safe motorcycle riding
By Bejay Browne

Two experienced Paphos bikers have published a definitive handbook for the advanced rider trainer with the aim of saving lives and have set off on a two-week European road trip to help promote the book.

Retirees, Steve Tucker, 61, and David Rainford, 63, of ‘RoSPA (royal society for prevention of accidents) advanced riders Paphos region’ – a local branch of the UK organisation, have a passion for riding motorbikes and training other riders in advanced riding skills. Their knowledge and expertise has culminated in the publication of their first book.

After leaving the UK police, Tucker started his own business connected with UK driver training and Rainford, an advanced motorcycle rider, is also a RoSPA qualified advanced rider tutor.

Tucker, who met his co-author of ‘Advanced Rider Trainer – The Handbook for Training the Trainer,’ whilst living in Cyprus, moved permanently to live in Peyia in Paphos in 2008 and has been riding motor bikes for 40 years. As a UK traffic police officer, he trained in advanced riding and driving skills.

In Cyprus, he has trained more than 50 bikers, including those on the British bases in 2014. He has also been involved in training the Cyprus police.

The ex-police officer decided to write the book, spurred on by numerous positive comments about his training methods and techniques by satisfied students who suggested he write it all down. He said that it combines the theory of police motorcycle road craft with techniques on how to train for real life experiences on the roads.

“Sadly, a large number of crash scenes I attended in the UK which involved a biker was generally caused by rider error.”

Tucker said that both he and fellow biker, co-author David Rainford love riding in Cyprus, as it takes in every possible environment. The weather is mostly favourable, routes are scenic and offer the possibility of riding from the coast to the top of a mountain top and back, all in time for lunch.

The publication includes diagrams, photographs, illustrations, useful check lists and charts.

The authors will be promoting the publication of their book with a European Road Trip on their motorbikes from England, across Europe to Cyprus.

Earth hour marked in Cyprus
By Bejay Browne

The Green party and the municipalities of Nicosia and Paphos, organised two major events to mark the annual Earth Hour.

Earth hour, now in its 10th year, is a global movement that aims to inform and raise public awareness about the major problems facing the planet by the thoughtless destruction of the natural environment.

All across the world, authorities, communities, landmark buildings and individuals, plunge into darkness as they switch off their lights for an hour, as a global show of support for action on climate change.

Andreas Evlavis, secretary of the Paphos Greens said that the group: “Time of the Earth as Cyprus” has set a national target for 2017, the reduction of the use of plastic bags, which are harmful to the environment.

In 2015, the European Parliament passed a law to significantly reduce the use of single use plastic bags by 2019.
Evlavis said that in Paphos, Geroskipou municipality was leading the way in promoting the idea of reducing single use bags to residents and businesses in the district, and that more areas should follow their lead.

Geroskipou handed out around 5,000 recycled, reusable bags to all households and shops in the municipality.

Mayor of Geroskipou, Michalis Pavlides, said that reducing the number of plastic bags being used in Cyprus was a priority for the municipality. He is incredulous that we use close to one million a day.

“In Cyprus, we use 800,000 plastic bags a day and this has to stop. We handed out around 4,000 ecological bags to houses and around one thousand more to shoppers, supermarkets and other shops.”

This is the second time the municipality has initiated such a programme, the first was two years ago. Pavlides said that he hoped that they would inspire more municipalities to undertake similar actions.

Organised by WWF, the first earth hour event took place in Sydney, Australia in 2007. A decade on, hundreds of millions of people will take part in earth hour events which are being organised all over the world this year.

Evlavis said: “It’s not so much about how much energy is saved during the hour of the lights being off, but more about highlighting the issues facing us and encouraging people to live more sustainably.”

Paphos marina faces further hurdle
By Bejay Browne

Paphos Grand marina has experienced a further delay following a decision by the authorities to refer the matter to the Attorney General.

According to the community leader of Kissonerga, George Stylianou, the administrative committee in Nicosia, which manages marinas, took the decision.

“The committee is passing all of the documents on to him in order to check his legal opinion and that everything is in order,” he said.

Stylianou expressed his concern over the move, hoping that it wouldn’t lead to further delays in the project getting off the ground.
“The attorney general must proceed with this case as a matter of urgency and it should not take more than a month.”

He said if this was the case and it took longer, he fears this will mean a permanent delay in the project which has been plagued by delays for more than a decade.

“This is halting our plans as a community and we cannot wait any longer,” he said. “Should we count on the financial income from the marina or not,” he asked.

The marina at Potima bay in Kissonerga will be a crucial project for Paphos and a landmark development for the coastal town. When finally built in an area 155,000 square metres, the facility will have a capacity of 1,000 berths. The project will take approximately three years to be completed.

The latest move is the last in a long line of problems which saw financial stipulations in the contract for the winning marina bid hit a stumbling block.

Aristo developers is the major shareholder of the consortium Poseidon Grand Marina of Paphos and the total cost of the construction of the project is around 215 million euros.

Paphos has long campaigned for a marina as it promises to attract high spenders and quality tourism.

Following the announcement of the tender for the project in 2007, it was awarded to the Cybarco-Pandora consortium of which the Leptos Group was part of, in 2008. However, the other two consortiums who had bid for the project challenged the award, at various stages.

The project had been frozen since litigation began after it was awarded in 2008.




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