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Unkept, unfinished and untidy! Residents’ verdict on popular plaza 

PAGE 21 UNKEPT

Dissilusioned  residents in one of Tenerife’s most charismatic beauty spots  say unfinished work in  the main square is in danger of  turning it into  a “grot spot”.

Los Gigantes, cocooned by its imposing backdrop of sea cliffs,  is a prime tourist destination in the south west of the island.

But disgruntled locals say major renovation work, costing 374,000 euros, has left its pretty plaza unfinished, unkept and untidy.

They cite a litany of problems including fenced off sections of incomplete walkway, pipes and cables protruding from the ground, incomplete steps without hand rails and no working lights.

And there is nowhere for visitors to sit as two public benches have  been left neglected in a corner.

One former distinguished authority on design said bluntly:”The square  is unfinished, dangerous and an eyesore.

“The quality of the square  was actually  far superior before work started on it. The money for the renovation would have  been  far better spent on what was there – quality fittings and materials.

“The concept design is a disgrace. It’s  been a poorly  managed project, using cheap and nasty materials and an example of what happens when the people expected to manage have no  authority over the job.”

Originally, there was widespread enthusiasm  and support for the much-vaulted  project which promised a new look to the centre of Los Gi-gantes.

Various improvements and refurbishments were dis-cussed and welcomed as a way to retrieve its image of yesteryear.

And a collaboration agreement was reached between Spanish Tourism Institue & the Government Council for Tourism of Canary Isles for the strategic improvement of Touristic Public spaces of the Canary Isles.

The start date of the am-bitious  programme was set for December 2013 and scheduled to end November 20 last  year.

But in December, we reported simmering  anger  over the removal of old fashioned, Liberace-styled lamps.

These were replaced by austere columns, topped by flat lamps pointing directly downward.

One of the new columns  reaches upward through branches of  a tree and, to date, none  of the lights are working.

Instead, the square is  lit nightly from spotlights on the little church and lights from  restaurants.

A regular visitor to Los Gigantes from the Wirral in Cheshire, said:”On four visits over the 18 month period since the scheme started I have been dismayed by the sluggardly traipse to its unfinished state we see today.

“The square is grey, bland and uninteresting with prison block lighting which doesn’t work, trees massacred, no handrails for the steps and the loss of the beautiful original lighting columns.

“How can anyone spend so much over so long a period of time and achieve so little?

“This charming, friendly, well used facility has been the heart of the community for  years and the focal point for events throughout my 30 years of visiting Los Gigantes.

“The festival of the Kings 2015 (normally a delightful event) was  spoilt, with the audience bathed in security lighting from the church and the stage and performers in black shadows.”

And he added sombrely:” The square’s designer (was there one ?), architect,  and financial managers should be brought to the square and put in stocks  until it is finished to account for this disaster. I will buy the tomatoes – a truckload.

“They should  be brave,  step forward and be identified and apologise for the mess created: step up and take your medicine.”

And he asked the authorities:”Where did the money go ? When  will the square be finished and what do you propose to get it finished?”