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Governing Council meets on Formentera and approves local investments in education, healthcare, social safety net and environment

foto 2023i visita armengol AToday Formentera hosted a meeting of the Balearic Islands Governing Council (Consell de Govern), which delivered approval for several agreements marking an important strengthening of local public services, and Francina Armengol, president of the Balearic Government, and Ana Juan, president of the Consell de Formentera, took stock of the investments from the executive branch.

Armengol emphasized the crucial role of collaboration between the administrations in reaching important agreements with the island's government and catering to local requests and particularities.

For her part, President Juan highlighted "constant coordination and dialogue between the two administrations, which has been key to progress implementing progressive policies on Formentera." Juan reviewed milestones this legislature and underscored "pending key issues for Formentera, some of which are currently being resolved, though much work remains for us to do together."

Governing Council
Highlights of the day's meeting include the declaration of regional interest in works to expand IES Marc Ferrer, which will speed up work on the project to add eight new classrooms and increase the surface area of the high school.

President Armengol also announced the creation of a commission dedicated to educational matters on the island. The Advisory and Consulting Commission (Comissió d'Assessorament i Consulta) is fruit of the development of the new education act and will facilitate coordination around education between the Balearic Government and Consell de Formentera to guarantee provision of non-university educational services in a way that is equitable to the rest of the islands.

In healthcare, Armengol touted the creation in La Mola of a Basic Health Unit, which comes in response to the growing population and healthcare needs detected in this town.

The Governing Council took note of the €473,934 that the Balearic Office of Social Affairs and Sports will allocate to the Consell de Formentera to finance municipal social services in 2022 and 2023, as well as the commitment to provide the Consell with eight places in its network of housing resources for unaccompanied minors.

The president explained that the Governing Council agreed to commission TRAGSA to maintain the agricultural irrigation pond for the next two years for €224,000, and adopted the Decree Law of special urgent measures to protect the Pine Islands and Balearic lizards, and to establish biosecurity measures to preserve these endemic species of reptiles and curb incoming and existing numbers of certain species of snakes.

The flagship measure of this regulation involves limiting incoming olive trees, carob trees and ornamental oaks with trunks more than 40 centimetres around during egg laying, hatching and hibernation.

Finally, Armengol confirmed that this Wednesday 1 February, the 315-member staff of IB3 will join the workforce of the regional administration, marking fulfilment of the Balearic Government's commitment with all relevant steps during the established time frame.

Legislature in review
The president took advantage of her visit to take stock of investments made, and said that on Formentera they have increased like on no other island, considering that this year the Consell de Formentera will receive €11.4 million from the Balearic Government, 128% more than in 2015. In terms of local investment, this year the executive branch will allocate €25.2 million to Formentera, €9 million and 55% more than last year. In fact, at €2,107, Formentera's per capita spending is the highest in the region.

Armengol highlighted the island's contribution to economic leadership and job creation in the Balearic Islands, and held up four tourism sustainability projects that will get €2 million in funding from Europe. The projects in question include a new smart access at Ses Illetes, electric pergolas in public parking lots, management of tourism data and promotion of Formentera.eco.

In addition, the president underscored social investment on the island, including the first home for the elderly, with capacity for 18, which Armengol said would be operational this February, sparing elderly islanders travel to Eivissa.

Last year Formentera also opened its new early-childhood and primary school, with modern facilities, capacity for 450 pupils and space for the new municipal nursery (escoleta).

One area of investment that the Balearic Government has promoted the most is healthcare. Services like haemodialisis and CAT scans that are now available at the Formentera Hospital have spared islanders 10,000 and 650 trips to Eivissa, respectively. The new urgent air transport contract also means availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year of helicopter transport for patients who need it, and the new permanent base for the 061 emergency response service, now under construction, is expected to be complete before year-end.

In housing, the president pointed out that construction of a new development of 17 public housing units on Formentera is already under way, while the new housing office will soon provide service to the entire island.

Finally, Armengol reviewed other improvements such as the Posidonia Decree, recovery of the agricultural irrigation pond, expansion of the wastewater treatment plant and an upgraded tank at the desalination plant. Construction of the latter two projects is expected to begin construction by late 2023.

Formentera's social safety net
The president of the Balearic Government seized the chance to explain how the executive branch's social safety net is reaching families on Formentera. She highlighted 25 measures involving an investment of approximately €3.3 million, including €2.5 million in direct aid.

Likewise, Armengol said that a hundred families have applied for €200 grants for extracurricular activities. Moreover, this week the second of two extra payments will be sent to people who have a recognised financial benefit for family care, benefits linked to the adult day care centre or benefits linked to home help service. On Formentera, 149 people will benefit, for a total investment of €39,000.

Armengol additionally underlined aid for job seekers, which will reach 1,623 beneficiaries on Formentera for expected investment of €642,900.

As well, the president affirmed that this year's budget includes deductions of up to €1,760 for individuals who study off the island where they normally reside. She also highlighted free public transport everywhere in the Balearic Islands and the regional government's plan to refund the first registration fee and half of the second to 76 students of the University of the Balearic Islands from Formentera and Eivissa. Sixty-six are undergraduate students and ten are completing master's degrees.


30 January 2023
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Plenary OKs policy code for nursing home, set to open in February, and enforcement period, ceiling and fees for formentera.eco

foto 2023i ple A

Today the Consell de Formentera celebrated its first plenary session of the year, in which councillors endorsed two proposals regarding regulation of inbound vehicles and another on a code of policy at the residence for the elderly, which will open soon.

The Gent per Formentera and PSOE cabinet overcame the abstention of opposition group Sa Unió to gave the green-light to two proposals related to the formentera.eco scheme to cap vehicles brought, driven and parked on the island in 2023.

Councillors voted to endorse a new formentera.eco enforcement period and vehicle ceiling for 2023, a proposal which had been vetted previously by the Consell d'Entitats. As Rafael González, mobility councillor, pointed out, in 2023 the regulatory scheme will be applied for four months, from 1 June to 30 September, one month longer than in 2022 and two months longer than when the system was first launched. Assembly members also handed approval to the ceiling on passenger and rental vehicles, including cars and motorcycles. The new limit has been set at 10,458, four per cent lower than in summer 2022 and sixteen per cent lower than the scheme's year zero. "This was the reduction target set at the beginning of the legislature", the councillor noted.

Councillors also handed provisional approval to a modification of the tax ordinance regulating formentera.eco fees. Under the changes, which had also first received the go-ahead of the Consell d'Entitats, individuals who wish to bring a vehicle on the island must pay double the previous amount. The fee for cars will be €6 per day, €30 minimum, and for motorcycles €3 per day, €15 minimum. "This increase was designed to discourage one-day visits and encourage longer, overnight stays on the island", said González. Formentera.eco fees are waived for residents of Formentera and the rest of the islands, as well as for individuals with electric vehicles, while drivers of hybrid vehicles pay half price.

Councillor González was positive about the four years of regulation, which, in his words, "began to bear fruit this past summer." "We have managed to cut traffic", he added, "and the scheme puts Formentera in the driver's seat in terms of decisions regarding mobility. This pioneering and by now well-established project also has a balanced budget, and today the neighbouring islands are looking to follow our lead."

Nursing home policy code and opening
The cabinet once again outvoted the opposition to pass the internal policy of the old persons' home and day centre for Formentera's elderly. Rafael Ramírez, social welfare councillor, called the document "the instrument that will allow us to regulate how these new services are operated to further our objectives in better quality of care and social services provision." Formentera's home for the elderly will open its doors in mid-February, once the necessary staff have been hired to provide services. "Today we are embarking on a new service and improving how we care for our seniors", said the councillor.

Foster care
Assembly members came together in favour of partially amending the Consell de Formentera rules regulating money for parenting support and capacity building for foster families "to tailor it to the needs of the local families willing to be part of this service", said Councillor Ramírez.

"Es nostro cel"
Councillors also unanimously backed Formentera's support for a campaign to christen the star WASP-166 as Filetdor and the exoplanet WASP-166b as Catalineta. The proposal is part of "Es nostro cel", a project seeking to include the culture of the Balearic Islands in official celestial names and which includes a petition collected by a group of year four pupils at Bisbe Verger secondary school in Santanyí (Mallorca) to name a solar system formed by a star and its exoplanet after the fable, Na Filet d'Or. Vanessa Parellada, youth affairs councillor, defended the proposal, arguing that it "takes the Balearic culture and language global, not to mention promotes science, literature and culture among young people."

Lastly, plenary members also adopted a proposal brought by Sa Unió representatives urging the Consell de Formentera to improve and extend the frequency of public transport in winter.

Session participants also handed backing to the executive project to adapt and urbanise access to Sa Roqueta, works that will also involve removing architectural barriers and equipping the road for universal accessibility. The €937,637 project also includes plans to beautify the area in a manner appropriate to the surroundings and the environment. The project will be put to tender in the coming weeks.

Progress report from Councillor Rafael Ramírez
The plenary session ended with remarks from Rafael Ramírez, social welfare, housing, transparency and governance councillor, who highlighted the island administration's work in recent years to guarantee "no one is left behind" after the crises stemming from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Ramírez reviewed the efforts and programmes of the Office of Social Welfare, which in the last year has served more than 4,000 people in person and more than 5,000 by phone. He additionally underlined new infrastructure such as the centre for minors and residence for the elderly. On housing, the councillor announced the upcoming opening of the office of accompaniment, a land transfer so the Balearic Institute of Housing (IBAVI) can build more social housing and a new line of assistance for renters. On transparency and governance, the councillor noted that the administration currently complies with 90% of Transparency International indicators and underscored progress at the collective bargaining table with unions, which has meant municipal employees can seek to have the professional grade of their positions certified, as well as stabilisation of the Consell de Formentera workforce.


27 January 2023
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Review of actions by Formentera fire crew in 2022

foto 2023i bombers CIn 2022, the Consell de Formentera Fire Brigade performed a total of 174 services, 6 more than in 2021. Twenty-seven of the crew's actions involved fires; in 2021 the number was 12 and in 2020 it was 35. Eleven of the 27 interventions involved vegetation: three involved uncontrolled burns, two, wooded areas, and six, land used for agriculture. Three fires happened in homes and one in an industrial zone. Three fires involved street furniture; two, electrical panels; five, light vehicles (a total of nine vehicles were affected) and one, an industrial vehicle. One of the blazes affected a boat. All told, fires in forested areas and on farmland burned less than half a hectare this year, the same as in 2021.

Josep Marí, councillor of interior, praised the members of the Consell de Formentera Fire Brigade "for their work and efforts in prevention and other lifesaving and rescue operations."

Other actions
During the twelve-month period the crew also acted in 29 lifesaving interventions, up from 26 in 2021. There were 13 false alarms, one more than the year before. In 2022 the crew was mobilised on 51 occasions – the same as in 2021.

Seventy-six interventions were focused on prevention: 9 of these were drills, 57 involved surveillance, 5 took place at public events, and five were staged in schools. In that regard, Councillor Marí offered that "after two years of standby due to the pandemic, the return of preventive actions in schools allow us to show children and young people what to do in case of emergency and to highlight the work of firefighters."

Training and crew
The brigade also completed multidisciplinary training on how to respond in accidents, a course on investigating fire causes, a course on communication terminals, a flashover and ventilation course, and a course to expand their knowledge of providing medical care to individuals involved in traffic accidents.

The twelve-person brigade includes eleven full-time professionals and one firefighter on a locational basis. The brigade's fleet currently consists of two rapid intervention vehicles, a heavy rural pumper, a light urban pump and a van for miscellaneous services.

18 January 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Formentera joins movement to support human rights by illuminating Mediterranean coast

This year the Consell de Formentera has joined Lighting Mediterranean Towers and Watchtowers for Human Rights (Encesa de Torres, Talaies i Talaiots pels Drets Humans) and plans to illuminate the towers of Es Cap de Barbaria and Punta Prima for several hours from 6.30pm, Saturday 14 January.

Ana Juan, president of the Consell, said that in recent years Formentera "has been witness to the drama engulfing the Mediterranean" and, by joining this initiative, "offers light to people who put their lives at risk because they seek a better life beyond the sea."

This initiative, which started on Mallorca, is now in its seventh year and will include points on each of the Balearic Islands and in Catalunya, Valencia, Murcia and Andalusia. Some thirty heritage sites will be illuminated on the Mediterranean Peninsula, as well as several in Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.

11 January 2023
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Formentera hires seven as part of 2022 SOIB Reactiva

foto 2023i soibThe Office of Local Development of the Consell de Formentera is pleased to report that it has begun the hiring process for seven individuals recruited under the 2022 run of SOIB Reactiva.

The first four started working on 13 December. During their six-month contracts, they can improve their skills and competencies for future employment. Three of the previously unemployed new-hires are classed in tier one (ages 16 to 30) and have been hired on as administrative assistants, another has been hired as a sociocultural dynamiser. Meanwhile, another new-hire is in tier two, which includes over-30s who have been unemployed for a substantial length of time.

Ana Juan, president and councillor of entrepreneurship, welcomed the new workers and expressed satisfaction that "these jobs [will] open a door to employment for these people who will be able to improve their skills."

The initiative, which unlocks €95,928.60 for Formentera, will make it possible for the local administration to hire seven jobless islanders before 12 January 2023. By that time, officials hope to cover the remaining three positions: a multipurpose operator, a tier-two cleaning person and a tier-two multipurpose operator.

A programme of the Employment Service of the Balearic Islands (Servei d'Ocupació de les Illes Balears, SOIB), SOIB Reactiva 2022 is financed with state funding under the Sectorial Conference of Employment and Labour Affairs and the Shock Plan for Employment, part of the Balearic Government's Reactivation Plan. It aims to facilitate entry into the job market for people like youth and long-term unemployed over-30s who face greater obstacles.

2 January 2023
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

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