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Sant Francesc residents get look at proposed metred parking rollout

foto presentacio parking regulat sf3Last night, the plenary hall of Formentera's care centre for dependent persons became the gathering point for islanders curious to learn about a proposal to regulate parking in Sant Francesc. Area residents got a chance to hear Council representatives explain plans for a June trial run, which, by July, could give way to full implementation of a system that includes 450 regulated, blue-zone parking spaces and more than 630 overflow spots.

Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer explored some of the rationale for taking the regime to Sant Francesc roads—“more rotation in blue-zone areas and more vibrant commerce”, he offered.

Mobility secretary Rafael González spoke about the success of a similar venture in la Savina, a town whose historic parking crunch was brought to heel by regulating how drivers park—a move that involved rebranding commercial areas as “blue zones” and residential ones “green”.

González said officials hoped blue-zone parking would have a similarly soothing effect on the situation in Sant Francesc. While drivers must respect metred parking rules across the town's network of non-pedestrian roads there, overflow car parks and spaces next to the town's roundabout will remain open.

Sant Francesc's blue zone
Formentera residents will receive full rebates on parking fees up to one car per person. By means of one yearly application, local drivers can get authorisation to park across the island, much as with the current system in la Savina. Blue-zone passes will be valid island-wide, for 24 hours in summer and three days in winter. Non-residents must pay to park (€1.20 an hour) from 9.00am to 9.00pm, Monday to Sunday, from May to October. From November to April, metred parking is enforced from 9.00am to 2.00pm and 4.00pm to 8.00pm.

To meet parking demand near popular shopping areas, a new, 15-minute pass will be available to all drivers. To that effect, 15-minute load-and-unload spaces will be created in Sant Francesc. These spaces aim to encourage rotation in points where demand is highest.

Some motorists, individuals with reduced mobility and scooter drivers, will enjoy free parking. So will people operating electric vehicles. Drivers of hybrids will get discounts of 50 per cent. Lorries used for loading and unloading commercial goods will be limited to 30 minutes in appropriate areas. Four-by-fours, meanwhile, are prohibited everywhere—in metred zones and overflow lots.

Formentera renews pact with Aliança Mar Blava

foto alianca mar blava3Two Formentera Council officials —President Jaume Ferrer and environment secretary Daisee Aguilera— met in the administration's hall of ceremonies today with a pair of Aliança Mar Blava representatives —Chairwoman Sandra Benbeniste and Secretary Flor dell'Agnolo— to extend the two entities' partnership another year.

Ferrer highlighted the importance of Aliança Mar Blava's efforts to stop petroleum prospections —“a fight that continues today”, he said, “particularly with projects still ahead on the horizon”. Speaking on behalf of the administration, he also voiced his hope any future projects would meet a prompt end. Ferrer described the Council's long-standing relationship with Aliança Mar Blava as “key to winning a strong consensus” when the Formentera Council presents comments on the Govern balear's newest climate-change legislation—a law Formentera officials believe is crucial to promoting renewable energy.

Sandra Benbeniste thanked the Formentera Council for its support mobilising an effort that blocked five potentially destructive projects in the Mediterranean and the Balearics. “Administrations, civil society, political parties and businesses, everyone contributed”she said, adding that, “it's a satisfying moment. When we're united, we get where we need to go”. Benbeniste pointed to a bid currently afoot for legislation to keep the Mediterranean prospection-free and block new projects, “like in France and other places in the world”.

Circling back to Ferrer's remarks earlier, Benbeniste spoke about a second goal—renewable energies—and “drawing on our strength to create consensus and get a deal on renewables”. “Our job here”, said the chairwoman, “is to make sure people are informed about the new climate-change law, give our review of it, and —especially— support it, because we think it's important this gets broad acceptance”.

Under today's deal, the first in 2018 between Aliança Mar Blava and the Council, the Council pledges €6,000—one thousand more than Formentera's commitment in 2017.

Cycling event behind road closures Sunday

foto ciclismeFormentera's Office of Sport reports that traffic will be restricted on a number of roads this Sunday when a cycling event rolls into town. Now in its eighth year, the Trofeu de Ciclisme en Ruta, a road-cycling cup, will prompt the following closures:

La Mola's lighthouse to Sant Ferran, 9.30am to 10.45am.

Sant Ferran loop (with es Pujols, la Savina and Sant Francesc in between), 10.45am to 12 noon.

Sant Ferran to la Mola, 12 noon to 1.45pm.

Normal traffic flow will be restored once cyclists have passed.

The match between Formentera and València B has been pushed back thirty minutes to guarantee free access to the municipal pitch.

The Council asks local drivers for their understanding and cooperation.

Formentera announces first info sessions on regional funding

The European Union's Directorate General of funding, in collaboration with Centre Balears Europa and the Balearic Islands' Agència de Turisme and support from a coterie of entities including the Formentera Council, the local small and medium-sized business association (PIMEF), the chamber of commerce for Formentera and Eivissa and the island's coalition of hotel owners, have put together a day for freelancers and business owners to find out about regional incentives powered by funding from the European Union and promoted by the Spanish government.

Regional incentives
The state's “regional incentives” have a number of aims: stimulating business activity and directing it at specified areas to reduce disparities on the national plain, achieving a fairer distribution of economic assistance, and reinforcing individual regions' capacity for growth.

The EU co-finances a large portion of aid for regional incentives using the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of an effort to stimulate creation of new businesses in Spain's disadvantaged regions.

Qualifying projects:
New businesses, with investments that create new business activity and jobs.

Expansions, with investments that drive growth of activity already established or the start of new activity. For pre-existing activity, whether or not it relates to the applicant's current activity, qualifying projects must involve significant increases to production capacity. Expansions must entail the creation of new jobs and the maintenance of existing ones.

Modernisations, with investments that constitute a considerable portion of the modernising business's tangible fixed assets and involve purchase of cutting-edge machinery that generates measurable productivity increases. Investment must drive diversification of a business's production activity to new or additional markets, or mean fundamental transformation in a pre-existing business's overarching production process. Existing positions within the company must be maintained.

Qualifying Formentera businesses must make investments that involve creation of a new business, expansion of pre-established business activity, or launch of an activity that involves a fundamental change in product or production process.

The event is scheduled to take place at 11.30am on Monday, March 26 in the Sala d'Actes of the Formentera Council.

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