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Works project aimed at tower's conservation

torre des triturador 19 10 2016The Formentera Council's Office of Infrastructure has announced that from tomorrow, Friday October 21, the administration will begin overseeing urgently needed conservation work on a local monument known as torre des Trituradors. Salinera Española Ltd, the leaseholder of the tower, will pay for the work. The Formentera Council decided to undertake the work, in the words of patrimony councillor Susana Labrador, “given the tower's serious state of disrepair and its value as a local heritage site”.

In 2012 the Council granted a construction permit to Salinera Española. “However”, explained Councillor Labrador, “the permit was never claimed and the building works never took place, the result of which has been a progressive deterioration of the tower”. For that reason, the Office of Patrimony pursued legal action in 2013 to compel Salinera Española to move forward with the project. The company, for its part, opened administrative litigation that is still today pending judgement.

Improvement works
The project would entail a temporary structural consolidation of the building to prevent its collapse, including correcting the levelling of the structure's perimeter, in five points and above ground level, to keep the tower's upper arches from falling. Cracks have been detected in the arches that not only seriously compromise their stability and the tower's successful conservation, but also pose a public safety threat. The project will have a €41,037.15 price tag and a duration of two months.

In compliance with Formentera's code of subsidiary regulations and the local catalogue of cultural heritage sites, the Office of Patrimony carried out an archaeological and historical study of the monument, a requirement given it forms part of Formentera's historical patrimony.

Legal background
The order issued by the Council, in which the administration sought to force Salinera Española to execute the conservation work, is based on a number of legal precepts, among which are articles 26 and 27 of Law 12/1998 [December 21] on historical patrimony in the Balearic Islands. That law establishes that owners, leaseholders or anyone else in possession of cultural interest sites must conserve and maintain them in a way that safeguards their value. If that fails to occur, the public administration can order the owners, leaseholders or those in possession of the property to carry out the necessary work. If those who are so obliged do not execute the work, the administration can itself oversee the project, in which case the owners, leaseholders or property holders must defray the costs.

History of the tower
Given the architectural and engineering elements it contains, the so-named torre des Trituradors in la Savina is classed as a historical building in Formentera's catalogue of cultural heritage sites, a listing that was adopted in a plenary session of the former Council of Eivissa and Formentera. The exact wording used is “element AI-S-5, fitxa núm. 737” and the site is marked for level A protection. The goal of the tower, built in the mid 20th century, was to improve upon the productivity levels of mechanised salt milling at two other local mills, Molí d'en Marroig and Moli des Carregador. The latter, the older of the two, is currently known as Molí de Sal and was also used to grind salt.

Open enrolment for kids’s farming course

horta infantil x eva parey 0071The Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture has announced that from this Thursday, October 20, signups will begin for the third round of children's farming classes and continue through November 1. The workshops get under way on Friday November 4 and are scheduled to run through June. Participants can choose one of three sessions: Fridays from 4.00 to 5.30pm, Saturdays from 10.00 to 11.30am or Saturdays from 11.30am to 1.00pm.

Approximately 10 children will be allowed in each group, which will be established on a first come, first served basis and according to the preferences given at the time of enrolment. The introductory course is free and is recommended for children aged 4 to 12. Classes will be held at the Hort dels nens, Formentera's vegetable patch for kids located near Sant Francesc's sa Tanca Vella chapel. Participants are asked to come in comfortable clothes and shoes and equipped with a bottle of water. The Office of Agriculture will open a wait list for children who enrol past the established deadline.

Agriculture councillor Bartomeu Escandell said the decision to offer the course for the second straight year centred on the positive feedback received on the back of the two previous courses, one of which was held during the school year and the other in summer. The goal, he said, is for local children to be familiar with and enjoy field work: “These are activities that have a long history here on our island”, he noted. Escandell highlighted his office's mission of reviving the Formentera countryside. If the task is to be achieved, he said, “it's important we start early”.

Supreme court nullifies section of law on tourism in Balearics

foto consell premsaThe superior court of justice in the Balearic Islands (TSJB, for its initials in Catalan) issued a partial ruling on the Formentera Council's suit challenging Decret 20/2015, a statute of the regional tourism law. The court, finding Title II of the statute does not comply with the law, declared it to be null.

In its verdict, the TSJB says the law's preamble contradictorily pledges to provide the Balearic island councils with “broad freedoms” —an idea which is reiterated in nine of Title II's chapters— to develop the content of the different chapters. However, the ruling reads, “the affirmations made in Decret 20/2015 are fictitious”, pointing out that “in practise the councils aren't given the ability to regulate on areas of local jurisdiction”.

According to CiF tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer, the verdict is proof that the regional tourism law encroached on the authority of island councils. (The island of Mallorca, which has never been given authority on tourism, presents an exception.) Formentera's legal services will now study their next move. Annulment, they say, is a possibility. In Ferrer's words, “it is our belief that the rest of the decree's titles are also contradictory, given they fail to bestow the island councils with the legislative authority which they are due”.

Rollout of Formentera's plan to promote values in sport

foto presentacio campanya1This evening at 8.00pm the Centre Antoni Tur Gabrielet was the scene of a presentation of the Pla de Valors Esportius, a plan laying out good values in sport hatched by the Formentera Council and the Govern Balear. Attendants included CiF president Jaume Ferrer, sports councillor Jordi Vidal, the Govern's minister of sport Ruth Mateu, that department's chair, Carles Gonyalons, and other members of the Formentera sporting community. The gathering also served to premiere a video by local filmmaker Alfredo Montero that will be used to spotlight local sports values in the Balearics.

Earlier this year Mateu and Ferrer signed into effect a partnership that turns on a programme —"Posam Valors a l'Esport"— to promote sportsmanlike values among school-aged children on Formentera. Under the deal, the Govern will cofinance the programme with €10,000 and the CiF will put forward €5,000. So far the money has been used for training and outreach regarding positive values and attitudes in sport.

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premsa@conselldeformentera.cat