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Assembly members return for first on-site plenary since before state of emergency

foto 2020 ple juny 1With protocol in place to help guarantee safety and prevent the spread of covid-19, members of the Consell de Formentera met face to face today for the first monthly full-house assembly since since emergency orders were rescinded. The June plenary session came with backing for a subsidies plan for 2020-2021 and phase-one approval for a host of others, including a scheme to regulate unlawful marketing, sale and consumption of alcohol; a measure on the names of local towns, roads and public places; changes to blue zone metred parking, and a new committee charged with studying potential risks and issues relative to neglect and custody of minors.

Noise inspections at Es Ca Marí power station
In a cross-party appeal to the Balearic ministry of environment, assembly members highlighted the need for training to enable Consell de Formentera personnel to perform noise checks and inspections in enforcement of noise immission standards at Es Ca Marí power station.

Defending the proposal, environment conseller Antonio J Sanz offered that “the goal is to use the powers afforded by Balearic legislation on noise pollution to develop a suitably equipped system of inspections”. Sanz said the effective result of the environmental commission’s adoption of observations from Spain’s public light utility, Endesa, in May, was to “weaken the very emission reductions and environmental safeguards” that the Consell pushed for in March when it backed integrated environmental authorisation for Es Ca Marí substation.

Acknowledging the Balearic government’s authority on electricity, Sanz insisted the proposal aimed to “put the Consell in a position to ensure compliance with the plant’s noise immission standards”. “We have more than a seat at the table here”, said the conseller, “we have a political responsibility to do something for residents who have endured a difficult situation for years now”.

Strategic subsidies plan 2020-2021
With “yes” votes from the GxF-PSOE cabinet and amid abstention from members of Sa Unió, the assembly passed a strategic subsidies plan for 2020-2021. Economy and tax office conseller Bartomeu Escandell described the associated measures as “crucial, because they support Formentera’s associations and build stronger communities while investing in our countryside, sustainable mobility, the environment and more”.

Targeting individuals and groups that propose work of public, social interest, and which tackle disparities linked to Formentera’s double and triple insularity, subsidies will serve projects built around social change; education, culture and heritage; sport; farming, livestock, fishing and hunting; mobility and the environment.

Regulating marketing, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages
Assembly members came together to grant initial backing to a package of measures designed to regulate the illegal marketing, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on Formentera. In the words of social welfare conseller Rafael Ramírez, in addition to “creating guidelines for tackling the illegal promotion and sale of alcohol”, the ordinance “is about protecting Formentera youth”. Ramírez pointed to recent studies putting alcohol among the three most popular and prevalent drugs on the island, and described the new bylaw as “a tool to regulate and prevent unlawful acts”.

Bolstering protections for minors
The assembly struck unity on the formation and governing rules of a local government commission to examine questions related to risk, neglect and custody of minors. Highlighting recent rules changes in the Balearics, the conseller stressed the imperative of delivering “an up-to-date system to protect children and minors”. According to Ramírez, the multi-member body, with power to deliver opinions on proposed resolutions, “will reinforce and increase the efficiency of our policies on the protection of minors”.

Traditional place names
Support came, despite “no” votes from the opposition, for a measure on the nomenclature of towns, roads and other urban sites on the island. Patrimony and language policies consellera Raquel Guasch said the change fixed various aspects of the initial document “with an eye to cementing traditional popular toponymy, time-honoured names and other features of local culture”. “Something so visible and so integral to our identity as toponymy and micro-toponymy requires certain rigour”, the consellera insisted. Other changes to the 2018 text also include replacing “Maryland” with the residential area’s traditional appellation, “Es Copinar”, and “Polígon Industrial de Formentera” with “Polígon Industrial de Can Teuet” (Can Teuet Industrial Park).

Moratorium on hydrocarbon explorations
Approval also came for an Aliança Mar Blava measure bolstered by cross-party sponsorship and defended by Formentera’s conseller of environment: “We’re pushing the Govern to urgently implement an immediate moratorium on new applications to investigate, explore and extract hydrocarbons and on new hydrocarbon exploration projects in the Spanish Mediterranean”. Unanimous support was additionally secured for the Consell’s membership in the Xarxa d'Entitats Locals (Network of Local Entities) to develop and implement the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Sa Unió proposal on transparency
Consellers passed a proposal, brought by Sa Unió members and brokered by the local cabinet, on ongoing content upgrades of the Consell’s Transparency Portal and cross-party collaboration to create a commission on ethics and good governance.

Urgent motions
Assembly members gave unanimous support for two urgent motions to revisit the tax and regulatory ordinance governing blue-zone metred parking on Formentera. Mobility conseller Rafael González said the changes would make a 9.00am-to-9.00pm time-table standard in towns across the island where pàrquing regulat is in place. In light of the ongoing crisis, they would also establish a 25% reduction that hotels near metred areas could pass on to their clients. The move also clears the decks for implementation of a mobile payment app, 15-minute parking in La Savina and Es Pujols, and patrols by parking attendants even in towns like Es Caló where the pay-to-park system is absent — which, as González pointed out, already occurs on market days in La Mola.

Cross-party support was likewise secured for a proposed reference to guidelines governing child and adolescent recreational services in the new normality. Described by youth consellera Vanessa Parellada as the product of collaboration between Govern balear and island councils, the amendment to existing regulations envisions covid-19 safety and preventive measures in Formentera’s summer day-camp programme, youth drop-in centre and other Consell-backed recreational programming, as well as other leisure activities organised on the island in the new normality.

Departmental report
Infrastructure, agriculture and interior conseller Josep Marí offered members of the assembly an overview of his departments’ efforts in the last twelve months. Speaking on farming, livestock, fishing and hunting, Marí said the local farmers’ co-operative should be the “backbone and driving force of the local revival of agriculture and livestock” and, together with the Consell, “must restore, professionalise and make profitable agrarian activity”.

Underlining Formentera’s commitment to its agricultural sector, Marí detailed recipients of Consell subsidies in 2020 — Farmers’ Co-operative (€130,000), the Fishermen’s Guild (€15,000) and Association of Livestock Farmers (€37,000 plus special drought assistance topping €15,000 for animal feed).

Applauding the efforts during these unusual times of the Formentera Local Police, Marí identified the priority moving ahead as an “increasing stability on the force”, which he said could be delivered by coupling “an agile and efficient chain of command” with “sufficient officers to continue making Formentera a safe, orderly place to live, and a destination where visitors’ safety is assured”. Marí additionally praised the work of others on the Consell payroll like lifeguards and firefighters.

As Marí drew to a close, he gave a review of upgrades either under way or in the offing in distinct towns on the island, and offered that his department’s objective in the past remained unchanged in the present: “To equip Formentera, and particularly our towns, with needed resources. We want to turn towns into people-friendly places, rid them of vehicle traffic and make them more socially and economically vibrant”.

He concluded by saluting the consellers who preceded him, Consell personnel, and his counterparts on the cabinet.

Government proclamation
And lastly, backing was secured for a proposed proclamation on World LGBTI Pride Day. Consellera of equality and LGBTI affairs Vanessa Parellada explained, “we’re adding our voice to a call that has already been cast: to forgo urgency and ‘right now’ for premeditation. Our efforts must reflect the importance of comprehensive legislation that supports trans people, social equality and eradicating state discrimination of LGBTI people. We need laws that defend, protect and shield these communities against intolerance and invisibility”.

“Now that the Consell de Formentera has authority on LGBTI policies, we need to continue the longstanding efforts already under way toward prevention, education and support for the community”, she said. Parellada also identified a challenge moving ahead: the launch of a local service for comprehensive support.

26 June 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

This Monday, Formentera celebrates the pottery of Anneliese Witt with “Poesia i fang”

Cartell Eva TurOn Monday 29 June the “Ajuntament Vell” exhibition space will pull back the curtain on “Poesia i fang” (Poetry and Clay). The display is dedicated to Anneliese Witt, a German artist who died in May 2018.

The exhibition pairs 16 of Witt’s pieces with texts penned expressly for the occasion by renowned writers and poets Nora Albert, Iolanda Bonet, Pep Marí, Antoni Marí, Carles Fabregat, Neus Riera, Antonio Colinas, Vicent Tur and others.

Curated by Eva Tur Antoni and Marcos Tur Witt, the exhibition can be seen until 11 July 2020, Monday to Friday from 11.00am to 2.00pm and 7.00pm to 9.00pm. The gallery is closed Sundays and Monday mornings.

26 June 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

It’s the return of Cinema a la Fresca, a Formentera summer classic

cartell 2020 cinefrescThe Formentera office of culture announces the fourteenth Cinema a la Fresca, free evening screenings of classics and contemporary highlights from Spanish and world cinema.

Under the creative direction of Veronique Landy and Espai F, the outdoor film series brings together, from July to September, 32 arthouse gems from varying countries and spanning the 1930s to present day, screened in their original language. The initiative kicks off its weekly circuit on Tuesdays in Sant Francesc’s Jardí de ses Eres, before moving to the Sant Ferran square and La Mola’s Casa del Poble patio on Thursdays and Fridays, respectively.

The Cinema a la Fresca programme commences Tuesday 30 June in Sant Francesc with a film that is additionally included in the activities’ bill in support of World LGBTQI+ Pride Day. Sebastián Lelio’s Una mujer fantástica follows Marina, a transgender youth in the Chilean capital of Santiago who works as a waitress and singer. She and her partner, Orlando, twenty years her senior, see themselves in each other’s future until Orlando dies, leaving Marina with no other choice but to face up to her family and show them she is strong, honest and fabulous.

Thursday 2 July, crowds in Sant Francesc’s Plaça de l’Església will be treated to celebrated director Fernando Amenábar’s Mientras dure la guerra. Relying on the through-line of the political and personal conflict of writer-philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, the film explores the events that transpired in Salamanca over the second half of 1936.

Friday 3 July, visitors to the Casa del Poble patio space will be able to check out Sherlock JR. Filmed by American Buster Keaton in 1924, the wordless love story features Keaton in the part of a young film-house projector operator. Poor, optimistic, bright-eyed and enamoured with a handsome woman for whose attention he must clamour, the man finds himself facing off against a dastardly foil who will ready to stop at nothing to thwart his plans. Refusing to take things sitting down, the young Romeo studies the methodology of detectives in order, he reasons, to become a modern Sherlock Holmes.

The series additionally includes child-friendly fare like Dilili a París, Ponyo en el acantilado and, on 9 July in Sant Ferran, Mi amigo el gigante, aka The BFG. Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel by Roald Dahl, the film tells the story of a girl who finds herself joining forces with a giant to stymie an invading force of evil giants who are prepared to gobble up every boy and girl in the country.

Formentera’s youngest film fans are invited to come out for Avatar on Thursday 23 July. The visually exquisite animated feature not only champions environmental causes, it brims with a magic and marvel that will warm even the coldest heart.

Among the highlights of this year’s Cinema a la Fresca are live performances by pianist Jota Hidalgo of the soundtracks accompanying Sherlock JR. and Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid. The former takes place Friday 3 July and the latter on Tuesday 21 July.

Films will be shown in idyllic natural and open-air backdrops where covid-19 safety and physical distancing protocol will be in place.

26 June 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

15-minute parking spots at port of La Savina

Foto 2020 aparcament 15 minuts port la SavinaThe Formentera office of mobility reports that the parking lot adjacent to the La Savina harbour has been equipped with thirteen 15-minute spaces for ferry traveler pick-up and drop-off. Motorists can use the spots from today, and although they will soon be marked as blue zone spaces, rules will not be formally observed until enforcement of metred parking resumes across the island on 1 July.

Available to all without exclusion, free 15-minute passes can be obtained at nearby blue zone parking metres, a system which was designed to encourage frequent turnover. The Consell and Balearic Port Authority opted to implement the new spaces after determining that such short-term parking was a necessity at La Savina’s port.

25 June 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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