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Consell unanimously agrees to appeal change in General Coastal Regulation

foto 2022x ple AToday the Consell de Formentera celebrated its October plenary assembly, where backing was secured for a cross-party proposal to amend the General Coastal Regulation (Reglament General de Costes, RGC) and file a contentious administrative appeal. In response to comments received during the public consultation in November 2021, councillors also agreed to urge the state government to modify the RGC wording in force since the publication of Royal Decree 668/2022 (1 August) and eliminate the changes liable to increase arbitrary boundaries and arbitrariness in the granting of administrative concessions in the public domain.

Likewise, councillors urged Madrid to suspend any measures that restrict rights in application of new regulations following the RGC reform until such time as provisions of the previous point are implemented. Councillors also asked the central government to reform the current legislation on coasts (Law 22/1988), which reconciles protections for maritime and terrestrial public domain with the established rights of occupants and acknowledgment of the ethnological, cultural and historical value of settlements and traditional coastal elements in order to grant them protection. Finally, local decision-makers urged the Consell de Formentera to file a contentious administrative appeal to reverse changes to the RGC to defend the rights of those it affects.

Budget modification
Overcoming the abstention of opposition group Sa Unió, cabinet councillors from Gent per Formentera and PSOE handed initial approval to a €2.25 million budget amendment to pay for new waste facilities shared with Eivissa at Ca na Putxa (€500,000), increased maintenance work on roads (€ 670,000), payments of the remodel of Carrer de s'Espalmador in Es Pujols (€170,000) and the access road to the old people's home (€90,000) and rising electricity and gas prices (€125,000), among others. Bartomeu Escandell, councillor of finance, said the modification would "align the budget with the reality of the economic crisis, as well as with plans for new facilities". In this sense, he stressed that the budget amendment draws on local government's surplus and that the Consell de Formentera debt holds steady at zero.

Public transport
Assembly members voted unanimously to urge the state government to fully subsidise seasonal and multi-journey tickets for bus transport on the island from 1 September to 31 December, including any potential extensions, possibly the whole of 2023. Rafael González, councillor of mobility, explained that currently the central government pays for half of local bus transport, with the Consell de Formentera paying 20% for non-residents and the remaining 50% for residents. "Just as Madrid subsidises 100% of rail transport on Mallorca, we ask that they help to mitigate rising costs of living and enhance sustainable mobility locally by fully subsidising the type of public transport we have here on Formentera", said Rafael González.

Local autonomy in the Archives Act
Plenary members united once again to defend Formentera's local autonomy and challenge Articles 35 and 39 of Law 6/2022, of 5 August, on the administration of archives and records in the Balearic Islands. Councillor Guasch defended the proposal and pointed out that "the archives act passed in Parliament fails to recognise our island's autonomy, which is enshrined in both the Constitution and Estatut d'Autonomia, and jeopardises our authority in matters related to our documentary heritage". She asserted that the legislation conflates the powers of the Formentera Archive and the Historical Archive of Eivissa and Formentera.

Hence, councillors voted to request an opinion from the Consultative Council of the Balearic Islands on this matter and, if no resolution is forthcoming, to raise the issue before the Constitutional Court. Finally, as Guasch pointed out: "We cannot mortgage the future of the Formentera Archive".

Request for regional deduction
GxF-PSOE cabinet members and councillors of the opposition agreed to urge the Balearic government to take the necessary steps so that students from Formentera, Eivissa and Menorca who travel to pursue higher education are eligible for the regional deduction provided for in Article 4 of Legislative Decree 1/2014. "Formentera has a long tradition of students leaving the island, and often the Balearics altogether, to study. Hence, we ask that this regional deduction apply to Formentera students who meet the financial requirements, even if they study in other regions of Spain or countries of the European Union and regardless of whether an equivalent educational programme exists in the Balearic Islands", said Susana Labrador, councillor of education.

The councillor underlined the absence of in-person higher education programmes on the island and requested that educational grants and financial aid from the regional and central governments, such as the personal income tax deduction, should "take into account the particularities of our island, the triple insularity and the extra costs that this means for students and families from Formentera", an issue already raised in previous measures of the Consell de Formentera.  Finally, Labrador stressed that educational aid to families is a priority for local government and, despite lacking the relevant authority, the Consell de Formentera offers assistance every year to offset an often twice compounded insularity for students studying off the island, as well as higher education grants for students from Formentera.

Regulating at-home assistance
Assembly members also handed initial backing to regulations for the provision of at-home assistance. Rafael Ramírez, councillor of social welfare, described the rules governing Consell-backed at-home assistance as "comprehensive" and asserted they would lay the groundwork for an agreement between the Office of Social Affairs, Office of Sport and Consell de Formentera to manage at-home assistance for dependent individuals.

Assembly members also approved a proposal presented by Sa Unió that urges the Congress of Deputies to urgently legislate the bill approved by the Balearic parliament so that Formentera can have its own senator in the Upper Chamber during the next legislature.

Department report from Rafael González
Today Rafael González, councillor of mobility and territory, offered the assembly an account of efforts in the departments he manages. One of the most important initiatives of the mobility office is the formentera.eco project to regulate vehicles brought and driven on the island. The councillor said the initiative, now in its fourth year, has brought "positive and tangible results showing that the regulation works". González also drew attention to decreases recorded this summer by the Balearic Port Authority: an 8.5% drop in traffic compared to 2017's historic high, and 3.2% fewer in- and outbound vehicles at the port of La Savina compared to the same figures last August. He added that fewer vehicles and less traffic had also opened up room for more sustainable modes of transport such as cycling and public transport. He asserted that the main challenge in mobility was the bidding process for the new public transport concession to be overseen this winter.

As for the Office of Territory, the councillor highlighted definitive approval for modification four of the Insular Territorial Plan. The change means land can be made available for a new subsidised housing development in Sant Ferran, and to regulate and facilitate the installation of solar panels for self-consumption by local homes. Two additional modifications under way will make it possible to "align Formentera with the Balearic Agrarian Act and secure public land in Es Ca Marí for the pumping station of the future sewage network". As for licenses and permits, Councillor González underscored "efforts and changes aimed at increasing our office's processing capacity, which is up from the start of the legislature". Finally, the councillor applauded the great work done by workers in his offices.

Official proclamation
Lastly, assembly members passed an official proclamation on International Day for Trans* Depathologisation*. "Today we recognise more than just the experience and gender identity of trans* people; we recognise the need to secure their basic human rights", said Ana Juan, president and councillor of equality, who stressed: "No more stigmatising...public institutions are acting to support the realities of trans* individuals and to do away with barriers which people diverging from the imposed norm still encounter today".

27 October 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Second Història de Formentera course includes eight lectures, a guided tour and documentary

This November, the Formentera Office of Heritage presents its second course on the history of Formentera. A ten-part initiative, Història de Formentera consists of eight lectures, a guided tour and a documentary film screening.

In the words of Raquel Guasch, councillor of heritage, "after the success of last year's course, our aim this year is to consolidate the initiative and harness the knowledge of participating researchers and historians to offer a rigorous educational account of our history to the people of Formentera".

Sessions will be held from 7.00pm to 8.00pm in the Consell de Formentera auditorium (Sala de Plens), located next to the island's adult care centre (Centre de Dia). The course is free and registration is not required. Subjects:

Thursday 3 November: El cop d'Estat, la Guerra Civil i la recuperació de la Memòria (Coup d'état, Civil War and reclaiming historical memory). Artur Parrón Guasch

Tuesday 8 November: La repressió contra els homes i dones de Formentera (Repression of the people of Formentera). Manuel Suárez Salvá

Thursday 10 November: Els camps de presoners a les Balears (Prison camps in the Balearic Islands). Maria Eugènia Jaume Esteva

Tuesday 15 November: La Colònia penitenciària de Formentera (The Formentera penal colony). Antoni Ferrer Abárzuza

Thursday 17 November: Vida i mort a la Colònia penitenciària de Formentera: L'exhumació al cementiri de Sant Francesc (Living and dying at the Formentera penal colony: Exhumation in the Sant Francesc cemetery). Almudena García-Rubio

Tuesday 22 November: La arqueología como herramienta para el estudio de los espacios de represión de la Guerra Civil y la posguerra: el caso del campo de concentración de Albatera (Archaeology as a tool to study spaces of repression during the Civil War and postwar period: the Albatera concentration camp) [1937-1939]. Felipe Mejías López

Thursday 24 November: La larga espera. La situación familiar y propia de los presos extremeños en Formentera (The long wait. The family and personal situation of Extremaduran prisoners on Formentera). Candela Chaves Rodríguez

Saturday 26 November [Walking tour | 10.00am to 1.30pm]: Memòria: Colònia penitenciària, església de Sant Francesc, cementeri Nou (Historical memory: Penal colony, Sant Francesc church, Cementeri Nou). Paula Juan Tur

Tuesday 29 November: L'observació aèria de l'illa de Formentera durant la segona guerra mundial (Aerial observation of Formentera during World War II). Celso García García

Thursday 1 December: Documentary: Nosaltres els vençuts (2004, 70 min). Antoni Maria Thomàs Andreu

The course is validated by the Formentera Teachers' Resource Centre (Centre de Profesorat) and attending teachers are eligible for elective credits.

26 October 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

cartell 2022x curs historia

Meeting with regional union of agricultural cooperatives

foto 2022x agraria AAna Juan and Josep Marí, president and councillor of rural affairs, respectively, of the Consell de Formentera, have met with Jerónima Bonafé and Xisca Parets, the respective president and managing director of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of the Balearic Islands (UCABAL). The meeting was also attended by members of the steering council representing all four of the Balearic Islands, including Marcos Ribas, president of the local agrarian cooperative (Cooperativa del Camp de Formentera).

President Juan thanked all those who travelled to Formentera for last night's gathering, where attendees discussed the situation of the sector and the expectations for the future.

For his part, Councillor Marí pledged to "help the primary sector to cope with the sharp rise in the cost of raw materials they work with, and facilitate the creation of needed agricultural infrastructure". In this sense, he pointed out that local decision makers agreed to modify the Plan for the Local Territory (Pla Territorial Insular, PTI) to facilitate construction of this type of infrastructure.

25 October 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

"Vívete: Lives Inspiring Lives" seminar held today on Formentera

foto 2022x vivete AToday the third "Vívete: Lives Inspiring Lives" took place at the Sala de Cultura (Cinema) in Sant Francesc. Roughly 300 students from IES Marc Ferrer took part in the seminar designed to promote values and positive attitudes and help participants manage their emotions. Young people "heard stories of inspiring, emotional and stimulating lives that we hope will help them in the challenges they may encounter in their lives", said Vanessa Parellada, councillor of youth, who welcomed participants in the event.

The third "Vívete" includes adventurer and explorer Nacho Dean (the first person in history to circumnavigate the world on foot and swim between the seven continents), Afghan writer and refugee Nadia Ghulam (who for years posed as her late brother to evade the Taliban regime's rigid restrictions on women) and Menorcan swimmer Tita Llorens (the first woman to swim, without a wetsuit, from the Balearic Islands to mainland Spain).

The Consell de Formentera collaborates with this event to make it accessible to local youth.

25 October 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

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