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Unanimity around 16 proposals adopted in second session of Formentera debate

foto 2022vii debat estat IIToday the Consell de Formentera held the second session of discussion on the state of Formentera, which brought cross-party approval for the 12 proposals submitted by the Gent per Formentera (GxF) and Socialist (PSOE) cabinet. From the Sa Unió side, two proposals were presented jointly with cabinet proposals: one on expansion of Marc Ferrer Secondary School (IES Marc Ferrer) and another involving a plan to implement and promote renewable energies. Of the remaining ten proposals tabled by the opposition, five secured backing. All told, 17 of the 22 proposals submitted were adopted, 16 of them unanimously.

Proposals from the cabinet: GxF/PSIB-PSOE

Port of La Savina
Members of the plenary voted to "urge the Balearic Port Authority to reconfigure how maritime spaces are used in La Savina harbour and create 'social' mooring points, areas for rental boats and a dry marina to match local needs and the island's carrying capacity", as explained Rafael González, councillor of mobility. "The aim is to ensure that locals have guaranteed access to the sea from the port of La Savina and that companies can develop their activity", added the councillor.

Mollet des Caló
Councillors also called on the Balearic coastal authority, Demarcació de Costes, to "urgently rehabilitate the Mollet des Caló pier in Es Caló, preserving its structure and uses to ensure safety and safeguard the town's identity". Pointing out that related requests date back to 2016, Josep Marí, councillor of infrastructure, defended the proposal and asserted, "This is a fair request on the part of Es Caló residents, and it must be executed urgently".

Moorage points
The Consell will also ask the Balearic Government to develop regulatory and management schemes for moorage points along Formentera's coast, assessing Formentera's coastal carrying capacity and authorised areas under the new Natura 2000 management plan. Antoni Tur, councillor of environment, defended the proposal, underscoring importance of controlling "the proliferation of boats on our coastline and the negative effects on natural assets like posidonia".

Expansion of IES Marc Ferrer
Likewise, a joint proposal was presented by the cabinet and Sa Unió to "urge the Balearic Government to urgently complete and execute plans to expand IES Marc Ferrer, the only high school on Formentera, for which funding has been set aside in the general budget of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands (CAIB)". Susana Labrador, councillor of education, pointed out that IES Marc Ferrer had yet to undergo expansion despite amendments to the CAIB budget in recent years that included money for just such a change. "We will therefore continue to insist on it. This is about fulfilling needs at the island's only secondary school", she said.

Councillors also called on the Balearic Government to retrofit the Sa Senieta building and turn it into a museum. According to Raquel Guasch, councillor of heritage, "after the steps taken by the Consell this legislature, and given we are about to formalise plans to retrofit Can Ramon and turn it into a museum, it is important today that we move forward and reactivate plans for Sa Senieta".

Regulating tourism
As part of a proposal which was defended by Alejandra Ferrer, vice president and councillor of tourism, plenary members called on the Consell de Formentera to work together with the tourism sector and business groups to tailor various tourism regulations to legislation on circularity and the specific characteristics of the island. Ferrer said regulations on sustainability and circularity adopted in recent years affect tourism companies and owners of tourist accommodations, and "this proposal aims to create a single final document containing distinct measures and instruments to help the sector adapt to the circularity that is so necessary and which colours the decision-making process of visitors as they select a destination", she explained.

Energy policy
With another joint proposal which garnered cross-party support, decision-makers urged the Consell to develop the Action Plan for Climate and Sustainable Energy (PACES) with funds from the Plan for Recovery, Transformation and Resilience as well as a plan to implement and promote renewable energy on Formentera. Bartomeu Escandell, councillor of finance, explained that "EU funding is a good tool to finance the various plans for sustainability, implementation of renewable energy and decarbonisation of mobility on our island and we must take advantage of it".

Third Plan for Children and Youth
Vanessa Parellada, councillor of youth, presented a proposal to urge the Consell de Formentera to develop the third Plan for Formentera Children and Youth. "The second plan ends in 2022, so we must develop a new local document with proposals to shape a present and future for children, who are themselves full-fledged citizens. This document will guide creation of comprehensive local policy which is driven by children's best interests, meets emerging challenges head on and focuses on 12- to 18-year-olds", she said.

Social Services regulations
Councillors also green-lighted a proposal presented by Rafael Ramírez, councillor of social welfare, to draft and endorse a regulation of the portfolio of social services. "This key document will help improve the coordination and efficiency of the administration and recognises citizens' subjective rights in terms of social services", he explained, "It is a complex document, but essential to manage social services on this island".

Primary sector
Plenary councillors came together once again to encourage continued work by the Consell de Formentera to find new ways to support the professional primary sector, maintain benefits for it, and improve how local produce is promoted and distributed. Josep Marí, councillor of rural affairs, described "continuing to strengthen and support the rural sector with aid" as a priority. "We give aid to the Cooperativa del Camp and groups in the sector because they are its backbone", he said, "We have also taken out grants for small farmers and ranchers, so that we can enhance Formentera's primary sector together. We intend to keep doing this and we will look for improvements so that local products reach consumers".

Council of Sports
Plenary representatives agreed to create a Council of Sports (Consell d'Esports), a space that, according to Paula Ferrer, councillor of sport, "will bring us closer to enhancing sports and physical activity on the island". The Consell d'Esports should be a "space for dynamic and proactive discussion which is open to clubs, associations and all those who want to participate in promoting sports and improving sports services and public facilities", added the councillor.

Council of the Elderly
Ana Juan, president of the Consell de Formentera and councillor for the elderly, tabled a proposal to create a participatory council for seniors (Consell de Participació de la Gent Major). The motion received the support of all political groups. "We need to open a forum, a space where our elders can participate and contribute, where their concerns and opinions are gathered. As I said on Monday, our elderly are a source of wisdom and the keepers of Formentera's true legacy, and we must listen to them", said the president.

Sa Unió de Formentera (PP-Compromís)

- Sa Unió's proposal regarding the Formentera Municipal Conservatory of Music and Dance was defeated and, overcoming opposition abstention, the cabinet adopted a compromise urging the Ministry of Education, University and Research and the Consell de Formentera to keep working together to find an integrated solution to the formal and informal supply of elementary and professional music and dance classes.

- Following modifications to the original proposal, councillors agreed to urge the regional and central administrations to continue improving administrative services in their remit by increasing on-site options on Formentera and helping residents avoid unnecessary travel to Eivissa.

- Under another unanimously endorsed Sa Unió proposal that ultimately included modifications to the original text, councillors urged the Consell de Formentera to continue increasing the amount of financial aid to compensate "double and triple insularity" for students who study off of Formentera whilst focusing particular attention on lower incomes. Councillors likewise reiterated calls on the regional and central government to ensure that grants reflect the triple insularity Formentera residents face, the opportunities enjoyed by everyone are equal and built-in extra costs can be offset.

- Under another Sa Unió proposal which earned unanimous approval following modifications, plenary members urged the Consell de Formentera to continue working with homeowners to develop infrastructure improvements in tourist and urban areas of Es Copinar, Es Ca Marí, Ses Bardetes, and Sa Roqueta.

- Finally, under another modified proposal from Sa Unió representatives which ultimately secured cross-party support, the Consell de Formentera is urged to modify Local Land Plan (Pla Territorial Insular, PTI) to make it easier for farmers and ranchers to develop projects linked to the primary sector.

14 July 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Consell asks APB to enumerate excursion arrivals in port and repair bike path and promenade

The Consell de Formentera has asked the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands (Autoritat Portuària de les Illes Balears, APB) to detail the changes attending the transfer of maritime excursions to the new pier adjacent the passenger terminal and to indicate how many single-day excursions arrive at the port of La Savina. "We have said this many times already and insist once again", said Ana Juan, "the arrival of maritime excursions must be regulated". The Consell president additionally asked Francesc Antich, president of the APB, for explanations about the capture of ship's grey water inside the port.

On Monday, President Juan sent a letter to Ignacio Revilla, chief of the APB's Eivissa-La Savina office, requesting "urgent action on the harbour promenade, where numerous flaws on the cycling path and roadway render normal circulation difficult".

Also, President Juan asked to be briefed on the projected completion of work to equip the new Formentera Fishermen's Guild with electrical connections. The APB has pledged that work will be completed by 15 July.

13 July 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Minute of silence

foto 2022 minut silenci

Photograph taken during Formentera's moment of silence, 13 July, on the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Miguel Ángel Blanco by members of the ETA terrorist group. The Consell de Formentera organised the gathering in response to a call from the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) to pay tribute to and commemorate all victims of terrorism.


Presenting the 2022 lifeguard crew

foto 2022 socorristesThis morning in Plaça de la Constitució, Ana Juan, president of the Consell de Formentera, and Josep Marí, councillor of interior, were photographed with members of the island's 2022 lifeguard and rescue service. Juan and Marí wished the team "good luck for this season".

The crew comprises 22 individuals. Lifeguard service will be provided on Formentera beaches until 31 October. The full crew will work until 30 September, before leaving eleven personnel to work between 30 September and 31 October.

The beaches division of the Consell highlighted the municipal ordinance prohibiting any type of animal, including dogs, on the beach between 9.00am and 8.00pm during the swimming season.

Between 1 May and 11 July, lifeguards logged 365 healthcare interventions and 938 warnings related to boats entering swimming areas, swimmers in boating zones and dogs in dog-free zones. There were also 32 rescues, including one involving a person who drowned to death.

Accessible and heart-healthy beaches

The beaches of Es Arenals and Es Pujols are specially adapted for swimmers with reduced mobility. The service is available when the green flag flies from 12 noon to 5.00pm. In Es Arenals, this service is available 1 May to 31 October; and in Es Pujols, from 1 June to 30 September.

In addition, all lifeguard stations are equipped with a defibrillator for possible cases of cardiorespiratory arrest.

Sea conditions can be consulted at www.platgesdebalears.com.

13 July 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Ana Juan encourages 'deep reflection' on tourism growth and 'courageous regulations' to preserve island

foto 2022 debat de l estat B· Juan urges stopping and considering whether more growth in tourism is necessary

· The Consell president highlights forthcoming opening of housing office, old people's residence and centre for enterprise

Today Ana Juan, president of the Consell de Formentera, stood in the plenary hall to open the first session of discussion on the state of Formentera. In her address, she championed regulatory projects like Formentera.eco and controls on mooring at Estany des Peix which local government has introduced this legislature and encouraged islanders to reflect on whether ongoing growth in tourism is necessary. "The spotlight is on Formentera. In this perilous moment success could kill us if we do not act and enact measures to preserve our island. We, the men and women of Formentera and many of our visitors, face this threat on our roads, at beaches, in the countryside, on the coast... And this threat not only endangers our model of tourism, but disrupts the way of life of our people", said the president.

Guardrails and tourism growth

President Juan asserted that "safeguarding Formentera is our raison d'être" and called initiatives like Formentera.eco "pioneering" and new rules at Estany des Peix "unprecedented in the Balearics and something no one on Formentera had dared do previously". She stressed that "recovering Estany des Peix will help us recognise the importance of preserving our natural spaces, restore part of our identity and show new generations there is hope and that this wonderful island has a promising future".

On tourism growth and the freezing of roughly 3,800 overnighting permits on Formentera under the tourism act, Juan offered the following: "If we are pursuing regulatory policies, do we really want to keep growing? The island and the policies we apply must be coherent".

Moreover, Juan highlighted local government's work in coordination with other administrations and Formentera's contributions to Balearic legislation on tourism, island councils, youth and education. That coordination has seen the opening of the Sant Ferran primary school, year-round 061 emergency response service and local availability of haemodialysis, for example.

Maritime transport and port of La Savina

President Juan highlighted the passing of the decree on maritime transport "which will be an instrument to improve and regulate maritime mobility and tourist excursions and, with early-bird and late-night ferry connections, ensure islander mobility". She called for continued efforts "to improve our port and tune it and our needs for environmental, financial and social sustainability" and bemoaned the fact that "unfortunately, the port of La Savina is suffering the consequences of a war of economic interests. We have seen this before at other ports nearby. It seriously affects many local businesses and entrepreneurs and the port's ability to function and do so safely". Juan said: "Let me be absolutely clear: the Consell and I, as a representative on Port Authority's board of directors, will always defend the general interest over private interests, and we will always defend a more social port designed for our residents, for our fishermen and, ultimately, for Formentera".


In addition to environmental equilibrium, the president spoke of social equilibrium – "another issue on red alert due to housing access woes. As political representatives, it is our duty to look for solutions and minimise impact. That includes offering the chance to islanders whose requests for holiday rental permits were denied to administer their properties as year-round rentals. If the law allows it, let's do it. I think this is a good opportunity and we must be courageous", said Juan. She announced that "after summer we will open Formentera's housing office. The pandemic put a stop to this project, but it is absolutely necessary. The Consell must be there for islanders and help them find housing at a decent price. We are also working on creating an ethical housing reserve".

Ongoing projects

During her speech, the president drew attention to work done in the different areas of the Consell and some of the projects that will either be launched soon or are currently in the pipeline. These include the old person's residence, due to open after the summer, the new waste management contract, the island's first solar panel-equipped pergola in a public parking lot, the roll-out of a packaging return system, the centre for enterprise and new stands at the municipal football field.

Juan closed with a word for maintaining and enriching local heritage, tangible and intangible alike: "It represents the vision of the future of a people, and it is very important we value everything that shapes who we are and gives meaning to our hopes for the island". In this sense, Juan also highlighted last Friday's awarding of the Formentera Gold Medal (Medalla d'Or) and offered a nod to the island's elders. "We speak about the island of the future, of younger generations, of paths towards sustainability and of the model we want for Formentera. Here, we must listen to our elders and learn from them, because they too, a source of wisdom and repositories of Formentera's true legacy, have plenty to say."

The second session of discussion around the state of Formentera will take place at 9.00am Thursday 14 July and include proposals from the political groups.

11 July 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

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