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Formentera unveils depot for farmers' co-operative

cooperativa 2Formentera's agrarian co-operative, Cooperativa del Camp, belatedly celebrated the July opening of the group's warehouse space this Saturday with considerable fanfare. The €590,000 construction project, coordinated by the Formentera Council, was financed in part by the Leader programme (23%) and in part by the Council (67%).

Among the event's 200 plus attendees were Cooperativa chairman Jaume Escandell and Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer, both of whom addressed the crowd. Another of the evening's guests, Pep de n'Andreu, in a traditional glosa, proclaimed: “Our task with the new co-operative is to continue cultivating the land, keeping it decent”.

The co-operative's managing director, Carles Marí, declared the night a success in terms of turnout and thanked “all those whose selfless collaboration had made it possible, particularly the gastronomical cooking staff and Formentera's own balladors,” referring to members of the the island's dance troupes.

Two-hundred twenty affiliated members
When the local farmers' co-op was reactivated in 2010, there were 52 names on the group's membership rolls. Today, the number is 220. The Co-op works in tandem with the Council on Fons de Terres, an initiative (roughly translated as “Farmland Reserve”) that involves stewardship of untilled local fields. With €90,000 in yearly funding from the administration, the programme aims to beautify rural landscapes. To date 70 local landowners have participated in Fons de Terres by turning over care of 200 hectares of farmland to the Cooperativa.

Activities to end violence against women

Foto presentacio violencia de genereSocial welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada, Espai Dones chair Dolors Fernández Tamargo and staffer Azuzena Carrasco unveiled the programme of activities that the Council has put together in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25. The presentation took place in the administration's hall of ceremonies today at 10.30am.

Councillor Parellada pointed out that this year's programming kicks off Saturday, November 11, with a stage production and runs through November 29. All part of the effort to commemorate November 25 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The administration has teamed up with Espai Dones in presenting the activities, which, in the councillor's words, “are diverse in nature despite one common goal: ending gender violence”.

Activities programme
For her part, Ms Fernández focused on the day's associated activities. At 8.00pm on Saturday, November 11, actress Rosa Díaz will present Hilos, winner of 2011's national award for the performing arts, at the municipal cinema.

The programme continues Tuesday, November 14, with a screening of “Los niños del Barrio Rojo,” winner of the 2015 Oscar for best documentary. The show starts at 8.00pm in the Marià Villangómez municipal library. More theatre is in store on Saturday, November 18, when Menorca's Xoc theatre troupe takes the reins of a theatrical forum on gender violence in Sa Panxa restaurant. The event gets under way at 10.00pm. On Monday, November 20, Isa Sanz presents «Koinonía,» a photo show, at the municipal gallery of the Ajuntament Vell.

'La maleta de Marta'
Wednesday, November 22, Formentera audiences are invited out for Günter Schwaiger's La maleta de Marta. After the screening, the film's leading actress will stick around for a chat with the audience. This showing of La maleta de Marta, scheduled for 7.30pm in the Office of Culture conference hall, is sponsored by the Balearic Islands and Eivissa chapters of Amnesty International.

Saturday, November 25
November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, will be abuzz with activities. IBDona, a women's group in the region, will set up an informational stand from 11.00am in Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució under the banner “Take a stand against domestic violence”. At 1.00pm, the reading of the day's guiding manifesto will take place.

In the evening, an emotional, gender-conscious and experience-based workshop titled «Ni princeses ni prínceps» (Neither princesses nor princes) will be given at 7.00pm by social psychotherapist Isabel Serrato in the conference hall of the Office of Culture. Part of a yearly tradition, at 9.30pm in Rosales bed and breakfast of Es Pujols, Espai Dones will celebrate ten years of solidarity on women's issues. To reserve a spot, phone 697 941 016.

Finally, at 7.00pm on Wednesday, November 29, families are encouraged to come to Sant Francesc's Sa Miranda nursery for a discussion entitled “The long, exciting road ahead”. At 7.30pm, psychologist Ana Costa García will speak to the crowd in the Office of Culture conference hall about managing difficult emotions.

Gender violence
Staff specialist Azuzena Carrasco, for her part, reported on the 14 calls received by her office's gender violence hotline through October, a drop on last year's total of 18.

Looking ahead, November 28 and 29, Councillor Parellada and a pair of staffers will take part in working days organised by IBDona to forge strategies on intra-agency coordination and response for victims of gender violence.

Ses Salines's average entries per-day in summertime? 541 cars and 922 scooters

mobilitat sostenibleThe Formentera Council reports that from May 19 to September 30, in terms of non-resident island visitors, the ses Salines nature preserve recorded an average of 541 cars and 922 scooters entering the park every day. This summer, the nature reserve's total tally of cars driven by out-of-towners was 72,514 (3,901 less than in 2016). Headcount of tourists visiting by scooter? 123,585, or 21,523 less than last year. Meanwhile, looking at 2015 figures, this year non-resident drivers made up for 3,015 more of ses Salines's car visits, and 1,463 less of its scooter visits. Councillor Rafael González divulged the information today at the Council.

Ses Salines's Formentera site has parking for 384 cars and 1,132 moterscooters, though, due to rotation, the total number of vehicles in lots at times exceed this capacity. Bus access to the nature preserve has been regulated since 2016. Regular bus service has remained in 2017, with buses allowed a maximum of 13 trips in and out per day. Discretional service into the park has dropped, to 42 buses entering the park compared to last year's high of 72.

Collection
Ibifor, which holds the contract to superintend the preserve's car parks, took in €775,895, €102,213 less than in 2016. The Formentera Council will keep €140,000, plus an additional variable sum (€26,650) based on total revenues. The money is funneled into park maintenance, like beachside safety upgrades and road repairs. Inside the park there are services for road cleaning and rubbish collection, both part of a broader effort to better the park's image.

For two years running, quads have been prohibited entry into the park in an effort to minimise degradation and promote conservation.

Shade spots
As was already the case last year, the Balearic coastal authority applied a discount on the Council's lease of car park areas, in exchange for which the administration continues its gradual rebuilding of shade structures over parking lots. Last year crews rebuilt the arbour at the lot adjacent to ses Xalanes beach (point of access to Pirata beach bar) and efforts continue afoot this year.

Individuals who enter the park on foot, bicycle or by electric vehicles are not charged admission, park of the Formentera Council's ongoing commitment to sustainable mobility.

Children, youth and social initiatives once again at heart of participatory budgeting

Foto consell entitats 7 11 2017Yesterday evening Formentera's coalition of island organisations met to discuss results of the vote on participatory budgeting in 2017. Online ballots were cast by representatives of 31 local associations, and yesterday assembled coalition members gave the go-ahead to allocate this year's €325,000 budget to the three most popular projects.

The top voted projects, according to community involvement councillor Sònia Cardona, start with a roughly €100,000 fitness circuit for the elderly in Sant Ferran, built along the town's ring road. Second in line is a youth park, budgeted for approximately €209,000 and slated for construction in a public-use area at the juncture of carrers Guillem de Montgrí and Major. Lastly, coalition reps green-lighted an initiative to purchase an accessible sailboat for €16,000.

Aside from the boat, which the Council has already bought, the projects will be carried out in 2018 “in order to ensure maximum impact,” explained Cardona. She stressed that the coalition's bottom line remains “children and youth, social programmes and the disabled”. In the words of Councillor Cardona, the show of commitment “gives cause for thought, and says a lot about where this coalition is at right now”. She pledged the results of the vote “wouldn't go unnoticed by the Council's cabinet”.

The first convocation to initiate the 2018 participatory budgeting process will be held in January.

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premsa@conselldeformentera.cat