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Housing back in spotlight for second Formentera debate

Foto votacio unanimitatToday was the second session of the debate on the state of Formentera. All but the socialists gave approval to a Gent per Formentera proposal urging the Govern de les Illes Balears to heed comments submitted by the Formentera Council and accelerate the process for a parliamentary law on housing.

Land councillor Alejandra Ferrer took the floor in favour of that proposal and another one (adopted unanimously) calling on the Palma administration to ratchet up staff resources at the Formentera branch of IBAVI, the Balearic housing agency. Besides setting up regular weekday hours at the office, which would give Formentera residents information on the services and benefits available to them, the measure includes the future possibility of a joint initiative with the Council to establish things like a register of year-long rental listings and legal advise.

Plenary attendees also gave unanimous approval to a transactional measure lobbying the Council to do what it can to free up public land in its control for more social housing. The proposal also presses the Govern to give IBAVI additional funding to finance such new construction projects.

Restricted vehicle access
Unanimous go-ahead was also given to a Gent per Formentera motion advocating that the Govern de les Illes Balears allow the Council to use—and restrict vehicle access to—an area of es Cap de Barbaria known as sa Tanca d'Allà Dins. Head of the president's office Bartomeu Escandell called the measure “protection of an important environmental site” aimed at “guaranteeing the sustainable and sensible enjoyment of such a special place”. Officials hope to restrict all but foot and bike access to sa Tanca in summertime.

Sant Ferran cultural centre
With “yes” votes from the governing team and rejection from the other parties, the session brought approval for a measure to relocate the Council's education, culture and patrimony offices to Sant Ferran de ses Roques. The move is aimed at “culivating the town as the island's main cultural centre”.

Tourism promotion
All parties gave their support to Gent per Formentera's call for the Govern Balear to fully transfer powers on tourism promotion to the individual island councils. The appeal also includes a request for “fair and sufficient financing” and compelling improvements to be made on the proposal from the previous legislative session.

Full support was also given to Gent per Formentera's proposal to enlist renewable energy providers when sourcing the administration's power needs.

Local senator
In another unanimously adopted proposal, this time from the socialist party, the Council was pushed to table an initiative in the Balearic parliament calling for changes to the Spanish constitution and other texts so that Formentera could have its own senator.

Controls on moorage
All parties at the plenary supported a socialist motion to “work with the Palma government on expanded control of the Formentera seaboard”. Recently appraised of the fact that the Govern's moorage assistance and inspection service won't start until June, CiF environment councillor Daisee Aguilera repeated a call for the regional administration to oversee minimum surveillance at least from early May.

According to Aguilera, the service entails other crucial functions not related to boat anchoring, like tracking spills, stopping party boats and providing information to the public.

Another PSOE measure, pressing the Council to earmark “specific and sufficient funding” for the island's 2018 youth action plan, also received unanimous “yes” votes.

Approval also came for the PP's transactional proposal urging the Balearic port authority to suspend all but exceptionally urgent works within the Formentera port between May 1 and October 15.

Another PP measure that benefitted from the governing team's cooperation and received the approval of all parties calls on the Council to “continue seeking consensus with opposition groups regarding the regulation of tourist rentals”. Tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer was behind the decision to add “continue” to the wording, saying this process is already the norm.

Plenary members also gave full support to a call from Compromís to press the Govern to begin a study of autochtonous livestock.

All parties supported Compromís's proposal urging a report from the coast guard on our sand dunes and possible shortcomings in coastline protections. That measure also included input from the Council's governing team. Cross-party support was also secured for Compromís's call to bring back Formentera's sports gala.

Of the 29 proposals made, 15—or 52%—were passed.

Council and ACAF team up for Ràdio Illa content

Foto radio illaThe Formentera Council made formal its plans to work with ACAF, the island's audiovisual cultural association, on content for Formentera's public radio station, Ràdio Illa. Jaume Ferrer, the Council's president, and Carmelo Convalia, spokesman for ACAF, laid the groundwork for the Council's support for the group, with funding of €50,000 in 2017.

Under the agreement, ACAF pledges to promote communication, information and entertainment across the community; drive social and cultural engagement in the local community and ensure the inclusion of Formentera's most representative social and political groups. The agreement's wording also refers to the need to “reach out to nonprofits”. ACAF will also be on the hook “as a source of expression and creativity” and commits to “fomenting community involvement and leveraging Formentera's cultural capital, particularly in Catalan; communicating local cultural, social, leisure and fitness initiatives to residents; teaming up on educational and other kinds of outreach.”

The Council, for its part, will offer ACAF use of the audiovisual equipment and facilities of the Casal de Joves Centre Social “El Molí”.

Sant Jordi day also marked by centennial celebration of 'Gabrielet'

Foto activitat infantil creacio dracThe Formentera Council's Office of Education and Culture reminds residents of this week's programme to celebrate the Sant Jordi holiday on Sunday, April 23. All morning long on Sunday, books retired from the collections of Formentera libraries or donated from local cultural groups can be picked up for free at outposts across Sant Francesc's central plaza. Trade-ins will also be accepted.

Centennial celebration of 'Gabrielet'
The same day at 12 noon in the cinema, winners will be announced for two children's contests that this year turn 18—a bookmark designing competition named for Antoni Tur “Gabrielet” and Robert Lewis Baldon's celebration of children's literature. Organisers of this year's edition say they hope to keep the memory alive of two seminal local figures. Both left Formentera with important legacies, artistic in one case and literary in the other. Councillor Labrador called the two competitions “a chance to promote reading and creative writing among Formentera youth”. As part of this year's centennial celebration of Tur's birth, participants will reflect on the prompt, “Art all around me”.

Discussion, children's theatre and documentary
Today at 8.00pm Obra Cultural Balear will organise a talk about David Guinard's book entitled Aurora Picornell (1912-1937): de la història al símbol. The event will be held at Marià Villangómez library.

The gathering for the book 14 vermuts, originally scheduled for today at 6.00pm at the same library has been postponed. An announcement will soon follow regarding a new date for the event, which will include a talk with the book's author, Núria Naval.

Uc concert
One of the main draws is a Friday-evening concert, 8.00pm at la Mola's Casa del Poble, of local legends Uc. The event, during which the group will perform crowd favourites, is an initiative of Illenc and has been organised by Espai_F.

Talk, children's theatre and documentary
The activities continue Monday, April 24, with a look at Bartomeu Ribes' collection of poetry titled Els avisos. The evening, hosted by Maria Teresa Ferrer, Joan Ferrer and the author himself and presented by the local arm of Obra Cultural Balear (OCBF), begins at 8.00pm in Marià Villangómez library.

At 6.00pm on Friday, April 28, Formentera kids are invited to attend a storytelling session by Cristina Garcia at Marià Villangómez library called “Contes Salvatges” (“Savage Tales”).

At 8.30pm that same evening, Miquel Brunet presents his documentary Ferments to crowds in la Mola. The presentation is part of OCBF's Primavera Cultural programme.

Imaràntia, end of festivities
Capping the calendar of events, OCBF will host a 9.00pm concert by Imaràntia on Saturday, April 29 at la Mola's Casa del Poble.

Council and GEE partner on seven sport events

Foto conveni geeThe Formentera Council's president, Jaume Ferrer, and Juanjo Escandell, head of local sport club Grup Esportiu Espalmador (GEE), have signed a pledge to work together promoting, coordinating and presenting sport fixtures throughout 2017.

The Council will give GEE €7,000 to organise seven events, Far a Far (April 23), Trofeu Illa cycling race (March 26), BTT Es Cap Challenge (May 7), Milla Urbana (July 22), Pujada a la Mola (October 12), ATB tour of Formentera and la Mola Challenge (October 27–29) and John Tunks memorial run (December 6).

One role of the island councils is to “promote, plan and execute sport activities across the social strata of the island”. Today's agreement with GEE is intended to foment such gatherings.

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