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37-point plan to foment youth participation, ensure well-being

pla estrategic joventutEarlier today, the office of social welfare, early-childhood and youth services, an arm of the Formentera Council, publicly laid out what is being called the Strategic Plan for Formentera Youth. El Pla estratègic d'infància i joventut de Formentera, as it is titled in Catalan, was jointly-drafted by various council offices and received ratification by councilmembers in the ordinary plenary session of February.

Present for the occasion were Dolores Fernández, councillor of social welfare, infant and youth services, Pere Serra, head of the local social welfare office and Mònica Rey, head of youth services. The document outlines 37 specific action points to be developed over the course of the next four years (2015-2018). According to Councillor Fernández, “more than 50% are already en route while the remainder are easily within reach”.

Fernández highlighted the three chief features of the plan: “Compile the different tasks necessary to a successful promotion of Formentera's infant and adolescent population, promote the active participation of local youth and uphold the rights of the child”.

Before detailing the tasks themselves, head of youth services Mònica Rey gave a bit of background on the document: “[It] offers a description of the social and demographic realities of Formentera today, breaking down the data into interesting, often-unseen perspectives. The island's population aged 0-18 is set at 1,839; 982 males and 857 females”. In the same section, El pla estratègic also includes information about the current legislation concerning young children and youth.

Pere Serra was on hand to present the 37 actions included in the pages of the strategic plan. The head of social welfare explained that “the actions listed in Strategic Plan are divided up into four categories: improvements to the family environment; participation of young children and youth in local issues; equal opportunities; and public health and prevention work”.

The first category consists of five actions. One of them calls for the creation of a meeting point for parents in conflictive relationships where issues regarding the children of the family can be discussed. Other actions propose offering courses dealing with such topics as parenting skills and techniques in family problem solving. Still another action proposes improving the coordination that exists between public health agencies and other local administrations.

A total of 21 actions propose augmenting the active participation of youth in local affairs. Among these, one aims to promote volunteer work. Other actions focus on increasing participation in day camps, competitions, sports camps and at the Casal de Joves. This last entity, the local youth centre, has long played an extremely-important role in fomenting activities for young people.

Six actions consider equal opportunities on the island. One suggests a convention among Formentera's sports clubs to assist families with financial difficulties. A second recommends extra support for the participative wing of the local youth council (El Consell de la infància i la joventut).

Last on the list are the actions that contemplate improvements to public health and prevention work. One proposes support for Formentera Marxa, a programme that organises guided weekend activities.
Other actions recommend programmes to assure that every young person enrolled in basic mandatory education possess a set of acquired abilities by age sixteen. These actions aim to prevent addictive behaviour in technology, instil healthy emotional and sexual practises and give youth the power to make intelligent decisions about drugs.

New round of exams announced for municipal cab permits

taxiThe Formentera Council's office of transport announced today that a new round of exams to obtain the municipal permit required of taxi drivers will take place 22 April. Registration will be open from 13 march to 1 April  at the Citizen Information Office (la OAC) in Sant Francesc Xavier.

To be eligible, candidates must have successfully completed secondary or higher education and possess a licence for drivers of public transport (BTP). Further details can be consulted at the Council's website, www.cif.cat.

Consensus among political groups marks start of draft law on vehicle entry onto island

MEsa treball Llei3This morning at the Formentera Council, a meeting was celebrated by the Junta de Portaveus, a group of spokespersons of the different political organisations on the island. The junta arrived at the unanimous decision to begin drafting a proposal that will go before the Balearic Islands parliament with the objective of waging an entry tax on vehicles coming to Formentera.

Present at the gathering were Jaume Ferrer, president of the Formentera Council, and spokespersons of the political groups with representation in the local administration. The list included Sònia Cardona from Gent per Formentera, José Manuel Alcaraz from Partido Popular, Santi Juan from PSOE and Javi Serra from Grup Independent de Formentera (GUIF).

The junta is a deliberative body of Formentera's political groups, stipulated within the administration's code of regulations, and having the function of adopting positions on general interest issues.

The day's gathering transpired as per the debate that took place at the Consell d'Entitats (council of local organisations), at which juncture it was decided not only that resources would be dedicated to abating the oversaturation of vehicle traffic affecting the island at different points throughout the year, but also that this action would be achieved by means of a tax on vehicle entry. The session served to organise the different tasks that will be necessary in order to bring the proposal before the Balearic Parlament. It will in turn fall within the remit of the parliament to authorise Formentera to administer the vehicle tax.

Biweekly meetings

Meeting attendees agreed on creating a working group composed of the following members: the president of the Formentera Council, one representative from each political party, the transport councillor of the local administration, a representative of the Consell d'Entitats and Council secretary Àngel Navarro, who will act as chief of the group's technical operations.

In addition, the decision was made to permit group members to attend gatherings in the company of secondary advisers and the door was also opened to the use of external consultation if deemed necessary. The meetings will be held once a fortnight. The first gathering of the working group was thus scheduled for 10 March. In consideration of the approaching end of the current legislative session, the political parties agreed that whatever the result of the upcoming May elections, the group would move forward until completion of the proposed work.

Condolences for Sister Francisca and Don Pep

Last Friday, 20 February, was marked by the passing of Francisca Serra Llabrès, or Sister Francisca, a nun of the Catholic church of Formentera. Born in Establiments, Mallorca in 1921 and arriving in Formentera in 1955, over the course of more than fifty years 'Sor Francisca' came to be known for her work in service of the needy and her schooling of generations of local children. The year 2006 attended Sor Francisca's honouring as Adoptive daughter of Formentera. Tuesday, 25 February at 7pm in the Sant Francesc Xavier church, a funeral mass will be held in her memory.

Yesterday, 23 February, saw the passing of Josep Costa Guasch, or Don Pep as he was affectionately known on the island. Born on Eivissa in 1933, Don Pep served as monsignor of the Sant Ferran parish and helped many children without resources into secondary and higher education across the archipelago. Don Pep is remembered for his fomenting of numerous initiatives in support of youth and sport on the island. Among these, he is notably celebrated for his collaboration founding the Societat Esportiva Formentera, the Formentera Sports Society. In 2010 Don Pep was honoured with the Premi Sant Jaume. Wednesday at noon will attend a wake for the island's beloved monsignor at the Santa Creu church to be followed at 4:30 by his funeral service. May the two souls rest in peace.

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