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Formentera salutes service of 5 local police officers

image11Today, Saturday 26 October, came with an event organised by the Consell de Formentera in celebration of the day to honour local law enforcement. Five agents received distinctive medals for particularly outstanding career paths.  

In her address to the crowd, Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer praised the honourees for their shared “spirit of service”. She gave an overview of the many tasks the law enforcement agents are called on to perform while on duty. Beyond the traditional role of ensuring safety, their remit extends to traffic and road safety in schools, acting as a police liaison and working to prevent gender violence among youth.

In the words of President Ferrer, the local law enforcement agents “dedicate their lives to making ours easier; their work makes organising events possible; they collaborate with not just the Guardia Civil —the other law enforcement agency on the island— but also the rest of agencies employed in emergency response and efforts to make our lives safer and easier”.

Speaking to attendees of the ceremony, interior councillor Josep Marí saluted “Herculean efforts this summer to cover every beat with professionalism”. Even police chief Ramos had words of praise for the force he has overseen for the last eighteen months, encouraging them to “continue working for Formentera’s safety, just like you’ve done till now”.

Medals
Vicente Aguilar Caballero won the Second Service award for his more than fifteen years of outstanding service in local law enforcement.

Police chief Félix Ramos Pérez won the First Service award for more than twenty-five years of outstanding service in local law enforcement.

José Yern Ferrer obtained the Cross for Police Merit for thirty years of outstanding service in local law enforcement.

Andrés Torres Quetglas obtained the Cross for Police Merit for thirty years of outstanding service in local law enforcement. Torres received a second Cross for Police Merit for service, perseverance, determination, prestige and fulfilment of duty in elevation of the Formentera Local Police.

Lastly,  Genoveva Hernández García obtained the Cross for Police Merit for thirty years of outstanding service in local law enforcement. Torres received a second Cross for Police Merit for service, perseverance, determination, prestige and fulfilment of duty in elevation of the Formentera Local Police.

Members of the National Police attended the ceremony as well, not to mention agents of the Guardia Civil, regional Balearic ministers and members of the opposition, plus family, friends and the remainder of Formentera’s local law enforcement.


26 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

As Formentera prepares for arrival of migrants on coasts, Consell educates islanders on steps to follow

image51Alejandra Ferrer, president of the Consell de Formentera, Rafael Ramírez, Formentera’s chief of social welfare, and Enrique Sánchez Navarrete, Madrid’s envoy in the Pine Islands, told island residents about efforts public administrations have made in recent months in response to the arrival of migrants on Formentera’s coast.

Attendees of the Casa del Poble event heard about the response when watercraft arrive unannounced, the first stage of assistance that migrants receive, the status new arrivals are given depending on whether they are adults or minors, and subsequent steps they are expected to take. Also on hand at the gathering were Formentera’s interior councillor Josep Marí, local police chief Félix Ramos and, commanding officer of the Formentera barracks, José María Estévez.

The president highlighted the “remarkable coordination that takes place between the distinct administrations when migrants arrive on the island” and saluted “the extraordinary efforts of Formentera’s Department of Social Welfare, even weekends”. “We are acutely aware of the humanitarian emergency this represents”, said Ferrer, “and know that, if migrants are braving this crossing, it’s the result of a bigger problem that requires political and social solutions. We’ve pushed for such measures in plenary assemblies”.

Councillor Ramírez pointed out that the support offered by the Consell, available by request, “includes food, clothing, footwear and, if necessary, orientation towards healthcare services”. When migrants are under age, said Ramírez, the local Formentera government is responsible for them: “National police oversee their identification, then staff assess the minor’s situation and the individual becomes responsibility of the Consell de Formentera until the age of eighteen”.

Authority in cases of irregular arrivals lies with the central government. Madrid’s envoy gave an overview of the steps that are taken when a boat arrives unannounced on local shores, what services are offered and what happens to migrants afterwards.

25 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell calls on Govern balear to fix sewage pipe, remove roadblocks to planned regulation on Formentera’s shoreline

ple-d-octubrev3Officeholders met today for the full-house October assembly of the Consell de Formentera. The session brought cross-party support for a measure petitioning the Govern balear to allocate funding in its 2020 budget for “upgrades and repairs of the sewage pipe servicing the island of Formentera, including work to ensure proper depth and routing provisions”.

In the plea, assembly members urge the Balearic government to “test the functioning—and possible malfunctioning—of Formentera’s water purifying plant”. Assembly members ask the administration in Palma to use the results of the probe to “articulate and share with the Formentera government a timetable for reconditioning the plant”.

Antonio J Sanz, Formentera’s environment chief, held up the consensus among local political parties that “effects of the problem are wide ranging and proper working order of Formentera’s water treatment facilities is fundamental”.

The session also came with the GxF-PSOE governing team’s backing of an appeal to the Govern balear to move forward the project to regulate ships which anchor on Formentera’s coastline. The text calls for “regulation that balances standards of environmental sustainability with socio-economic considerations, taking into account the absorption capacity of underwater ecosystems and technical studies already commissioned by the Consell de Formentera”.

“We believe this is a huge issue for the whole island, and one in which progress is essential”, said Sanz, who described “the vast numbers of anchoring watercraft on local shores and the serious impact on posidonia meadows”. The councillor also pointed out that the appeal mentions expanding the scope of education and patrol efforts until regulation takes effect.

Support for teachers
Assembly members handed cross-party support to a proposal to reject “attempts to cast doubt on the work of teachers and school administrations in the Balearics”. Brought by the governing team, the proposal makes explicit the Consell’s “recognition of and support for the quality and professionalism of teachers and school administrations”.

As the measure makes clear, the Consell de Formentera believes “scrutiny of instruction in schools, and whether it meets the standards set by legislators, is the remit of the regional education ministry’s inspection service”. According to Formentera’s education councillor, Susana Labrador, the statement is a response to one political party’s appeal to the Balearic Parlament that visits be paid to schools—among them Formentera’s secondary school, IES Marc Ferrer. “We think this reaffirmation of our teachers, not to mention educational inspectors, is necessary following the attempt to cast doubt on the job that they’re doing”.

Honouring local police
The assembly likewise brought unanimous support to award six different distinctions to the following local law enforcement officers: Genoveva Hernández (Cross for Police Merit [green badge]), Andrés Torres (Cross for Police Merit [white badge] and Cross for Police Merit [green badge]), José Yern (Cross for Police Merit [white badge]), Félix Ramos (first prize for length of service) and Vicente Aguilar (second prize for length of service).

In fact, tomorrow, Saturday 26 October, the agents will receive their distinctions in a ceremony organised by the Consell. The event will take place at 12 noon in the conference hall (Sala de Plens) of the Centre de Dia.

Consell proclamation
Lastly, assembly members were united in support of a proclamation for International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization. Presented by equality and LGTBI councillor Vanessa Parellada, the measure seeks to “spotlight the Consell’s commitment to normalising the full breadth of sexual and gender identities”. “This is why once again we’ll be hosting activities aimed at raising social awareness around issues that affect trans people”, said Parellada, “just as we’ve done with the LGTBIQ+ community, just as we’ve done with feminist causes and just as we’ve backed any position in support of social justice”.

Since International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization was started in 2009 by Stop Trans Depathologization, every October the day helps raise awareness about the need to remove gender dysphoria from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases. It also serves to remind the world of the importance of healthcare access for trans individuals and of terms to address intersex people not based in binary concepts of "normal".


25 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera reports on rules changes for local volunteers

reunio---voluntaris1The social welfare division of the Consell de Formentera hosted a gathering of representatives from volunteer groups on the island to discuss recently enacted legislation on volunteering in the Balearic Islands.

Social welfare conseller Rafa Ramírez talked to the crowd of roughly thirty about the principal changes ahead in how volunteer work is organised, and its uncoupling from public institutions. He pledged local government would “provide the support and impulse that local volunteering needs”. Yesterday, a group volunteers showed interest in creating an association that would coordinate training and organising.

Representatives of the Govern balear will be on Formentera on 22 November to host a training session for local volunteers. The Consell encourages everyone, in a group or solo, to take part in the event. As those in the crowd were reminded at last night’s event, 5 December is International Volunteering Day.


24 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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