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.