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Presidency

Formentera signs agreement on animal health with livestock farmers

ramaders 3abrilGathered this morning in the Formentera Council (CiF) plenary hall, CiF president Jaume Ferrer and Santi Tur, president of the island's group of livestock farmers, put their signatures on a partnership agreement for animal health.

The agreement is valid through December 31, 2016, and promises €37,000 in financing for the Associació de Ramaders de Formentera. The association will use the money to purchase vaccines and set in motion a campaign for animal health, an initiative the group will undertake with a veterinary office.

Ferrer called the cooperative alliance a source of pride and Tur described it as “indispensable”. Councillor of farming, livestock and fishing, Bartomeu Escandell, was also present at the signing. He hinted that an additional, one-off aide package was in the works for later this year. “Harvests this year are expected to be affected by the drought,” said the councillor, “so we've put in an order for animal feed.”

Formentera reactivates lifeguard service

As of yesterday, the Formentera Council's lifeguard and rescue services are once again present on the island's beaches. The announcement came earlier today from the CiF president's office, with an indication from department head Bartomeu Escandell that service would run from May 1 through October 31 of this year. Eight lifeguards and one supervisor took to their stations on Sunday and the service's ranks will gradually fill out until the height of the season, when 15 lifeguards, three waterside supervisors, one area supervisor and one project coordinator make up the complete lifeguard and rescue crew.

Adapted beaches

Councillor Escandell reminded residents that the beaches of Arenals and es Pujols are both equipped to allow swimming for individuals with reduced mobility. The Council recommends calling ahead of time to request the service, which is available from 12 noon to 5.00pm (green flag hours) and can be reached by calling 609.76.85.06.

It is also worth noting that Arenals, Illetes and Llevant beaches are all equipped with watchtowers and a first-aid station to provide improved care to accident victims. The first-aid stations were acquired last summer, constituting an important improvement to the Formentera safety service. Watchtowers can also be found at beaches in es Pujols, es Pas des Trucadors, Hotel RIU la Mola and the restaurant Tanga.

Everywhere lifeguard services are available there is also a complete first-aid kit, oxygen therapy system, state-of-the-art, semi-automatic defibrillator and floating spine board. A rescue watercraft is also available at ses Illetes beach as well as a Jet Ski at es Pas des Trucadors, Llevant and Arenals. Lifeguard service at Arenals beach extends to the area in front of Hotel RIU la Mola and and the Llevant service covers the beach near the restaurant Tanga.

Lifeguard and rescue staff complete yearly refresher courses both in first-aid and handling techniques for accident victims in marine environments. The fact that the CiF is the only town council officially recognised as providing a municipal safe beaches service means lower costs of operation are possible. Those savings are then reinvested to ensure a better service can be provided, Escandell said.

Furthermore, Escandell highlighted collaboration between the Council, the regional directorate general of fishing and the Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avançats, a research institution, to compile information about jellyfish at Formentera beaches. Three times a day and at every beach with lifeguard service, data on jellyfish —numbers, species, number of stings reported— are collected on a rolling basis and analysed.

For information about sea conditions, jellyfish and other beach-related news, daily updates are posted to www.platgesdebalears.com

BEACH
PERIOD
HOURS

Ses Illetes
May 1 to June 15, September 16 to October 31
11.00am – 5.00pm

June 16 to September 15
11.00am – 7.00pm

Es Pas des Trucadors
June 1 to 15
12 noon – 4.00pm

June 16 to September 15
12 noon – 6.00pm

September 16 to 30
12 noon – 4.00pm

Platja de Llevant
May 1 to June 15,
September 16 to October 31
11.00am – 5.00pm

June 16 to September 15
11.00am – 7.00pm

Platja des Arenals
May 1 to June 15,
September 16 to October 31
11.00am – 5.00pm

June 16 to September 15
11.00am – 7.00pm

Es Pujols
June 1 to 15
11.00am – 5.00pm

June 16 to September 15
12 noon – 6.00pm

Formentera makes case for greater police presence

Foto Junta Local SeguretatFormentera's heads of safety and law enforcement services gathered today for a meeting of the island's Junta Local de Seguretat. Chaired by CiF president Jaume Ferrer and the Govern's envoy in Formentera, Teresa Palmer, the meeting featured the attendance of CiF councillors Bartomeu Escandell (presidential office), Rafael González (transport) and Vanessa Parellada (social welfare). The Spanish central government's representative in the Pitiüsas, Roger Sales, was also present along with other individuals representing forces of order and emergency services on the island.

CiF president Jaume Ferrer seized the opportunity to air concerns about an increase in burglaries and vandalism on the island in recent years. In that respect, Ferrer pointed to a number of cases of vehicle arson as well as a growing incidence of drug use. “These are real problems,” he said, “and to tackle them, we will be asking for a more robust police presence.” Moreover, Ferrer spoke about the need for a traffic officer of the Guárdia Civil to be stationed on the island year round.

Ferrer took the opportunity to thank the Formentera Playa hotel, the island's association of small and medium-sized businesses (PIMEEF) and the local federation of hotels for providing accommodation to law enforcement representatives. He celebrated recent improvements in coordination between Formentera's local police force, the Guárdia Civil and island agents of Spain's national police force.

Arrest for vehicle arson

For her part, the Govern envoy announced the creation of a coordinating committee so the various safety forces on the island can “effectively review and respond to issues of concern among Formentera residents.” Palmer confided the recent break-ins and car burnings sparked concern among islanders and that response teams were being created to tackle the problem. The envoy referred to the arrest yesterday of a Romanian national who is accused of arson in connection to a recent car fire in Sant Francesc. Guárdia Civil agents are currently investigating links between the individual and other recent fires.

Regarding the burglaries at homes in the Formentera countryside, Palmer announced the upcoming work with the specialist task force, ROCA. For summer 2016, the envoy shared plans for local safety operations were still being developed. “We've put in the request for an increase compared to last year's numbers,” Palmer said this morning. “We've asked for maritime forces as well as law enforcement officers and are expecting a return of a Guárdia Civil traffic officer and two Italian carabinieri.”

Fire ban starts on Sunday May 1

The president's office of the Formentera Council has issued a reminder concerning the impending start of a summer fire ban. The ban, which starts this Sunday May 1 and extends through October 15, is aimed at reducing the risk of forest fires during the high risk summer period. In a cautionary note sounded by department head Bartomeu Escandell, an especially dry winter was pointed to as the motive for the ban. “This is a time when every possible precautionary measure should be taken,” he said.

Formentera renews partnership with local cultural institute

Signatura conveni OCB FormenteraFormentera Council (CiF) president Jaume Ferrer sat down today with Maria Teresa Ferrer, president of the Formentera-branch of the cultural institute Obra Cultural Balear (OCB), to renew a partnership agreement in place between the two entities since 2011. The pact is valued at 7,000 euros, money which is intended to “complement the offer of cultural programming, fund Catalan language classes and provide consulting for the administration,” according to the CiF president.

The Obra Cultural Balear chief thanked the CiF for the show of support and seized the opportunity to speak about one of the institute's most challenging projects at present: a catalogue of all the public and private roads on the island of Formentera, an initial version of which will be ready this year.

Also at the signing was CiF councillor of culture Susana Labrador. Both Council officials took the opportunity to congratulate the new OCB president on her recent appointment to the post.

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