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Council of Entities rejects proposal to create "unloading spot", pledges perseverance

Consell entitats premsa EDIT 350x251The Council of Entities (Consell d'Entitats) met yesterday at 8 p.m. to discuss the proposal by the Balearic port authority (APB) to create an “unloading spot” for boats arriving in Eivissa from Formentera. Under the APB plan, Formentera boats would make an initial stop at an area of the port called el Martell before finally mooring at the commercial-use dock, the proposed site of the new Formentera port in Eivissa. Local group leaders present at last night's meeting likened the plan to a “bait-and-switch” because transport companies would be under no obligation to respect the el Martell stop. They also pointed out, among other disadvantages, that the unloading stop would lack necessary services and asserted that to accept the APB proposal would be tantamount to accepting an definitive move to the commercial dock.

Speaking after the meeting, CiF councillor of community involvement Sònia Cardona emphasised the unanimity of the Council of Entities' decision. She also announced the creation of a working group “to draft a document compiling the reasons the people of Formentera have rejected relocating the station and of an unloading spot”. In addition, the working group will create an action plan concerning the steps to be taken in Formentera. Councillor Cardona seized the opportunity to praise the people of Formentera on a process that ensures local involvement and gives a voice to residents.

Council to offer employment and best practises workshops

Foto visita Participació i TransparènciaFormentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and councillor of community involvement Sònia Cardona met this morning in the CiF plenary hall with the Balearic minister of community involvement, transparency and culture, Esperança Camps, and the director general of community involvement and transparency, Miquel Gallardo. Camps has said the encounter gave the officials an opportunity to share information and thanked the Formentera representatives for their welcome.

For her part, Cardona announced the Council’s plans to host a series of day-long training courses after the summer season that focus on employment and best practises. The administration will ask local associations for input to determine the scope of the different courses. According to Gallardo, the Govern will also be playing a part in the programming as well.

The idea of the day-long courses is to create more professional development and experience-sharing opportunities for members of Formentera’s different associations. A handful of non-local groups with strong records will be invited as well, and organisers will endeavour to ensure high participation by making classes dynamic. Cardona indicated that at the end of the courses, a best practises manual will be published to serve as a guide for the on-going work of associations and the Council’s own departments.

The officials also used the morning gathering to discuss the Council’s plans for a portal to ensure transparency in local governance and the Govern’s draft laws on elections and anti-corruption.

Local groups ask port authority to keep studying location of new port

Reunió Consell Entitats premsaYesterday evening the Consell d'Entitats, Formentera's representative body of local businesses and associations, held an informational session on the project for the new port in Eivissa that will give service to Formentera-bound vessels. Among the attendees were Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and councillor of community involvement Sònia Cardona. Cardona gave audience members an account of the situation up to now and pointed out that the meeting had finally come after three years of requests sent to the Balearic port authority and the Council of Eivissa.

For his part, port authority director Carlos Plaza detailed the plans for the Estació Marítima de Formentera, which the port authority hopes to construct on Eivissa's commercial dock. Port authority president Juan Gual de Torrella pointed to  «the growing number travellers making the Formentera-Eivissa journey, a yearly figure which currently stands at 1,600,000» as the motive behind the location change. The mayor of Eivissa, Rafael Ruiz, was also invited to the meeting. Ruiz spoke about the Casa Consistorial's plan to totally remodel Eivissa's port area, «making for a more pleasant experience for visitors». According to Ruiz, any deviation from the current works schedule will hold up that remodel project. Lastly, Miquel Gallardo, director general of participation and transparency in the Govern Balear, praised the Consell d'Entitats as a model participatory organisation.

Representatives of 34 Formentera groups attended the presentation. A lively debate followed in which attendees of the meeting unanimously agreed that the port authority should continue discussion concerning the new Formentera port's location. At the close of the meeting, President Ferrer expressed his hope that the key players in the Eivissa port remodel meet and «consider the will of the people of Formentera, who must use their neighbour's port as their only available point of entry and exit to the island».

Dates set for Formentera's 'Flower' fests

Flower Power 2015 premsaThe festivities department of the Formentera Council unveiled details today behind this summer's round of open-air, sixties- and seventies-themed dance parties known as “Flowers”. After the Saturday, June 18 kick-off in la Mola, the party picks up again on July 9 in Es Pujols and concludes with one of the series' most eagerly-awaited: the Flower accompanying Sant Francesc's Festes de Sant Jaume, on Saturday, July 23.

Formentera gets ready to celebrate Sant Ferran Days, the first local holiday of the summer

SANT FERRAN 2015 mailEarlier today, the office of local holidays of the Formentera Council announced the activities programme of Festes de Sant Ferran. Organised by the Associació de Reis Mags with the support of the Council, 'Sant Ferran Days' will have many attractions but one uncontested main event: Saturday 30 May, an evening of live music at the town square.

First among the activities, at five p.m. on Thursday 28 May, the Sant Ferran library will host a workshop for kids all about the island's local hero: posidònia seaweed. Next day, a projection of the children's film “Oliver and Company” (“Oliver y su Pandilla”) will be held in the library at the same time.

Later that Friday, at eight p.m., an indispensable element of Sant Ferran's summertime evening ambiance—the artists' market—will kick off a new season of vending. Saturday's activities get under way with an afternoon exhibition (hosted jointly by the local sailing school, l'Escola de Vela) of entries from the Sant Ferran primary school drawing contest. Snacks will be provided and awards handed out between five and seven in the evening.

The traditional festivities marking the local holiday—a chanted mass and procession that cuts across the town's interior—will take place at seven p.m. Afterward, beginning at roughly eight, an hors d'oeuvres table stocked with local-favourite orelletes will accompany a street demonstration of the traditional ball pagès dance. Finally, from half past eight, local rockers La 22 will take to the stage and give crowds everything they need to dance. Chimichurri follow with a musical set that is sure to please before making way for DJs Alex Abril and Fedde R*, of Lifecode, who close out the evening programme.

Sunday will be a moment for a bit of calm, as the day's activities feature a pilgrimage to la Creu del Pare Palau and a senalló-basket picnic. Later that day the Sant Ferran pensioners' club (Club de jubilats) will celebrate six years of existence with a noontime mass and member lunch at Hotel La Mola.

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