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Council extends parting gift to Sevilla team

foto entrega sevilla fcIn a show of appreciation for the team's visit to Formentera, CiF president Jaume Ferrer extended a gift to Sevilla F.C.'s president José Castro. The gesture came on the back of last Wednesday's Copa del Rey round of 32 fixture, held on the island, which saw Castro's Sevillistas facing off against S.D. Formentera. The gift —a carved piece of savin juniper engraved with a silver-embossed image of the island, a compass rose and waves— bears a small plaque that reads marked with the date, November 30, 2016, of the occasion. Crafted by local artisans Jordi Peñaranda and Mamaplata Formentera, the offering will take its place in the Andalusian club's trophy cabinet.

Ferrer voiced thanks to Formentera locals for their warm welcome of the team and its supporters as well as the exemplary conduct of Formenterencs —not to mention fans from places like Eivissa— at a face-off which is already being qualified as historic. Trumpeting reviews qualifying the event's organisation as “excellent,” the Council president commented: “This is our first time hosting a match with a premiere club and I'm extremely proud of the way our residents have carried themselves.”

Response teams locate 12.5% of cases thanks to new geolocalisation system

foto reunio emergenciesBartomeu Escandell, councillor of the Formentera Council president's office, met today with head of emergency services Pere Perelló and representatives of emergency response services on the island including local police, ambulance crews, 112 urgent response, Guardia Civil, civil protection, Ibanat, firefighters, social workers and employees of the court, not to mention the heads of the company contracted to implement the geolocalisation system in Formentera's rural areas.

According to Escandell the purpose of the encounter was to “take stock of the first year of the pioneer service of the Formentera Council”. Of the 1,004 incidents reported on the island between May 13 and November 29, Perelló noted that emergency crews had been able to locate the site thanks to the geolocalisation service in 12.5% of the cases. Representatives of Formentera's urgent response services signalled improvements both in their ability to find sites and in their response time.

The Council gave emergency codes to 3,600 homes situated in remote locations. Approximately 1,000 more were assigned to sites on public land. The initiative receives 183,436 euros in funding, a sum that is provided in equal parts by the Council and the Leader fund of the European Union. The councillor highlighted special mention received by the programme in the Leader fund's magazine, which called it “an innovative project”.

Council and APB strike deal to turn over la Mola lighthouse

signatura cif apbJaume Ferrer and Joan Gual de Torrella, presidents of the Formentera Council (CiF) and the port authority of the Balearic Islands (APB), met this morning in Palma, on Mallorca, to finalise a deal handing the Formentera administration control of the land and outbuildings in the immediate vicinity of la Mola's lighthouse. The move comes as part of a broader effort to establish the landmark as a centre of cultural and musical programming.

The lighthouse occupies land that is controlled by APB, however, under today's agreement, cultural and musical activity on the premises shall not affect the monument's daytime and nighttime use as a lighthouse for maritime traffic.

Ferrer announced yesterday as he unveiled the administration's 2017 budget that, following today's signing, the parties would proceed to drafting executive plans for the project. Meanwhile, the Council is also applying for funding —potentially covering €600,000, or half the project's total cost— under the EU's European Regional Development Fund. Works are expected to get under way in the second quarter of the coming year.

Formentera's rescue and lifeguard service conclude summer operations

foto socorristes 2016The president's office of the Formentera Council, the administration in charge of the island's rescue and lifeguard service, has announced that last week marked the end of active summer supervision, which runs May 1 to October 31.

During the service's six-month period of operations, fifteen lifeguards, three beach supervisors, one area supervisor and one service coordinator were tasked with keeping Formentera's beaches safe. Department chair Bartomeu Escandell thanked the service's team for its “immense dedication and professionalism”.

The service logged 1,255 cases in which assistance was given, 488 more than in 2015, due in part to an extended season, and also to an increased presence of beachgoers in May and October — “when lifeguard interventions doubled,” according to supervisor Sergi Martín. Another 1,321 individuals were treated for jellyfish stings, 267 fewer than the previous year.

A total of 49 people were rescued from dangerous situations in the water. “Such assistance,” Martín pointed out, “is normally necessary at yellow flag times when swimming is allowed but caution is advised.” Ambulances took 34 individuals to hospital, one individual suffered a stroke and still another died on a beach between Es Ministre and Es Trucadors.

Accessible beaches
Councillor Escandell highlighted the beaches at Arenals and es Pujols which are adapted for people with reduced mobility. This year 37 beachgoers used the service. The Council's adapted swim service at these beaches is available not only to visitors but to any Formentera residents who might require it.

In 2017 promoting tourism will become responsibility of island councils

foto roda de premsa conferencia presidentsThis morning, Balearic Islands president Francina Armengol chaired a meeting of the island council presidents —dubbed la Conferència de Presidents (“the Presidents' Conference”)— which was held on Formentera. Besides Armengol, the conference was attended by Gabriel Barceló, the Govern's vice president and minister of innovation, research and tourism, and the presidents of the island councils: Jaume Ferrer, of Formentera, Miquel Ensenyat, of Mallorca, Maite Salord, of Menorca and Vicente Torres of Eivissa. The gathering took place at 10.30am in the plenary hall of the Formentera Council (CiF). Other Govern Balear officials in attendance included Pilar Costa, the minister of the president's office in Palma, and Josep Enric Claverol, head of administrative relations.

Afterward President Armengol spoke about one of the agreements made during the morning talks — “over the course of 2017 authority on issues affecting tourism promotion will be transferred to the island councils”. Speaking about the change, CiF president Ferrer said “the sooner the better”, while still insisting that the transfer of authority should be accompanied by “the greatest amount of funding possible”. Ferrer also expressed his hope that the mistakes made during the last legislative session —which ultimately meant an earlier attempt at a similar overhaul was rejected by every council but Eivissa's— not be repeated.

Budgets
Armengol clarified her stance that “with regard to island residents, the money that comes to the Balearics from the central government is wholly insufficient” and said that the regional government had yet to receive information about the spending cap or the deficit. Armengol said a budget would be drawn up supposing a 0.5% deficit and pledged to continue funding “priority areas like healthcare, education and social services”. As well, she vowed to “try to improve funding received by the island councils in 2017”. In the words of President Ferrer, “knowing what the regional budgets are going to look like is extremely important to drafting each individual island's budget”. He also called the Govern president's announcement a good thing, saying it would allow the island councils to increase their own spending in turn.

The Presidents' Conference is convened on a rotational basis on each of the islands. Today's was the third of this legislative sitting and the first this term to be held in Formentera.

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