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Meet Formentera's summer lifeguard crew

Foto grup socorristesThe Formentera Council presented today the names of the 24 individuals that make up the island's lifeguard service. At 9.00am this morning, CiF president Jaume Ferrer and Bartomeu Escandell, chief of the president's office, gathered for a photo-op with the full crew in Sant Francesc's central plaza, plaça de la Constitució.

During high-season, which starts today and continues to September 15, twenty-four people will be in charge of assuring Formentera swimmers' well-being. Safety and rescue services are maintained May 1 to October 31—in the second half of September the crew's ranks slim to 15, then drop again to ten for the period from September 30 to October 31. The pre-summer brigade also numbers ten lifeguards.

This year for the first time, patrol of the Es Caló beach Ses Platgetes will also be maintained. Likewise, June 1 marked the return of supervision at Cala Saona, which began last year.

Patrol at Es Trucadors
Another change involves the purchase of a five-metre boat, with which the crew will keep watch over Es Pas des Trucadors. Just yesterday, lifeguards attended a refresher course on day-to-day functions like prevention and minor care for incidents like jellyfish stings and heat stroke.

Likewise, the Formentera Council has added to its arsenal items such as first-aid rucksacks, oxygen-therapy devices and two defibrillators for use in Es Caló and Cala Saona.

Accessible beaches
Beachgoers should bear in mind that Arenals and Es Pujols beaches are equipped to allow swimming for people with reduced mobility. The service can be requested by phoning 609.76.85.06 and is available between 12 noon and 5.00pm whenever the green flag flies.

Partnership with OCB aims to build on Formentera's cultural capital

Foto conveni ocbToday, Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer met with the deputy chair of the local chapter of regional cultural association Obra Cultural Balear (OCB) to sign into effect a deal aimed at “expanding cultural programming on Formentera in 2017”.

Under the deal, OCB Formentera promises to head up organising for “Primavera de cultura”. “Cultural spring” in English, the yearly gathering and its array of presentations on new publications, panel discussions, roundtables and poetry readings coincides with celebrations surrounding Sant Jordi day on April 23. OCB will also be on the hook for cultural publications and material on Formentera's historical and natural heritage, not to mention, as a prime mover of local culture, advisory work and research.

The Council has pledged to provide up to €7,000 to support OCB Formentera's efforts.

Efforts to tackle illegal itinerant selling

In a joint operation between Formentera local police and the island's Guardia Civil forces, law enforcement agents executed an operation that led to eight charges of itinerant vending. Among the clothes, costume jewellery and fruit confiscated by officers were 46 pairs of French knickers, 23 dresses, 107 coconuts, 15 pineapples, 31 plastic containers of fruit and 11 bracelets.

For Bartomeu Escandell, chief of the president's office as well as head of the local police, the importance of rooting out itinerant peddling stems from the damage such unfair competition does to local businesses. “Illegal activity,” he said, “of the sort carried out by waterfront vendors undercuts the image of tranquility we want our visitors to be able to enjoy”. Escandell pledged the Council would continue to orchestrate efforts to tackle the practice.

Formentera's elderly care home will share resources, operate in tandem with Day Centre

ResidenciaEarlier this morning, draft plans were unveiled for Formentera's future senior citizens' residence. Three officials—Jaume Ferrer, president of the Formentera Council, Fina Santiago, the Govern's chief of social services and cooperation, and Santiago's opposite number here on the island—presided over the gathering while Xico Ribas, senior staffer at the CiF Office of Infrastructure, and Andreu Horrach, director general of the Palma administration's department of land, were also in tow.

Construction and funding
One of the new project's star features its proposed location. Officials hope to erect the residence on CiF-held land adjacent to the Formentera Day Centre, a lot that currently serves as a car park for patients and staff. Estimates put the cost of the new building at €1.2m, 70% of which will be picked up by the regional government and 30% by the Formentera Council. Regional subsidies on care for dependent individuals (which range from €63 to 68 per day) mean the building's operating costs will also be shared.

The proposed building, whose 14 single and two double rooms are designed to accommodate 18 people, will communicate with the Formentera Day Centre by means of a hallway. According to Xico Ribas, by linking the two buildings, the goal is to take advantage of resources like kitchens, laundry rooms and physical therapy equipment that the Day Centre has already.

President Ferrer hailed Ms Santiago's visit, which was intended to dovetail with the new project's unveiling. As the CiF chair put it, construction of the residence is the latest step in a crusade that began ten years ago with the creation of the Formentera hospital, “so that residents can be born and die with dignity”. “With this new centre,” he pledged, “people who until recently were forced off the island will be able to stay.”

Formentera's industrial park to be named “can Bonet”

Foto Ple vista general260517 pThis morning the Formentera Island Council convened its May plenary session, an event which brought unanimous approval for seven propositions, one from the Gent per Formentera governing team, two from Partido Popular (PP), one from the socialist party (PSOE) and two from Compromís. One proposal passed with 11 “yes” votes from Gent per Formentera and Compromís and abstention from PP and PSOE, while another two—from PP and PSOE—were rejected.

Unanimous approval
Attendees united in their support of the following propositions: on two incoming spokespersons for the supervisory board of Formentera's audiovisual management entity; another, backed by PP, to tackle animal neglect and cruelty; a PP proposition to publish small contracts; a PSOE measure to remove signs from completed public works projects and two Compromís-backed measures—one to monitor the Punta Prima sewage pipe and another to raise awareness about respecting cyclists.

OK'd measures
Today's plenary saw approval for a measure, backed by Gent per Formentera and Compromís and spurned by PP and PSOE, to place names on new streets in urban areas and on the island's industrial park. On recommendation from Obra Cultural Balear and Universitat de les Illes Balears, the park will be called can Bonet.

One measure—to promote work in Formentera's countryside—got “yes” votes from all parties, minus PP abstention.

Report-back from Daisee Aguilera
Today's session included a review from environment councillor Daisee Aguilera on the offices she heads up. Highlighting efforts to stem the spread of invasive snakes and the processionary pine beetle, Aguilera also gave her take on the path forward with the island's new plan for waste management and boasted of expanded surveillance—soon to extend from Cala Saona and Es Caló—of watercraft that anchor along Formentera's coasts.

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