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Jaume Ferrer and Silvia Tur show appreciation to Parlament for “taking Formentera into account” with recent budgets

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CiF president Jaume Ferrer and Deputy Silvia Tur have issued their first joint valuation of the recent approval, by the Balearic Parlament, of the autonomous community's 2016 budget.

The two officials agreed Parlament's new ledger includes consideration for the island of Formentera and improvements upon the version initially presented in November.

On the trip to Palma Ferrer was also joined by Formentera's councillor of the presidential cabinet, Bartomeu Escandell. In addition to backing up Deputy Tur, the two men attended the debates and votes held on the matter.

Ferrer congratulated Tur on striking a balance between her work for both the Formentera Council and Balearic Parlament, as well as “her ability to ensure improvements to the proposed budgets, whose initial renderings were unsatisfactory”.

For her part, Tur heralded what she called “support for the issues Formentera puts forward” and “a will to engage in dialogue” on the part of the Govern's component political parties and Podemos. “The ensemble has made the completion of all our essential targets – indeed, the establishment of the 2016 pact – possible”.

Tur said next year's budgets are underpinned by an understanding of basic social necessities and assistance that holds true to the Govern's promises at the start of this legislative sitting”.

Sant Ferran school

According to Ferrer, the definitive version of the budget contains improvements to the draft originally brought to Formentera on 9 November by the regional minister of the tax office and public administrations, Catalina Cladera, director general of budgets and financing, Joan Carrió.

Ferrer added: “We were grateful to the Govern for coming to the island and explaining the proposed budgets - something the Partido Popular (PP), over the course of last legislative session, had never done. We also showed our appreciation for the Govern's efforts at finally making the new Sant Ferran school a reality. [The Govern] has included a €2.8-million budget line and plans to include another in 2017, putting their total financial commitment for the project at €3.7 million”.

But the Sant Ferran school was not the only basic financing concern that Ferrer remembers voicing on that day.

Improving waste management, tourism and transport

Ferrer points out that from the Palma representatives' November visit to today, “valuable work” between the Formentera Council and the island's deputy Tur has meant real improvements (including an additional €680,000 in funding) to the initially-floated version of the budget.

Take, for instance, the increase in Formentera's endowment for interisland waste transfer from €300,000 to €550,000. Ferrer holds fast, nevertheless, on Formentera's request that the Govern ultimately assume 100% of the costs, stating: “It is unfair that Formentera residents should have to shoulder transport costs”.

And then there is tourism, on which the Council and Councillor Alejandra Ferrer still hope to sign an agreement that will provide “fair and sufficient” funding to back the transfer of tourism promotions from the Govern Balear to the local island councils. The 2016 budget stipulates the Agència de Turisme Balear provide €300,000 to Formentera to help cover the Council's expenditures in tourism. Meanwhile, Deputy Tur reminded that in four years of the Bauzà government not one euro was put forth for this important issue.

The deputy also praised the fact next year's budget includes €60,000 to unblock the start of operations at Formentera's irrigation pond as well as a €70,000 line item to go toward transport.

President Ferrer and Deputy Tur indicated that after the holidays a press conference would be held locally to explain the Balearic community's 2016 budget in detail.

Formentera to hand financial data over to regional auditors

Signatura conveni Sindicatura ComptesThe Formentera Council (CiF) will facilitate access to its economic, fiscal and accounting data for the regional court of auditors (Sindicatura de Comptes). CiF president Jaume Ferrer and the court’s chief receiver, Joan Rosselló, signed an agreement today that will allow the Council to hand over its financial information to the Sindicatura, which has auditing authority. Ferrer indicated today’s move means Formentera will uphold a commitment ratified on 13 June 2015 in a plenary session of the Council.

The court of auditors will have access to the Council’s accounting system and be allowed to review all accounts closed, including activity by third-party businesses that is included in the CiF’s general budget. Furthermore, in order to assure an exhaustive audit, the Council is committing to «full cooperation with the auditors». The partnership was signed between the two groups today at noon in the head office of the Sindicatura de Comptes, in Mallorca, and will remain in effect indefinitely.

Formentera condemns attack on Kabul

Minut silenci kabulAt 12 noon today, before the entrance of the Casa Consistorial, Council officials observed one minute of silence in memory of last Friday’s attack on the Spanish embassy in Kabul, which left two police officers dead. Local police, employees of the Council and a handful of island residents all came together to express their condemnation of the suicide bombing. Flags flew at half mast as a show of collective condolence.

Push for checks at rubbish bins to ensure best use

Contenidors premsaTwo Formentera Council offices – Presidènica, the presidential cabinet, and Medi Ambient, environment – have come together to push for checks at rubbish drop-spots. The move, said Bartomeu Escandell, department head at Presidència, is intended to «ensure proper disposal practices and sanction anti-social behavior».

An environment office watchman and an officer of the local police have begun making rounds at drop-off points, a practice meant to dissuade residents from improper disposal of rubbish. In cases where offences are witnessed, the officials are writing citations, which carry a fine.

Councillor Escandell called on all island residents to do their part to keep Formentera clean and reminded them that a free at-home pick-up service exists to dispose of old and oversized furniture. He also refered to the new rubbish tip, which has been in operation – morning and afternoon – since this May. Fines for improper waste disposal start at 50 euros and can go as high as 3,000.

Meeting of local safety forces and emergency services

Reunio Cossos Emergencies premsaCouncillor of the presidential cabinet Bartomeu Escandell met today with Pere Perelló, chief of staff of the regional ministry of the interior and emergency services , as well as other representatives of Formentera’s forces of public order. At the meeting were Chief Joan Mayans of the local police force; Ivan Marí, head of the local fire brigade; and – from Protecció Civil, the local volunteer troupe – chief of staff Pep Marí and staff member Francisco Moya. Also present was Xavier Vila, director of the company contracted to install emergency number plates on homes located in isolated zones of the island.

Councillor Escandell explained that participants sought to «improve coordination between the different forces of order that are under the responsibility of the Formentera Council and interior ministry of the Govern Balear». He also took the opportunity to describe to Mr Perelló the recently-implemented geolocalisation system which permits emergency services to quickly reach homes in secluded areas.

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