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Formentera reactivates lifeguard service

foto-part-de-la-plantilla-soco1The president's office of the Formentera Council reports that yesterday marked the start of lifeguard and rescue service on Formentera beaches. The service extends from May 1 to October 31 and is funded by the administration.

Ten lifeguards took to their stations yesterday and another five will join the ranks at the start of June. June 15 marks the start of the season for rest of the crew (23 lifeguards in all), who will remain on duty until September 15. The crew will drop to 15 from September 15-30 and shrink to 10 for the month of October.

This year safety upgrades were performed on watchtowers at es Arenals, ses Illetes and Llevant, and a new tower was put in at es Pujols. The crew purchased two boats—one for ses Illetes and the other for Cala Saona—as well as rescue material.

Lifeguard and rescue staff completed refresher courses for some of the most frequent parts of the job, like reanimation and emergency preparedness.

Adapted and 'heart safe' beaches
Es Arenals and es Pujols beaches 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 609.768.506. Defibrilators are available everywhere lifeguard services are offered in case of cardiac arrest.

For information about sea conditions, visit www.platgesdebalears.com

May 2, 2019
Àrea de Comunicació
Formentera Council

Lots drawn to determine assignments at polling tables

sorteig-meses-electoral-26-de-1Today in the Formentera Council Sala de Plens a drawing was held to call islanders to serve as table representatives and back-ups at local polling stations for municipal, regional and European elections on May 26, 2019.

Eighty-one Formentera residents were picked as candidates with the help of a special computer programme and will now be contacted and notified. Some among them will be called on to staff “electoral tables”—one in la Mola, three in Sant Ferran and five in Sant Francesc. Each mesa electoral will have a designated chairperson and two members, plus two replacements for each member.  Seven thousand seven hundred eighty Formentera voters have been called on to cast their ballots in the coming elections.

29 April 2019
Office of Communication
Formentera Council

Formentera charts new path forward on waste management

foto-ple-ordinari-abril-20191Council members at today's plenary assembly gave cross-party support to the first draft of an ethics code for the local administration. Transparency councillor Sònia Cardona described the measure, which plots an integrated policy stance incorporating the principles and values of public sector ethics, as a “model for our political leaders, management staff and public servants” and “a standard for proper conduct over and above existing legal mechanisms”.

Cardona described the move as “creating a tool for self-regulation,” and underscored the potential to improve voters' confidence in institutions by building ethical mechanisms geared towards prevention and based in rules, procedures and agencies that permeate the Council's administrative structure and prevent unethical behaviour.

Waste management plan
Despite PP abstention, “yes” votes from Gent per Formentera, PSOE and Compromís party members meant the session also brought final approval for the island's Pla de Residus. Environment councillor Daisee Aguilera described the “Waste Plan”, the first of its kind in the archipelago, as a way to turbocharge recycling and move Formentera closer to zero waste production.

The plan calls for construction of a composting site and a treatment plant for construction and demolition waste as well as a “reuse zone” at the treatment plant in es Cap. It also includes provisions to expand the island's rubbish drop-off spot (Deixalleria), study measures to encourage smart waste management strategies, and promote new and innovative programmes like deposit-refund container recycling.

A first phase will be aimed at consolidation of the current scheme for door-to-door organic matter pick-up from medium-sized and large waste generators, followed by, from 2022, a second phase of expansion and installation of a new fifth container for organic waste at collection sites. According to Aguilera, the measure also includes emerging tech-based upgrades to the waste collection and management strategy, and “harnesses sustainable mobility for rubbish pick-up and other measures specially tuned to preserving the local landscape”. The plan was agreed by the environment section of the Consell d'Entitats.

Professional career path
Unanimous support also came for a cross-party measure to create a career path for Council employees. Assembly members agreed to sit down with the unions of the Formentera Council and come up with a system of legal compliance that is valid for administrative career paths and employee compensation and be applied according to existing legislation and rules which will be mapped out according to the budget availabilities of the Council.

Report from Alejandra Ferrer
Territory and tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer gave an overview of the previous year's efforts under her direction. She underscored the Govern's hand-off of authority over tourism promotion, describing it as the first step towards improvements like a ground-breaking tourism observatory with island-specific information. Ferrer also reviewed the island's list of recently attended promotional expos and pointed up this season's focus on Formentera's unique identity.

Ferrer also gave an overview of changes to tourism by-laws. She described overarching goals like taking aim at unfair competition and illegal exercise of professions affiliated with tourism, but, “in particular”, said the councillor, “delivering stable, year-round housing options”.

Ferrer spoke to efforts with the commerce and activities departments as well, highlighting the Pimef-backed Compra a Casa campaign to support local businesses, particularly at Christmas. She also pointed up collaboration between the administration and the Eivissa-Formentera chamber of commerce.

Lastly, Councillor Ferrer took a moment to speak about the decision making within her departments: “all about making sure the island remains unique, different and sustainable and stays focused on nature, land and identity while advocating for the quality of life of islanders”.

Official proclamation
Assembly members were united in making a municipal proclamation concerning forty years of democracy in Spain.

April 26, 2019
Àrea de Comunicació
Formentera Council

Meeting of local police students in the Balearics takes place on Formentera

foto-reunio---policies1On Monday, representatives of Escola Balear d'Administration Pública, Jaime Tovar among them, met on the island with members of 40th class of local police in the Balearic Islands and CiF law enforcement leaders such as Bartomeu Escandell. Participants must successfully complete the course to confirm their position on the force.

The goal of the gathering was to review the educational programme for the four students, three of whom have been selected for posts on Formentera and one from Sant Joan on Eivissa. Formentera and Sant Joan are the only two municipalities that hired new agents as part of December 2017 changes to regional law enforcement legislation called the Balearic Llei de Policia.

The law moulds selection in the image of the process already in place in many of the countries autonomous communities. Town councils hire agents based on capacity and EBAP provides recruits with special training.

Last summer Formentera was the first to apply the new legislation and designed a streamlined selective process unlike any other in the region. As a consequence, Formentera's local police force has swelled by five, three of whom are currently taking part on-the-job training. If the students successfully complete EBAP training they will become full-fledged officers in October.

April 25, 2019
Àrea de Comunicació
Formentera Council

Formentera clears the way for new rules on for-profit holiday rentals

votacio---ple-extra-abril-20191The Formentera Council convened its full assembly today for a one-off session that brought approval for an assortment of tourism regulation statutes which, in the words of land and tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer, “will get the ball rolling on registration so we can see single- and multi-family homes cleared as holiday rentals as early as this summer”.

The first measure—backed by Gent per Formentera and the Socialists and voted against by the Popular Party—involved the final go-ahead for a one-off tweak of the island's Pla Territorial Insular (“Land Strategy”). The changes, which are geared towards protecting historical residential areas, include new tourism zoning for five thousand rental permits in rural parts of the island (except the vicinity of ses Salines and Formentera's Xarxa Natura) along with es Pujols, la Savina, es Caló, es Ca Marí and Mariland. The changes put the new cap for places turístiques (“rental permits”) at 20,585: 12,081 for hotels and 8,504 for private home vaction rentals. Ferrer said the move was about “striking a balance between islanders' quality of life and tourism” not to mention “ensuring year-round housing for all and improving the economic situation”.

Plan for quality
A number of new statutes were adopted as well: one GxF- and PSOE-backed measure (PP party members abstained) about the pla de qualitat for local holiday rentals. Ferrer framed them as “the make-or-break conditions that single- and multi-family homes must uphold if they are adapted for tourism”.

Debated by members of the Consell d'Entitats, the Plan for Quality sets minimum standards—renewable energy and parking spaces for bikes, to name two—for things like furniture, hygiene, general lodging conditions and environmental essentials. If property owners can prove compliance with the standards (26 points are compulsory while another 20—of which a total of 14 must be completed—are judged on a case by case basis) they obtain an accreditation known as “DRIAT”.

Administrative fee
Full assembly support came for a measure involving comments and definitive approval on the regulatory ordinance for the administrative service fee on tourism. The ordinance sets the processing fee at €300 for a 5-year rental permit and €150 for yearly renewal.

Fee for rental permits
“Yes” votes from GxF and PSOE councillors meant backing, despite PP abstention, for comments about and approval of a by-law regulating the per-bed cost of permits to provide rental accommodation. A rental permit for one bed costs €70/year and another 5% for each additional bed: a one-bed permit costs €70; the second costs €70+5% (€73.5); the third €73.5+5%, and so on until the base amount at the twelfth permit (€119.72).

April 23, 2019
Àrea de Comunicació
Consell de Formentera

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