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Consell calls on Govern balear to fix sewage pipe, remove roadblocks to planned regulation on Formentera’s shoreline

ple-d-octubrev3Officeholders met today for the full-house October assembly of the Consell de Formentera. The session brought cross-party support for a measure petitioning the Govern balear to allocate funding in its 2020 budget for “upgrades and repairs of the sewage pipe servicing the island of Formentera, including work to ensure proper depth and routing provisions”.

In the plea, assembly members urge the Balearic government to “test the functioning—and possible malfunctioning—of Formentera’s water purifying plant”. Assembly members ask the administration in Palma to use the results of the probe to “articulate and share with the Formentera government a timetable for reconditioning the plant”.

Antonio J Sanz, Formentera’s environment chief, held up the consensus among local political parties that “effects of the problem are wide ranging and proper working order of Formentera’s water treatment facilities is fundamental”.

The session also came with the GxF-PSOE governing team’s backing of an appeal to the Govern balear to move forward the project to regulate ships which anchor on Formentera’s coastline. The text calls for “regulation that balances standards of environmental sustainability with socio-economic considerations, taking into account the absorption capacity of underwater ecosystems and technical studies already commissioned by the Consell de Formentera”.

“We believe this is a huge issue for the whole island, and one in which progress is essential”, said Sanz, who described “the vast numbers of anchoring watercraft on local shores and the serious impact on posidonia meadows”. The councillor also pointed out that the appeal mentions expanding the scope of education and patrol efforts until regulation takes effect.

Support for teachers
Assembly members handed cross-party support to a proposal to reject “attempts to cast doubt on the work of teachers and school administrations in the Balearics”. Brought by the governing team, the proposal makes explicit the Consell’s “recognition of and support for the quality and professionalism of teachers and school administrations”.

As the measure makes clear, the Consell de Formentera believes “scrutiny of instruction in schools, and whether it meets the standards set by legislators, is the remit of the regional education ministry’s inspection service”. According to Formentera’s education councillor, Susana Labrador, the statement is a response to one political party’s appeal to the Balearic Parlament that visits be paid to schools—among them Formentera’s secondary school, IES Marc Ferrer. “We think this reaffirmation of our teachers, not to mention educational inspectors, is necessary following the attempt to cast doubt on the job that they’re doing”.

Honouring local police
The assembly likewise brought unanimous support to award six different distinctions to the following local law enforcement officers: Genoveva Hernández (Cross for Police Merit [green badge]), Andrés Torres (Cross for Police Merit [white badge] and Cross for Police Merit [green badge]), José Yern (Cross for Police Merit [white badge]), Félix Ramos (first prize for length of service) and Vicente Aguilar (second prize for length of service).

In fact, tomorrow, Saturday 26 October, the agents will receive their distinctions in a ceremony organised by the Consell. The event will take place at 12 noon in the conference hall (Sala de Plens) of the Centre de Dia.

Consell proclamation
Lastly, assembly members were united in support of a proclamation for International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization. Presented by equality and LGTBI councillor Vanessa Parellada, the measure seeks to “spotlight the Consell’s commitment to normalising the full breadth of sexual and gender identities”. “This is why once again we’ll be hosting activities aimed at raising social awareness around issues that affect trans people”, said Parellada, “just as we’ve done with the LGTBIQ+ community, just as we’ve done with feminist causes and just as we’ve backed any position in support of social justice”.

Since International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization was started in 2009 by Stop Trans Depathologization, every October the day helps raise awareness about the need to remove gender dysphoria from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases. It also serves to remind the world of the importance of healthcare access for trans individuals and of terms to address intersex people not based in binary concepts of "normal".

25 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

S’Estufador fire declared extinguished at 4.17am

foto-bombers-formenterav2The Consell de Formentera fire brigade was deployed in response to a fire that began last night at approximately 10.20pm in the S’Estufador area of La Mola. The municipal crew gave support to the Balearic forestry service (Ibanat) and Civil Protection corps already engaged in fighting the flames. Guardia Civil and local police were also on the scene along with the members of the emergency operational unit, part of the Balearic public administrations ministry.

The blaze scorched 0.14 hectares of pine forest which Josep Marí, Formentera’s interior councillor, described as “difficult to access”, remarking that crew’s response had been made “even more complicated given high proportion of homes in remote locations”. According to the councillor: “Luckily firefighters brought the fire under control fast, and they did it, despite strong winds, thanks to the considerable response that was deployed”. Marí saluted the efforts of emergency workers and, in particular, volunteers.

Flames were declared extinguished at 4.17am, with subsequent showers helping to moisten the area. As a preventive measure, 21 individuals were evacuated from the 14 homes in the affected area. The blaze was said to be stable by 2.00pm yesterday; that status was updated to “controlled” by 4.47pm. The Guardia Civil has opened an investigation into the causes behind the fire.

21 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Lifeguard drill

simulacre-socorrisme--1-1Consell de Formentera lifeguards took part in a simulated rescue on Ses Illetes beach today. The simulation involved the rescue of two individuals aboard a boat on fire at sea; one of the pair required CPR. The head of the lifeguard and rescue service of the Consell de Formentera, Marco Lage, described the exercise, customary when the work flow slows at season’s end, as a fantastic addition to lifeguards’ training.

18 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Drawing to determine polling station attendants for 1 November

ple-16-octubre1A special full-house assembly was called today to determine the list of individuals who will assist voters as they cast their ballots in the general elections scheduled for 10 November 2019.

In a process conducted with the help of a computer application, 81 residents of Formentera were flagged as candidates for the island’s nine voting stations, where each “electoral table” must have a chairperson, two spokespeople and two alternates listed. There will be five stations at CP Mestre Lluís Andreu in Sant Francesc, three at CP Sant Ferran and one at La Mola’s primary school. A total of 7,568 islanders will have a chance to cast their ballots in the election: 7,283 are included on the Spanish registry of voters living in Spain (CER) and the other 285 are on the Spanish registry of overseas voters (CERA).

The day’s assembly also came with the announcement that Sa Unió councillor Anna Negre will step down from her position as councillor.

16 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell chief sits down with head of Balearic parliament

foto-reunio-presparl-2019-12President Alejandra Ferrer met today at 11.00am with Parlament chairman Vicenç Thomàs in the offices of the Consell de Formentera. Ferrer welcomed the official visit, calling it “a way to bring the parliament and Formentera together” and affirming “that’s important for our local government and it’s important for our people, too”.

The pair discussed an array of subjects at the gathering, including, said Ferrer, “the need to work towards sustainability, a common goal for the four islands and an area where Formentera has made real progress. That’s been thanks in part to last term’s parliamentary passing of legislation on Formentera’s environmental and financial sustainability”.

A priority for the present legislative term will be to push through the so-called “law of the Consells” (llei de Consells), which President Ferrer called “fundamental for the Consell de Formentera, especially given our unique role as combined island council and town hall”.

Ferrer also highlighted the General Committee on the Island Councils (Commissió General de Consells Insulars), created at the close of last legislative term to build cooperation between the island councils and parliament. The president described the ambition as “a key part of advocating for the the special features of each island—especially crucial in our case because we’ve only got one representative at Parlament”.

Ferrer also voiced hopes that a new run of committees be convened to bring islanders in on discussing issues specifically relevant to Formentera. Mr Thomàs confirmed plans within Parlament to continue on the same course as last term and keep finding ways to connect the individual islands with the parliamentary body.

Senator for Formentera

Thomàs also spoke about a draft bill, tabled last term by Gent per Formentera and PSOE, to put to rights the Constitution so it reflects Formentera’s right to its own senator.

“On the parliamentary side of things the work is done”, underscored Thomàs, who said the challenge now lay with Congress, and the three Balearic congressional delegates’ role in ensuring the issue is addressed in Madrid: “In my mind it’s a good thing if we’re frank with ourselves and recognise that the legislation puts Formentera in a position to, at some point in the future, have its own senator”.

4 October 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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