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Jaume Ferrer calls Govern's aid for waste transfer disappointing

Presentacio pressupostos premsaThe chief of the tax office and administrations of the Govern Balear, Catalina Cladera, together with the Balearic administration's director general of budgets and financing, Joan Carrió, joined Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer to unveil the budgets allocated by the autonomous community. The presentation – titled Pressupostos de la Comunitat Autònoma de les Illes Balears – took place this afternoon at the Council's head office.

Cladera said the budgets invest heavily in «social services, education, public health and employment policies». Carrió highlighted a 2016 budget which will include 2.8 million euros to begin construction of the primary school in Sant Ferran. According to the budgets and financing head, the 2017 portion of the budget will contain another 3.7m to pay off the remaining costs. Carrió put completion of the building in time «for the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year».

The CiF president thanked his counterparts for having made the trip in person, calling it «something we haven't seen in the last four years». He expressed his satisfaction at seeing «building works for the Sant Ferran school finally included in the budget». The Council had reiterated its appeal repeatedly over the years and the issue was the line in the sand which determined the administration's support for this year's budget.

Another request, though also important for the Council, was not heeded. The CiF had asked Palma to accept responsibility for 100% of the costs — estimated at one million euros — associated with transferring waste from Formentera to Eivissa. The budgets unveiled today by the Govern Balear officials, however, only allocate 300,000€. President Ferrer assured an amendment would be presented to restate the Council's petition.

Formentera helps bring potable water to one thousand Nicaraguans

Visita Fons PitiusFormentera's president Jaume Ferrer and social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada met today with the mayors of Telpaneca (Bernarda Castillo) and of las Sabanas (Jalmer Ribera), along with the director of a group known as Unidad de Concertación y Cooperación Municipalista, Absalón González, and the coordinator of the Fons Pitiús de Cooperació, Fina Darder.

At the meeting, Formentera's officials were given a first-hand account of exactly which charitable projects in Nicaragua its yearly contribution to the Fons goes to benefit. That assistance, which according to President Ferrer totalled 30,000€ this year, was used to bring water to a group of some one thousand inhabitants near the country's Palacagüina municipality. Before the project, explained Mayor Castillo, those same townspeople were forced to undertake long treks in order to get to the nearest water source.

As member of the Fons, the Formentera Council will continue backing similar projects. On the horizon is another push to bring water to an area with limited access, an initiative Ms Darder says will benefit some 700 villagers. The mayors of the two Nicaragua towns thanked both council members and the entire population of Formentera for all of Formentera's help till present.

Textbook reuse programmes and future teachers get 42,000€ in assistance

The office of education of the Formentera Council (CiF) has announced the assistance package it will provide, retroactively, for the textbook reuse programme for the 2014-2015 school year. The Council's funding for the programme —  42,000 euros all told — will go toward the acquisition of textbooks used in primary and secondary schools as well as individual aid packages for future teachers in early-childhood education programmes during the 2014-2015 school year.

Education councillor Susana Labrador explained the allocation delay was the result of updates to the regulatory process — changes agreed upon by the Council and island schools. As for 2015-2016 financial assistance, Councillor Labrador indicated it would come during the current school year, as is customary. She said the programme was about «solidarity» and commented, «the goal of the aid is to promote a co-operative approach to reusing textbooks, not to mention provide assistance to families with heavy financial burdens and already stretched resources».

Multi-child and single-parent families
The current aid will go to the primary and secondary schools of Formentera that have a textbook reuse programme, as well as any students of early-childhood teaching programmes or pupils belonging to multi-child or single-parent families and attending primary or secondary school.

Application period ends 10 December
Local schools will receive 70 euros for each primary school pupil and 90 euros per pupil in secondary. Likewise, for students of early-learning teaching programmes, the Council will pay up to 50% of education costs, or up to 100% if they are a member of a multi-child or single-parent family. Interested applicants should visit the Citizens' Information Office (OAC) before 10 December. Applications will be reviewed and judged competitively.

Formentera will have archaeological map of underwater sites

signatura conveni arqueo sub premsaJaume Ferrer and Sebastià Munar, presidents of the Formentera Council and the Institut Balear d'Estudis en Arqueologia Marítima (IBEAM), met today to sign a pact which, Ferrer said, «lays down the framework for joint action between the Council and IBEAM to create a map of Formentera's surrounding underwater archaeological sites».

President Ferrer noted that Formentera's 2015-2016 directive on managing cultural heritage sites establishes the commissioning of such a map as a priority task. The IBEAM, he pointed out, is a non-profit association whose mission is to «research, protect and raise awareness about the undersea cultural patrimony of the Balearic Islands».

The accord signed today has a period of validity of five years and stipulates assistance from the Council in the amount of 2,000 euros for research and lodging costs. Councillor of patrimony Susana Labrador underscored the importance the map will have for the Council: «It will provide for localisation and description of sites that make up our marine patrimony, which is the first step in being able to effectively manage and protect them».

Help locating underwater heritage sites
Munar said that once completed the map will become property of the Formentera Council and noted that viewing privileges must be limited to experts «in order to avoid plundering». He called the map a «living document» that will be constantly updated, and thus called on help from the people of Formentera in general — and fishermen and sailors in particular — reporting any underwater archaeological ruins to the CiF office of patrimony, or to agents of the Guárdia Civil.

Continuing education
The IBEAM will provide online courses and facilitate youth-oriented workshops to raise awareness about the need to preserve Formentera's undersea patrimony. A documentary film of the work that goes into the creation of the map is also envisaged. Munar said a crowdfunding campaign is being launched to help meet financing costs. At present, Trasmapi, Fundació Abel Matutes, Decathlon, Vellmarí, Marina de Formentera, Ibiza Fun Rent Car and Global Star Events have all jumped on board to join the Formentera Council and the Guárdia Civil in their work.

For programming on Day of the Child, Formentera pull out all the stops

RP infanciaEarlier today, councillor of social welfare of the Formentera Council (CiF), Vanessa Parellada, unveiled the list of activities currently being coordinated by the departments of the Council for this 20 November, International Day of the Child. The celebration will be one more way to assure the different documents that safeguard human rights – whether the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – are heeded. Explained Parellada: «These declarations define a clear path with respect to the conditions and opportunities necessary for children’s well-being and development».

At the local level these tenets are reflected in a number of ways: first, as the councillor noted, there was the Child-friendly City distinction received by the Formentera Council on 17 October 2014. At that time, the CiF committed to drafting a plan to increase youth visibility and involvement on the island. Hence, this year, the departments of the Council with youth programmes put their heads together to create an extra special Day of the Child celebration.

Promoting sport and physical fitness
Councillor of sport Jordi Vidal described the open-house on 21 November as the perfect opportunity for children and families to get a close-up look at the Antoni Blanc sports centre and the wide range of activities offered there. «Moreover», Vidal explained, «from eight to midnight the evening prior, the fitness centre is putting on a special night of sports for youth 14 to 18».

Education and culture
Councillor Labrador spoke about the different educational and cultural activities planned for 20 November. First: a series of eight beach-cleaning outings will get local schoolchildren out in the sun and participating in civics. Children of the island will also be taking part in a UNICEF-hosted drawing competition that carries the tagline «Reinventing the future». Then, in an initiative to promote intergenerational exchange, Formentera pupils in year five and six will be taking time out of their day to play board games with users of the island's day centre. Part of the same push, the Sant Ferran centre for the aged will host a craft workshop of traditional toys this 7 November.

Councillor Labrador spoke about the following three activities that make up the cultural side of Day of the Child festivities: a concert, 5:30 p.m. on Sunday 8 November by Dàmaris Gelabert, at the cinema; a film projection in the Sant Ferran library on 12 November; and — also at the cinema — a storytelling session on 18 November.

Raising environmental awareness
For her part, councillor of environment Daisee Aguilera talked about the importance of consciousness-raising activities — like the beach-cleaning walks her office coordinates — for even young children. She announced one such foray is already planned — especially for families — for 22 November. Participants can also take part in a special workshop on recycling.

Talks
Staff specialist of the Council's office of youth services, Mònica Rey, signalled two upcoming talks directed at parents or any adult interested in parenting. The first of these is called Els fills no vénen de Mart. Els pares de vegades ho sembla (Children don't come from Mars. Sometimes it seems parents do), and will be led by Paco Pérez from 7 p.m. in the conference hall of the CiF cultural building. The following Friday the 13th at the same time and place, Anna Manso will give a talk called Mares i pares imperfectes (Imperfect parents).

On 20 November, Formentera children will visit the Balearic parliament in Palma to take part in a plenary session of the children's parliament there. Then, 26 November, a certain number will be party to a plenary of the youth participatory council (el Consell de Participació de la Infància i la Joventut), held in the plenary hall of the Formentera Council. Finally, Rey announced a concert for local youth would take place at 9:30 pm, 27 November, in the Sa Senieta tent.

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