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Formentera Council gives final OK to 2018 budgets

foto consell premsaThe Formentera Council's 2018 budgets received final approval on the back of the inadmission of grievances from UGT and the local chapter of the People's Party, or PP. The two groups' complaints had been made in reference to spending by the Formentera Council in 2018.

Rejection of the grievances is based on the ground that, formulated as they were, they could not be included in any of the established categories. According to tax secretary Bartomeu Escandell, “Two appeals were made following the budget's approval in November. Nevertheless, review of the appeals by the Council's legal department revealed that neither claim fit with the existing categories of accepted grievances, and they were rejected”. Escandell expressed his excitement that the nearly €27-million budget was moving forward.

With the budget's final text issued to the region's official gazette, or BOIB, it is hoped it will be approved in full by the end of the week.

Formentera expands metred parking to Es Pujols, Sant Ferran and Sant Francesc

Aparcament la savina premsaThe Formentera Council Office of Mobility reports that from this summer, local motorists can expect to find metred parking in es Pujols, Sant Ferran and Sant Francesc. As published today in the country's official gazette, the Boletino Oficial del Estado, the Council has begun taking steps to purchase parking metres with an eye to installing them in the first half of 2018. The system is expected to be in use and fully operational in the three towns by July 1 of this year.

Trial run in la Savina
When the Council launched metred parking in la Savina back in 2015, it was the first of its kind on the island. Previously at the whim of chronic parking shortages, the town has largely seen the problem reversed. The experiment's success propelled the decision to replicate the scheme in other towns on the island that are similarly squeezed by parking crunch.

The task of patrolling the new metred spots in winter will fall to a three-person brigade of parking attendants and in summer their ranks will swell to 16. As laid out in the Council's 2018 budget, members of the brigade will be employed by the municipality and contracted by the Council.

Meetings will be held with neighbourhood associations in each town to explain the particulars of the project in each case.

Consell d'Entitats
Today the metred parking scheme, known as pàrquing regulat in Catalan, reflects the same model that was presented before the island's citizen participation entity (Consell d'Entitats) in 2014 and 2015. Many of the group's gatherings over the years have focused on the goal of cutting the number of vehicles in circulation on the island, particularly in summer.

Discussions at Consell d'Entitats meetings succeeded in generating a range of new proposals. Though some, like collecting information on vehicles that enter the island, fall under the authority of the Govern balear, others, such as regulating parking in urban areas, are within the Council's purview. In that regard, the planned expansion of the scheme is as much about optimising how people park as it is encouraging them to drive less.

Council activates push to remove nests laid by pine processionary caterpillar

Foto processionaria 1This Monday the Formentera Council's Office of Environment rolled out a new initiative to control an infestation on the island of an invasive caterpillar known as the pine processionary. Department head Daisee Aguilera explained that, over two weeks, a pair of professional forest service workers brought in by the administration will administer a treatment strategy based on the manual and mechanical removal —and subsequent controlled burning— of the processionary's nests, or “tents”.

As with the two previous iterations of the push, the Formentera Council is again operating in tandem with the regional ministry of environment's healthy forests service and department of natural spaces and biodiversity. Both agencies agreed to helm the campaign in response to calls from the Formentera Council, which, in their time, were fruit of the efforts of environmental organisers like hunters and beekeepers on Formentera's Consell d'Entitats and a universally-backed motion brought before the island's plenary assembly. Two other groups, the Balearic institute of nature (Ibanat) and environmental service agents (whose title is abbreviated to “AMA”), are also participating in the initiative.

As early as Monday the brigade's two forest service professionals removed roughly 400 tents from pine trees located on a swatch of land near Sa Tanca d'Allà Dins. The Council provided various hunters' groups with 2,250 ammunition cartridges; the hunters have volunteered to assist in efforts by firing at hard to reach nests high up in pine trees. Estimates put the initiative's potential cost in 2018 at four thousand euros, though that figure could change.

Public encouraged to report newly-detected nests via smart-phone app Línea Verde
Likewise, a new tab has been activated in the app Línea Verde allowing users to report the exact location of caterpillar nests they have found. The move gives islanders a direct line of communication to notify the Council about the tents so the necessary response can be adopted.

Should islanders, especially residents of Es Cap de Barbaria, come upon any of the pine processionary's nests, they are encouraged to communicate it the Formentera's Office of Environment by means of Línea Verde, a telephone call to 971 32 12 10, or an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it so the appropriate action can be taken.

Bacillus thuringiensis-based treatment
In October 2016 a land treatment strategy was conducted using the active agent Bacillus thuringiensis rather than the chemical agent Diflubenzuron, which was proposed in 2014 and rejected by the people of Formentera.

The application of Bacillus thuringiensis was successful, though improvements were limited to the country lanes and areas crews had been able to reach by vehicle. The pest's spread has made a more extensive treatment necessary, and in October of last year two air dustings of the agent were carried out over 1,500 hectares in Es Cap de Barbaria.

The immediate effects of treatment appear to be positive, with significant reductions of the nests reported in areas of the island that have been treated. In any case, though preliminary reports indicate reductions in both the caterpillar's numbers and the expanse of areas affected, Aguilera warned that “until checks of Es Cap de Barbaria have concluded, any evaluation of the various treatment strategies will be impossible”. The air dustings conducted in 2017 are part of a four-year plan, and their results will be evaluated gradually as time goes by.

Final days of asbestos-removal push

Foto presentacio campanya fibrocimentThe Formentera Council's Office of Environment wishes to remind homeowners that the end of an asbestos-removal campaign on the island is approaching.

Interested parties have until January 15 to register online via the OVAC (Virtual Citizen's Information Office), at conselldeformentera.cat, or in person at the Office of Environment on carrer Mallorca in Sant Ferran.

The Council subsidises the costs associated with the hazardous waste's removal and shipment to the mainland as well as those of special bags used in the process. Homeowners are billed for the service, but the final balance reflects a discount.

Factoring in subsidies on payments, the cost per 100 kilograms of materials removed is as follows: €40 for asbestos plaques; €80 for small pieces; and €150 for reservoirs.

A specialist brigade will be brought in to oversee pick up, which is scheduled for January 15. The asbestos-removal push was unanimously approved by Formentera's plenary assembly in August.

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Gabinet de Premsa
Cap de Comunicació i Premsa
Sr. Isidor Torres
Tel. 971 32 23 09
premsa@conselldeformentera.cat