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Formentera to take steps to ensure egalitarian use of old route to la Mola

ple març 2016Earlier today, the Formentera Council (CiF) held its March plenary session. The session brought unanimous approval for a measure to include funding in the CiF’s 2017 budget for an overhaul of el camí Vell (the old road) to la Mola. Transport councillor Rafael González explained that the project, which is designed to improve the flow of traffic along the entire length of el camí Vell, will rely on “dialogue with landowners and neighbours”. González also assured the project would reflect Formentera residents’ various uses of the road as well as traffic flows throughout different segments.

According to the councillor, the revamped arterial will be “safe for cyclists and walkers”, underlying the CiF transport department’s goal of promoting both those activities. González called the old route “crucial for Formentera residents, past and present”, but underscored the vast range of uses el camí Vell is given. “The stretch that is currently closed to car traffic will be reopened exclusively to cyclists and pedestrians”, he said, stressing the Council’s desire to ensure “safety and tranquillity” for bike-riders and walkers.

Unanimous support for refugees

Representatives at the plenary also voted to pass a strongly-worded critique of the recent agreement on refugee resettlement between the EU and Turkey. In the words of social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada, the Council’s unanimously-approved text calls the agreement “an egregious breach of legislation in place to protect refugees” and insists the bilateral move will “only worsen the humanitarian crisis”.

“Members of the plenary have urged the Spanish government to take an active role in the European Commission to ensure that international law is upheld and that refugees receive humane, conscientious assistance”, said Parellada. The councillor also called to mind the CiF’s own registry of households that have made known their willingness to take in refugees temporarily. She pleaded for all levels of government involved in the crisis to assist refugees in “a compassionate, professional and responsible way”.

Next Sunday marks fourteenth year of Intercultural Day in Sant Ferran

Presentacio festa interculturalThe Formentera Council’s office of social welfare has joined forces with the local group Associació de la Festa Intercultural to put on the fourteenth annual Intercultural Day. This morning, social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada unveiled details in a press conference attended by head organiser Ángeles Martínez Canales and Associació president Manuel Londeiro.

In the words of Councillor Parellada, Sunday April 3rd, Intercultural Day will be the occasion for organizers to “deck out the Sant Ferran schools and celebrate the cultural variety of the countries and autonomous communities represented on Formentera”. Trumpeting Formentera’s claim as the most culturally diverse island in Spain – some 30 per cent of local residents were born abroad – Parellada stressed: “This isn’t just one day; this kind of diversity is an everyday reality on Formentera”.

Gastronomy and popular dance

The president of the organising group, who hailed Formentera as “both culturally diverse and very cosmopolitan”, says the idea behind the day is “to celebrate the cultural diversity we’ve got on the island”. Londeiro says the best way to do that is by “getting a taste of local gastronomy”. Martínez Canales announced the start of the party is slated for one midday, when things will get under way with fun children’s workshops. Kids will have the chance to make bookmarks with their name in Arabic and fancy-dress masks, get painted with henna, decorate mandalas and play games like Twister and musical chairs. There will also be bouncy inflatable castles.

Entry costs €4 and children under 12 get in free. Food samples will start at 2 p.m. and the day’s first folk and music performers are scheduled to take the stage a bit earlier. Participating countries and autonomous communities include Romania, Morocco, Colombia, Brazil, Cuba, Chile, Castilla La Mancha, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Equator, Bolivia, Germany, Galicia, Andalusia, Formentera and Valencia. In addition to contracting Martínez Canales part-time for three months to oversee organising duties, the Formentera Council helps pay for the day’s gastronomic samples by contributing €400 per country/community.

Run-off parking

Councillor Parellada reported that parking will be available on the future remodel site of the Sant Ferran schools and along the town’s connector road. Apologising for any inconvenience, the councillor explained that from tomorrow to Sunday the children’s play area at the school will be closed to allow for set-up. She also made the following request: “Please, come with plates and cutlery. We’ll provide biodegradable options for everything else”. Finally, she encouraged the entire island to come out in force on Sunday, ready to have fun.

Help with travel costs for residents studying elsewhere

Vistes a Eivissa FotoEducation councillor Susana Labrador has announced today that for the 2015-2016 school year, the Formentera Council’s office of education will provide €38,000 in grants for students in higher education, training, postsecondary and arts programmes attended off the island. For Formentera residents that study in Eivissa or take part in a distance learning programme, the aid will come in the form of €150 grants, she explained. Students that travel beyond the Pitiüsa islands will receive €450. The councillor also noted the number of travel cost grants issued last year: ninety.  

Terms

Application terms and information about all required documentation can be viewed online at http://www.consellinsulardeformentera.cat/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=351&Itemid=437&lang=ca. The deadline for applications is 25 April. All interested applicants should visit the office of culture, education and patrimony of the Council.

New display cases for informational material

Panell informatiu info turisticaCiF tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer has announced the addition to the Council's arsenal, from today, of three new display stands to organise the informational material it offers to tourists and locals. Eager to maintain the look and feel of existing public works projects, the administration has tapped local artist Jordi Peñaranda, who designed the tourist information office in la Savina as well as outdoor signage at the Sant Francesc office.

Two of the display cases will be used by the office of tourism. Of those, one is slated for the Sant Francesc office and the other —the larger of the two— will go to la Savina. According to the councillor, the two specially-designed stands will be the ideal way to greet Formentera's visitors, not only at the point of entry but also at the main nerve centre of the island. The third stand was bought by the CiF's office of agriculture and will be used to disseminate information about the Formentera farmers market and other related activities.

All three of the pieces boast rust finishing and locking wheels. Priced at €870, the XL model (for the la Savina tourism office) measures 1,500 centimetres wide by 1,600 cm tall and 640 cm deep. The other two stands measure 700 cm x 1,600 cm x 640 cm and had a cost of €720. Informational material will be affixed with magnets to ensure the long life and optimal appearance of the cases.

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