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At gala, Formentera honours icons of local sport

Premis esport formentera 201710Tonight Formentera celebrated its 2016/2017 Gala de l'Esport, an evening to recognise and pay tribute to individuals, organisations, clubs and private entities that dedicated to sports.

Awards went to:

-Best sportsman/sportswoman in the 2016/2017 season. Mateo Sanz, for qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics, winning seventh in the world and fourth in Europe for RSX windsurfing.

Other nominees in the category included Andrea Romero (athletics), Marcos Contreras (football), Gemma Lairón (tennis), Mia Chastaing (judo) and Jacobo Domínguez (trap shooting).

-Best sponsor. Formentera's civil protection league, or Protecció Civil, for the commendable work of their volunteers, allowing sporting events to be celebrated locally. Without them such events could not happen.

Other nominees in the category included Trasmapi, Balearia, Carbónicas Tur, Frufor and Caixabank.

-Best sporting association. SD Formentera, for securing a place in Second Division B and qualifying for the round of 32 in the Copa del Rey, a match that will pit the club against a First Division team for the first time in history.

-Most renowned promotor of sport. Eugenio de la Dueña Medina (sixth dan in judo), for a 30-year dedication to teaching and promoting judo on the island.

The jury voted to give posthumous special mention to Josep Marí i Antoni Torres, for a lifetime on the SD Formentera team, on the players' roster and on management.

The jury, made up of 15 representatives from different sports groups and political groups with representation on the Formentera Council plenary, was chaired by the secretary of sport. The administration's sitting president acted as the jury's honorary chair. The jury met July 17 in the hall of ceremonies, or Sala d'Actes. The awards show took place this evening, Friday September 29, and was also attended by the Balearic minister of sport, Fanny Tur. 

In plenary, Council OKs regulatory code tweak to pave way for new school build in Sant Ferran

Foto ple setembre 2017Today saw members of the Formentera Council gather for the administration's September plenary session. Attendees united behind a proposal to modify Formentera's land directive (normes subsidiàries) governing the way historical areas are classified in Sant Francesc Xavier, Sant Ferran de ses Roques and el Pilar de la Mola.

Land secretary Alejandra Ferrer put the regulatory tweak in the context of ruling 57/2014, handed down by the high court of the Balearic Islands, which found demarcations on Formentera had not been sufficiently substantiated and proper legal channels had not been used. “The rationale we've provided is today more in-depth and specific to each area of protection,” said Ferrer, who indicated that justification was increased even for the decision not to give certain areas the historical distinction. “The only change,” Ferrer pointed out, “happened at Ca Ses Castellones, a lot which is now protected”.

Ferrer celebrated the measure, which lifts the freeze put on historical centres and puts ruling party priorities, like building Sant Ferran's two new schools, on track for completion.

Councillor Ferrer stressed that although the report from the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB) patrimony department endorses redrawing the lines of those historic areas, it recommends special plans to safeguard heritage sites. The Offices of Land and Patrimony have begun drawing them up.

Sustainable tourism tax
Plenary members acted collectively to support raising the “sustainable tourism tax,” or impost de turisme sostenible, during off season months. The proposal puts pressure on the Govern balear study full payout in winter for islands with particularly seasonal economies. It urges consideration for defining the “low season” as October 1 to May 1 and making the tweaks required to cap the tourist tax during non-summer months.

Jobs catalogue
Another measure that got the go-ahead of all parties was a proposed catalogue of employment offers. Council and union representatives would partner to create a directory of job offers, el Catàleg de Llocs de Treball, that includes conditions of employment, qualities of ideal candidates and job descriptions.

For two weeks, the employment office of the Balearic Islands, or BOIB, will field requests from parties interested in the initiative. A related post can be found on the BOIB website.

Human resources secretary Vanessa Parellada pledged to continue working with the Council's legal teams to study incorporating new administrative guidelines for the project. She also identified the jobs catalogue's new home: the Formentera Council's own Portal de Transparència.

Despite a “no” vote from the PP, the session brought approval for a partnership with the regional department of social services and cooperation related to providing daytime care for dependent individuals during two-year periods.

Unity was struck on two proposals from Compromís—one related to road and traffic signs and another on the complement de residència (residency supplement) of public employees. Another measure that passed despite the “no” vote of the PP was a PSOE proposal on salary models and a new earnings agreement. The socialists secured unanimity behind a proposal on recording plenary proceedings.

Emissions tests
Lastly, the PP presented an urgent motion related to the emissions testing service. Last week, test appointments were postponed when the service's mechanic took leave. Tests were rescheduled from October 16, when he returns to work. Infrastructure and mobility secretary Rafael González has said that a new position will be created in 2018 to safeguard against future occurrences of the same circumstance.

Report before the plenary
Today's session included a report from Secretary González on his departments' overarching priority: “Making these three offices work for sustainability and improving islanders' quality of life”.

Pointing to concrete steps González's departments have taken, the secretary highlighted the creation of a network of nature trails, dubbed Rutes Verdes, and this year's pilot programme to restrict vehicle access to Es Cap de Barbaria lighthouse.

In quality of life improvements, González stressed “upgrades that make for more peaceful urban centres, vibrant local trade and mobility options for everyone”. “We've built new facilities and overhauled existing ones,” said the secretary, and pointed to projects still on the horizon—“a funeral parlour, upgrades at la Mola lighthouse and a new nautical sports centre”.

González described one core priority as maintaining and improving local roads.

The secretary said his offices' aim to improve islanders' day-to-day life, pointing out initiatives like the Council's online portal: “Today, at every resident and visitor's fingertips there is both updated information about, and a direct line of communication with, the Formentera Council.”

Finally, González referred to the administration's planned support for the island's football club, SD Formentera, as they prepare to take on Bilbao in the round of 32 on October 25 for the Copa del Rey. González said the stadium will be set up to receive three thousand.

He also described renewed plans to upgrade the stadium's lighting using material acquired last year. The secretary promised a large press area to accommodate the connection needs of media in attendance at the match. Plans, said González, include dusting off two past initiatives: a safety directive and a special plan to provide additional transport. The transport plan includes:

-Restricting traffic flow to one direction along the asphalted portion of camí Vell de la Mola
-Residents- and organisers-only vehicle access
-Foot access to general public from Sant Francesc
-Shuttle bus services for people with special needs
-Shuttle bus services from la Savina port to Sant Francesc roundabout

González mentioned one last thing: “The weekends before and after October 25, SD Formentera will play home games against two former first-division teams, Hercules CF and RCD Mallorca. Given previsions for high fan turnout and the many requests already received by visiting teams, the Council is looking into keeping part of the Copa del Rey facilities in place for these other events”.

Sant Ferran prepares to open new 'reading spot' in November

The education and culture offices of the Formentera Council wish to announce plans to mount a punt de lectura, or “reading corner,” in a storefront it has rented at 13 carrer Mallorca in Sant Ferran. Till recently, the town's library was housed in the same building as the public school, however, the school's burgeoning needs forced the library's closure as the school year started.

The street-level space measures 61.14m2 and is currently being outfitted to accommodate the reading corner by November. Education and culture secretary Susana Labrador pointed out that “while the previous building was exclusively a children's library, the new centre will be open to teens and adults, too”. The new library will offer internet and feature a small permanent collection and several rotating selections culled from the Marià Villangómez library in Sant Francesc.

Save Posidonia Project snags prize for sustainable tourism

Foto de grup premiLast night, Alejandra Ferrer and Daisee Aguilera put in appearances at Nit de Turisme (“Tourism Night”), a celebration of the best in Balearic tourism from 2017. The respective secretaries of tourism and environment were on hand as the Wednesday evening gala got under way in Palma's Palau de Congressos, part of the celebrations for World Tourism Day.

Save Posidonia Project, a joint effort between the Formentera Council and the island's advisory entity on tourism, the Patronat de Turisme, was honoured as the “best sustainable tourism initiative”. “As the year of sustainable tourism,” secretary Ferrer pointed out, “2017 has been about bringing people on board about the critical role posidonia plays and raising money to fund conservation”.

Ferrer said she was “thrilled” to receive recognition “for the steps we're taking to make sure Formentera is walking the talk in terms of sustainability and responsible use of natural resources”.

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