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Formentera's political parties review legislative projects

Rp Junta PortaveusAt a morning meeting of the Formentera Council (CiF) Junta de Portaveus, a group comprising one spokesperson from each political party with representation in the Council as well as CiF president Jaume Ferrer, members discussed the progress of priority projects set out in a special CiF document. The document, ratified at a Junta meeting in August 2015 and later in a plenary session of the CiF, sets out a list of different projects requiring action from the Govern Balear.

In President Ferrer's words, the consensus-backed document gives credibility to the requests made by the CiF to the regional government in Palma. Ferrer added the Council's requests were «long-standing» and said the unanimity of the accord gives the local administration strength in its argument.

The meeting was a chance for members to speak about progress in the Formentera Council's relationship with the Palma government. As Ferrer pointed out, each of the 14 projects have been brought before the Govern (to the president or different regional ministers) because «they are either the direct responsibility of the Govern or require its intervention».  

Ferrer highlighted the Junta's unanimous decision to move forward with the different legislative projects and convene future meetings every six months or whenever there are important developments on an issue. In this way, he said, the Junta is sure to represent the support of the different groups with plenary representation. CiF president Ferrer thanked the different party spokespeople for their support of the document.

Council extends push to control pine processionary caterpillar

Foto lluita processionaria premsaOn January 14th, the Formentera Council (CiF) began a two-week push to stop the local spread of the pine processionary caterpillar. The CiF department of environment has announced its decision to extend the activity another fortnight. Councillor and department head Daisee Aguilera said the Council seeks to «cover a wider area and reduce the possibility of the pine processionary’s expansion to other parts of the island».

The technique, which consists in removing the insects’ nests, or ‘tents’, from pine trees, has been applied in Es Cap de Barbaria, the area where processionary numbers are highest. «The process», Aguilera explained, «is much more environmentally sound than the diflubenzuron fumigations proposed by the Govern during the last legislative session. That fumigation campaign was rejected by both the Council and a good part of the island». Aguilera noted that royal decree 1311/2012 (14 September 2012) and European directive 2009/128/CE prohibit such spraying except in certain cases.

The CiF has contracted two specialised forest service emloyees to deal with the spread of the invasive pest. Moreover, Aguilera announced the Council’s coordination of «a group of volunteers that will remove the insects’ tents from trees – manually for those located low down on the tree, and mechanically for those higher up».

Helpful hand from local hunters

The department also has the help of the Es Cap hunters’ club. The hunters target nests found in pine canopies and shoot them with their rifles. To that end, the Council has purchased 2,500 cartridges at a cost of €600.

Work by the IBANAT

With help from the Formentera Council, IBANAT (l’Institut Balear de la Natura), a branch of the Regional Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Fishing of the Govern Balear, has also applied different techniques to eliminate the pests in trouble spots around the island.

On your marks: sports events take off in Formentera

RP prova BTT premsaEarlier today the Formentera Council (CiF) announced details about the mountain bike competition Non Stop Tracks. Slated to get under way next Sunday 7 February, the El Club Trideporte-organised event has so far secured commitment from 180 participants (60 of whom hail from mainland Spain). According to sports department head Jordi Vidal, the CiF hopes to see that number at 200 by Sunday.

Non Stop Tracks will be the first trial of the 2016 sports calendar. As Vidal noted, the event and others like it are a way to get people taking pleasure in sport – and if it can happen before the start of the high summer season, all the better. The CiF councillor of sport was also sure to thank Formentera local police, the Guárdia Civil, civil protection services and other volunteers for helping make the race safe for all those participating.

Long race starts and ends in la Savina

Organiser Fátima Blazquez was on hand at the morning press conference to relate event details. «The longer race is 85 km and will start at 10:30 a.m. Sunday in la Savina. The shorter one is 45 km and will begin at 12 noon in Sant Francesc», she said. Both races have their finish line in la Savina, though to get there the circuits snake around the island, «making sure participating cyclists get a chance to take in the natural beauty of the island», Blazquez added.

Organisers hope the event – now in its second year – continues to gain participants and momentum. Registration costs €10 and can be done online at www.elitechip.net. Blazquez noted a team of more than 50 helpers will be there to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. She thanked the Council for its help, «both with logistics and prizes for participants». On race day, road closures will be kept to a minimum (approximately five minutes) and will affect only secondary roads.

Carnival 2016 crowds promised an eyeful

RP Carnaval 2016Earlier today the Formentera Council department of culture and local holidays unveiled the activities programme for the 2016 Carnival celebrations. Slated to take place Sunday 7 February, this year's procession is unique because it will wind through Sant Francesc, though, as department head Susana Labrador points out: «The goal is for the Carnival festivities to rotate across the different towns on a yearly basis».

Everyone participating in the fancy dress competition is asked to gather at 11 a.m. at the Sa Senieta parking lot, where signups will take place. At 12 noon parade walkers will set out on their circuit helped along by the tunes of local band ALLSEX. Processionists will head down avinguda del Pla del Rei, then, turning right, continue along carrer d'Eivissa until reaching plaça de la Constitució. They will then travel down carrer Jaume I, hang left onto carrer Marc Ferrer and finally turn left again onto carrer Santa Maria. The parade will then finish in plaça de la Constitució.

Anyone in fancy dress can take part in the running for best costume, and different cash prizes are available. Councillor Labrador heralded a new addition to this year's contest: a family costume category aimed at encouraging Formentera families to come out in style together.

Prizes:
Adult individual
First prize €200
Second prize €150
Kids individual
First prize €100
Second prize €60
Couples
First €300
Second €200
Families
First prize €300
Second prize €200
Small groups [three to ten people]
First prize €400
Second prize €250
Comparsa [more than ten people]
First prize €500
Second prize €350
Floats [with vehicle]
First prize €950
Second prize €650

Once the Carnival processionists have finished the march loop, emceeing duties will be handed over to DJ Pharma, who is sure to get young and old dancing in record time - «this day is all about the fancy dress participants», summed up the cultural department's staff specialist Verònica Arenas.

The lunch bell rings will ring at 2 p.m. and this year's post-parade feast will be handled by the Sant Francesc school's parent-teacher association (APIME), which has promised a free lunch to everyone who comes dressed up. In the words of Councillor Labrador: «Carnival is always such an exciting event. What we really want is to see a big resident turnout at the festivities».

More activities

With the Carnival holiday come a host of other activities. Thursday 4 February a children's costume workshop will be held in the Villangomez library. The local youth centre – el Casal de Joves – has organised a series of activities for young people of the island: on Thursday and Friday afternoon, two mask-making workshops. Also that Friday, at 10 a.m., children of the Verge Miraculosa school will lead their own Carnival celebration in the Sant Francesc town square.

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Gabinet de Premsa


971 32 10 87 - Ext: 3181
premsa@conselldeformentera.cat