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Local representatives vote to ditch non-inclusive architecture, finance play area improvements

Foto consell entitatsYesterday evening Formentera's board of community representatives convened its second session on participatory budgets, ultimately settling on two projects (from the 12 originally proposed) to entrust to the Formentera Council this year. One 100,000-euro project to eliminate architectural barriers,

The first initiative proposed employing €100,000 to eliminate architectural barriers on the island. The second, with a budget of €150,000, promised improvements at school play areas and parks for children. Both of them were the most popular among the 33 associations and four political parties that took part in the vote.

This is the first time the Formentera Council and the Consell d'Entitats implement participatory budgets. As the CiF's councillor of community involvement, Sònia Cardona, put it, “the initiative is aimed at engaging the people of Formentera in the participatory process”. She took the opportunity last night to thank islanders and associations for their efforts, which she said were key to the initiative's success. “This vote —and the fact that Formenterencs chose to support inclusive architecture and children— speaks very highly of our residents. We are thrilled.”

The participatory projects were assigned a total budget of €250,000. From today, the associated Council offices will begin working to make both of them a reality in 2016. The representatives of the 63 associations that comprise the Consell d'Entitats were invited to the two budget sessions.

Following a session dedicated to explanations of the 12 initial proposals, yesterday's gathering served to establish the two most popular measures. Associations voted on the two projects they thought were highest priority.

Council meets with Balearic veterinarians' college

Foto reunio collegi veterinarisBartomeu Escandell, the councillor of the president's office of the Formentera Council, met today with Ramón García, president of the college of veterinarians of the Balearic Islands. Escandell described the day's gathering as the first contact in what would hopefully lead to cooperation between the two groups. The goal behind the partnership, said Escandell, is to push for animal welfare and, in so doing, for public health in general. The councillor also spoke to the veterinarians about Formentera's project to revive the island's farming sector. 

'Revelaciones' by Álvaro Mendoza

Foto expo Alvaro MendozaYesterday, local artist Álvaro Mendoza pulled back the curtain on his latest exhibition, Revelaciones. The sampling of work includes 13 paintings completed over the last year, paintings which Mendoza quips are “somewhere between expressionist and abstract”. The exhibit, which is on display at the municipal gallery of the old town hall (Ajuntament Vell), can be visited Monday through Saturday, 11.00am to 2.00pm and 6.00 to 9.00pm.

Aid to six athletes and two technical specialists

Foto judokesSports councillor Jordi Vidal reported today on the decision by the Formentera Council Office of Sport to award €13,000 in grants to six sportspeople and two coaches from the island. The grant recipients –three tennis players, two judo players and a pro runner– are all under 18. As part of a February agreement and in partnership with the regional foundation for sport (Fundació Balear per l’Esport), the Govern Balear has pledged to contribute €10,000 to the initiative. The Formentera administration, for its part, has added its own contribution of €3,000 “to cover the basic needs of the grantees”.

According to Vidal, the grants were created to “help these young men and women in their development as professional athletes”. Vidal described the process of pursuing economic support for the Formentera residents, which he said began with a request to Carles Gunyalons, director general of sports in the Balearics. Vidal told Gunyalons of his office's commitment to helping the local athletes improve their performance, a task all the more important given the uniqueness of Formentera's particular situation.

The CiF Office of Sport drew up criteria for athletes that sought to qualify for the assistance packs. An application review committee, formed by Councillor Vidal; Eivissa native and Fundació per l'Esport representative Javier Bonet Salvà; Formentera Office of Sport staff specialist Daniel de la Dueña and, in an outside advisory role, José Alborch, coordinator for Escoles Esportives Municipals. The review process, said Vidal, centred around “applicants' needs and athletic level”.

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