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Meet Neta, the first canine officer on the Formentera local police force

neta foto4 180115Today at noon Formentera local police introduced to the island the very first member of the squad's canine unit. The pup's name is Neta and she is a four-year-old German shepherd specially-trained in defence and drug- and person-detection.

In attendance at the Neta's introductory ceremony were President Jaume Ferrer, Local Police Chief Joan Mayans, Guàrdia Civil Sergeant Francisco Blanco, representatives from the island's civil protection forces and Officer Andreu Torres, the dog's owner and trainer.

Neta lives with at home with Torres, although the Formentera Council assumes responsibility for a portion of the costs of her care. According to Police Chief Mayans, the pup will provide services “of untold importance”, of which he cited drug detection and detention of individuals resisting arrest.

Sant Ferran library organises recycling workshop for kids four and up

Taller educacio1The Formentera Council, with the help of the local public library system, is putting on one more in the series of environment-themed learning workshops currently programmed for children four and older. This Thursday 19 February at 5pm, the Sant Ferran library will be the scene of an educational session aimed at teaching the island's children all about the three R's.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – three actions that are fundamental to an instructed approach to caring for the environment. This session of the workshop series is conceived as a way to demonstrate to Formentera youth the huge quantities of rubbish that humans generate. Participants will learn what happens with the litter they produce along with strategies for reducing their own output of waste.

Through games and practical hands-on exercises, kids will learn the need-to-know colours for recycling, details about the process of biodegradation and how to craft new objects out of recycled materials. As at every workshop in the series, the library will prepare a bookcase full of books and other educational material concerning the week's topic.

CiF puts an end to bank debt

130114 bartomeuescThe Formentera Council has wiped clean the last of its debts with banking establishments, a development which means—in the words of the administration's economy councillor Bartomeu Escandell—: “that the Council will cease to pay interest and instead focus the totality of its resources on services and investments for the local population.” According to Councillor Escandell, the situation is clear proof of the economic viability of the CiF ('Consell insular de Formentera'), an institution which is simultaneously ajuntament and consell.

This morning a payment of €613,301 was made to BBVA, which left the Council in a state of zero debt. Last year, on 3 June 2014, the Council paid off a loan it held with La Caixa bank.

The Council's debt reached its most critical point on 21 December 2012 when an outstanding sum of €11.5 million meant the administration was making yearly interest payments of €500,000. That situation was the result of, on the one hand, the debt that the Govern Balear held with the Formentera Council (at the time €18 million) and on the other, the fact that the national administration was obliging the Council to use ICO-PYME loans to repay its debtors.

Formentera is now seven years ahead of the timeline set by the central government, which calls for local governing entities to reach zero debt by 2022.

Roll-out of regulated parking in La Savina

adhesiu lasavinaAs of this Monday, 2 February, the Formentera Council will begin to roll out the newly-devised system of regulated parking in La Savina. The OAC (or Citizen Information Office), located in Sant Francesc, has already begun to distribute decals which will accredit vehicle-owners with island residency. The Council has indicated that drivers will have at least the entire month of February in order to collect the adhesive stickers.

On this first day of distribution, employees of the information office dispensed the decals to La Savina residents who had come to request them in person. People from other corners of the island were submitted to a simple verification of documentation, ensuring that the papers they had brought were in order. The hope is that employees of the OAC will gradually in this way be familiarised with the procedures and material involved in this relatively new project.

To obtain the decal, drivers are asked to visit the Citizen Information Office in possession of DNI (national ID card) and, if the person requesting the decal is also the owner of the car, vehicle documents. Otherwise, the applicant must present documentation from his insurance company proving that he is also the habitual driver. Workers at information office will check to ensure the applicant is listed on municipal registers ('empadronat') and that the vehicle is registered in Formentera. If these two criteria are met, a decal will be delivered on the spot.

New parking attendants

In addition to the primary changes, the La Savina parking overhaul will be accompanied by another altogether new apparition: parking officers charged with ensuring compliance with the new system. Three parking attendants, chosen from a list of 32 who applied, have already begun informational outreach campaigns and preparation of protocol. New parking metres will be installed across the town in the coming days  and the parking officers will receive special training to prepare for equipment operation. Last Friday, a four-hour training class served to instruct these new employees to correctly address different resident inquiries regarding specifics of the new system.

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premsa@conselldeformentera.cat