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Consell de Formentera unites behind proclamation on Europe's migrant crisis

signatura-codi-e--tic1At the August plenary assembly held today, members of the Consell de Formentera came together to make a statement about the migrant crisis in Europe. Councillors reaffirmed “the Consell's commitment to human rights and solidarity with society's most vulnerable”.

In the statement, councillors voiced “their full-throated rejection of the statements, attitudes and political convictions of the Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini” concerning migrants picked up by the ship Open Arms. “The uniqueness, diversity and welcoming spirit of the people of Formentera stand in diametric opposition to the patent lack of sensitivity and empathy in Mr Salvini's words”, it continues. Councilmembers also included in the statement a plea to the Spanish government to “take a leadership role in European Union policies, pushing for migration policy that is driven by the will to safeguard the human rights of those fleeing conflict and persecution”.

Cross-party support was likewise secured for two proposals from the senior cabinet councillors. The first includes a plea to upgrade and reinforce Formentera's land and sea security corps in summer. Infrastructure, industry and interior councillor Josep Marí stressed that the seasonal spike in tourist activity made “reinforcements necessary to ensuring the safety” of Formentera's people, waters and environment.

Assembly members voted in unison to urge the Balearic ministries of environment and agriculture to take steps to improve operations at the waste water treatment plant and to coordinate them with upgrades at the osmosis and filtering plant in order to deliver a better-working irrigation pond.

Unanimity likewise marked the vote on a proposal from Sa Unió to promote 'Smoke-free beaches'—a Govern balear programme of health and environmental safeguards. According to environment councillor Antonio J Sanz, the Consell de Formentera has already taken steps to join the drive and a study will be undertaken to determine which beaches might be part of the measure next year.

An announcement was also made before assembly members regarding the temporary appointment of Daniel Azagra as head of communication.

Support for code of ethics
Minutes before the day's session began, councillors signed their pledge to uphold the Consell de Formentera's Code of Ethics and Good Governance, which received final approval at last month's full-house assembly and has already been published in the regional gazette (BOIB).

The document sets forth values and standards of behaviour for administration officials to follow while on the job. It also establishes a system for checks and revisions to ensure the initiative's success, part of a bid to make local government transparent, effective and efficient.

30 August 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera hails start of work on new primary school, early-learning centre in Sant Ferran

obras-1-News that crews will begin building Sant Ferran's primary and nursery school this week has been greeted by the local Department of Culture and Education with satisfaction.

Construction of the educational facility was made possible by an agreement between the Govern balear and the Consell de Formentera. The Balearic administration will offer a little more than €5.8 million compared to the Consell's €1.1 million contribution, which will cover the cost of the early-learning centre, or escoleta. Crews have fourteen months from this week to complete the project. The regional ministry of education will cover both projects initially, and Formentera's local government will reimburse the cost of the escoleta later.

Drafted by IBISEC, the project includes plans for a 450-student-capacity school, with 6 rooms devoted to “Infant Education” (for children aged 3 to 6) and 12 rooms for “Primary Education” (ages 6 to 12). The facility is classified as a “two-line school”, meaning there will be two different groups for each year of schooling. The buildings will sit on a 11,037-sq.-metre lot outside Sant Ferran. As for the 6-room municipal escoleta, it will have space for 74 children aged zero to 3 and will also be equipped for two groups in every grade level.

The Consell de Formentera will grant IBISEC exemption from article 23.3, on permitted hours of construction, of the noise and vibrational pollution section of the island's environment and health code. Crews will be allowed to work Monday through Saturday, 9.00am to 6.00pm, and work will begin in summer, when a freeze is typically placed on all construction.

The land where the schools will be built was made available by the Consell de Formentera expressly for educational purposes. Department of Education representatives have indicated that the current site of the school will later be retooled as a cultural centre. Hence, the school build is a necessary first step before the cultural project—driven by consensus and the involvement of neighbours and stakeholders in the local cultural scene—can move forward.

29 August 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera's ethics and governance code published in regional gazette

This week, issue number 114 of the Official Bulletin of the Balearic Islands (BOIB) includes publication of a code of ethics and good governance that was passed at the most recent full-house assembly of the Consell de Formentera, in July.

Labeled the Codi Ètic i de Bon Govern, the directive sets forth values and standards of behaviour for administration officials to follow while on the job. It also establishes a system for checks and revisions to ensure the initiative's success, part of a bid to make local government transparent, effective and efficient.

The measure seeks to foment a culture of integrity and instil a spirit of best practices and conduct, and covers strategies to facilitate good governance and sound public administration. The code applies not only to the Consell de Formentera but agencies associated with, or dependent on, the Consell as well.

Transparency councillor Rafa Ramírez called the Codi Ètic i de Bon Govern “unprecedented at the local level”, and described it as “a tool to shape a policy of integrity as well as the principles and directive lines of good governance”. Ramírez also called the code was “a work in progress” that would be “retooled and added to over time”.

The directives are envisioned for individuals associated with the Consell de Formentera. That includes elected members of government in their capacity as elected representatives and irrespective of their inclusion in administration posts; heads of governing bodies (as defined in the organisational rules of the Consell de Formentera); acting departmental heads for the Consell de Formentera, on account of the increased autonomy such individuals have in the exercise of their functions; local civil servants whose functions are national in scope; and individuals in government-appointed posts or positions involving special, targeted consulting.

As elected representatives, employees of the president's office and individual councillors must expressly adhere to the code of conduct, irrespective of the posts they may hold within the administration. A special commission will be created and tasked with building awareness around the new rules and ensuring compliance with them.

Billed as “open-source code”, the document will be periodically revised for improvements, or additions, that islanders consider pertinent to reinforce an image of integrity and developing islanders' trust in their local government.

22 August 2019
Communication Department
Consell de Formentera

Local and regional administrations hold first working meeting

reunio-consell-govern-1-Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer received a visit today from Pilar Costa, the secretary of the first minister's office as well as of the culture and equality ministries of the Govern balear, for the first official working meeting between the two administrations. Both sides highlighted the collaboration characterising the previous legislative term, and stressed their shared will to continue with that same momentum over the next four years. Other Formentera officials were also on hand, including Ana Juan, the administration's vice president and councillor of housing, seniors, trade and entrepreneurship; culture and education councillor Susana Labrador; and youth, citizen participation and new technologies councillor Vanessa Parellada.

President Ferrer cited the spirit of collaboration that marked the bid to regulate incoming vehicles, and held out Formentera's Nautical Sports Centre—recently presented as part of the island's Impulse for Sustainable Tourism (ITS) strategy—as a project that “unites residents and tourists behind a single activity and setting”. That setting is Estany des Peix—and Ferrer stressed the importance of safeguards for the surrounding ses Salines reserve. The president also drove home the importance of collaboration between local island governments and the administration in Madrid, reasoning that “often Formentera is affected by decisions made elsewhere”. “We've got to keep working towards environmental and social sustainability”, she said, “these are going to be our long-term guarantees for economic stability”.

The gathering also served to arrive at consensus on issues like the transformation of the Sa Senieta building into the island's museum, and the competences on equality and LGTBI issues, which the Consell took over in January.

For her part, Ms Costa said she was confident that last term's “good relations will continue to grow during this legislative session” and that an ITS-driven financing deal could be reached for the island's ever-important Nautical Sports Centre. Costa congratulated the Consell de Formentera on the equality- and LGTBI-related efforts until today and asserted that the island could count on the Govern's continued support for the Formentera museum.

21 August 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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