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Upkeep and cleaning at local seniors’ centres

foto 2020 manteniment majorsThe Formentera Departments of Island Services and the Elderly report a host of maintenance operations are under way at old persons’ clubs across the island. The days ahead will see deep cleans and disinfecting measures at the clubs, including in Sant Francesc and at Casa del Poble.

Crews painted the interior of the Sant Ferran seniors’ centre and upgraded electrical work, with plans on track to replace the centre’s front awning and instal new upholstery for €3,448.50.

Walls at the seniors’ club in Sant Francesc have been fitted with wooden hangers, landscaping work has been carried out at the club in Es Cap, and repairs are in the works for the wood shutters at Casa del Poble.

Photo: Member of Consell maintenance brigade painting Sant Ferran seniors’ club interior.

19 May 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Full-house assembly backs economic and social assistance, support for tourism sector

foto 2020.v ple telematicIn a first, members of the Consell de Formentera convened today for an urgent, one-off and online plenary session—a gathering rebroadcast on the Consell’s YouTube page and which allowed councilmembers to stick to coronavirus safety and distancing measures. The ordinary assembly will go forward under the same parameters on 29 May.

Attendees heard about the resolutions from the president’s office that have been adopted since public health emergency orders were activated in response to Covid-19, and reviewed announcements from the regional and national Socialist workers’ party (PSIB-PSOE) and Gent per Formentera (GxF) promising to donate, for the duration of the state of alarm, their respective groups’ compensation to the non-profit group Formenterers Solidaris. Spokespeople from each party underscored their hopes that the money be used “so the group can continue its work helping those most in need”.

Economic and social support
Assembly members ratified proposed economic and fiscal measures to mitigate the economic and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The proposal succeeded with “yes” votes from the GxF-PSOE cabinet and despite abstention from opposition consellers of Sa Unió.

Economy and tax office chief Bartomeu Escandell asserted, “This public health crisis is also a social and economic one, and spending approved in November will have to be revisited if the Consell is going to tackle it properly”. The conseller affirmed the plan was to “continue supporting economic assistance that will better prepare people, families and owners of local businesses to cope with the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Covid-19”.

“Our first priority in this administration has been families in need”, said Escandell, who pointed out that local government is currently assisting 400 family units and 900 individuals—a tack which he insisted wouldn’t be changing. The Consell is setting aside 20% of its deficit, or €200,000, to this first line of support, in addition to €325,000 which local associations agreed to divert from the 2020 participatory spending package to deal with the crisis that Covid-19 promises to unleash.

Escandell also reviewed the terms of an economic roadmap prepared in concert with the island’s business and productive sector to brace for economic fallout ahead. “Among a number of other measures adopted by the Consell which fall within our jurisdiction, collections ceased on 31 March in an effort to relieve fiscal pressure, and we asked the Tax Agency of the Balearic Islands [ATIB] to extend the payment period, which this year will come to term 1 December 2020”.

Discontinuing collection of public space occupancy tax
The conseller also pointed out the island’s government has for this year suspended collection of the public space occupancy tax paid by shopkeepers and market vendors. Temporary permits for music and entertainment will no longer be restricted to businesses open a minimum number of months of the year. The administration is also in touch with the coastal authority to reduce or eliminate the occupancy tax paid by beach bars and other public domain services.

Support for tourism sector
Cross-party backing was secured by measures to shore up the local tourism industry. Conseller Escandell described them as “agreed upon by our business community and designed with one goal in mind: to minimise the toll that the crisis stands to take on our well-being, our finances and our social fabric”. The changes include pushing back to year end 2020 the deadline on payments from new tourism businesses as well as on fees for recently declared holiday rentals, plus a 12-month extension of existing permits for holiday rentals and an extension till 2022 of the 2015-2019 plan for quality dwellings.

Escandell concluded by highlighting joint efforts under way between the Consell and Govern balear to create a targetted line of support for freelancers.

15 May 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Donated masks for workers and islanders

foto mascaretes endesa2The Consell de Formentera fire brigade received a donation of 500 FFP2-rated masks from Endesa. The protective gear will be distributed on the island, including to staff of the social welfare department, firefighters and local law enforcement.

The Magniflex company, whose owners have close ties to the island, additionally donated one thousand single-use masks to the local government. They are currently being handed out to islanders.

The Consell de Formentera has created a team of information agents, or informadors, who are stationed street-side in the main towns of the island to get residents up to speed on the latest news and guidelines.

14 May 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Fitness centre, tennis and padel courts and athletics track to reopen tomorrow with limited hours and capacity

foto 2020 PoliesportiuThe Formentera Department of Sport reports that from tomorrow, Friday 15 May, activities will resume at Antoni Blanc sports centre, tennis and padel courts and the municipal athletics track. The facilities will observe a limited set of hours and 30% capacity in view of Covid-19-related requirements.

The fitness centre will be organised for single-person activity and visits will be given by appointment, with priority for high-performance athletes. Exercise requiring physical contact is not permitted and locker rooms will be kept closed. Visitors are asked to limit activity to the gymnasium and multipurpose room, which will remain open to all, while training staff are restricted to tending to no more than one at a time. Appointments can be scheduled 24-hours in advance by calling 971 32 12 40. Poliesportiu Antoni Blanc hours are from 8.00am to 2.00pm and 4.00pm to 9.00pm, Monday to Friday, and entry is free until 1 June.

Visitors will be given information about hygiene and organisational rules on entry.

Capacity at tennis and padel courts will be restricted to two players per court when the facilities reopen tomorrow. Of six courts (four for tennis, two for padel), only two, or 30%, can be occupied at a time. Players can book a space using the tennis club’s reservations app, phoning 636 23 06 66, or sending a message to the club’s WhatsApp group.

The athletics track will be reserved exclusively for high-performance sports players. The Escola de Vela will open its doors too: sailing school visitors can access material for open-air use from the storage space.

Sports consellera Paula Ferrer called the changes “a first step towards the return of sport to our municipal facilities” and said efforts were under way to reopen those spaces still closed, telling islanders the process depended on Formentera’s progress through lockdown loosening, and to expect safety measures. She asked local sports people to be responsible, applauding their patience and insisting the return of normality in sports was “a matter of time, but steps will be gradual”.

14 May 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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