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In bid to temper Covid-19 crisis, Consell’s 2021 budget puts focus on families and economic stimulus

foto 2020 presentacio pressupostosEarlier today Consell de Formentera premiere Alejandra Ferrer, deputy premiere Ana Juan and economy and finance councillor Bartomeu Escandell gathered at the seat of local government to make public the details of the administration’s 2021 budget. Total spending tops €30.6 million — a 1.9% increase compared to last year, when it accounted for €30M.

President Ferrer asserted that 2021 would mark a continuation of efforts begun last year to ensure no islander would be left behind. “We’ll continue working to give families uninterrupted access to Consell services like nurseries, the music school and fitness centre”, said Ferrer, “plus we’ll be giving tax rebates to small-business owners in need and keep strengthening the social safety net for crisis-hit islanders, such as with food vouchers and, moving forward, renter’s assistance”. Ferrer insisted that such support wouldn’t require changing Formentera’s guiding vision. “We intend to move ahead with economic stimulus driven by substantial investments in infrastructure and towns”, she said, “and we certainly won’t renege on our long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability”.

Councillor Juan, for her part, tied legislative successes in 2020 to team work between representatives of PSOE and Gent per Formentera, something she said was key to “getting spending into line with islanders’ pandemic-era needs and requests, and delivering assistance to working islanders, renters and vulnerable segments of the population”. “The 2021 budget will further work to maintain and increase such services”, she said.

Social safety net and help for businesses
The economy and finance councillor underlined key features of the budget like increases in overall spending and a redirecting of resources toward keeping businesses open and supporting families and local farming. Escandell said money for the latter would approach €740,000 —a 55% increase compared to 2019— and pointed to hikes in investment and current transfers, drops in current income from the region and the urban estate tax (IBI) and a continuation of the administration’s commitment to zero bank debt.

Investment criteria
Escandell gave an overview of investment criteria projected to hold steady in 2021, starting with the island’s commitment to sustainability and efforts to recover natural spaces like S’Estany des Peix and enhance sustainable mobility and waste management.

Improvements will continue in towns as well, including phase two of upgrades in Es Pujols; work on Avinguda Miramar and on roads granting access to the Sant Ferran school and old persons’ home; creation of the skate and fitness park in Sant Francesc.

Heritage preservation constitutes another important feature of the 2021 budget —plans are currently in place to refurbish the Can Ramon home and build a cultural centre at the current site of the school in Sant Ferran— as does fomenting participation with the Consell d’Entitats Participatory Spending initiative.

A standout feature of the plan is its commitment to seniors, youth and children, with the island’s first old persons’ home, the Sant Ferran nursery, the skate and fitness park and the children’s play area in Sant Ferran all due to open.

23 November 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Four Formentera children take part in 9th Balearic Youth Parliament

foto 2020 ple infanciaOn this, World Children’s Day (20 November), four members of the Formentera Youth Participatory Council joined young people from across the region for the ninth assembly of the Balearic Islands’ Youth Parliament. The session was held online and found participants sharing conclusions from work on the Sustainable Development Goals for health and the environment. Formentera’s representatives at the gathering included one child from CEIP Mestre Lluís Andreu, two from CEIP Sant Ferran and one from CEIP El Pilar.

Youth department councillor Vanessa Parellada sat for the session too, and highlighted participants’ unity behind measures to press government to keep working towards sustainability; build awareness around reducing consumption and waste, and invest in clean energy. Attendees agreed on the importance of potable water and using it responsibly, and called for a firm commitment to sustainable mobility, electric vehicles and cycling. Children in participatory councils across the region considered what life will be like ten years from now, imagining possible scenarios and weighing proposals for a sustainable route to 2030.

Youth plenary on Formentera, 24 November
On Tuesday 24 November, the Consell de Formentera will host another online assembly, this time of the island’s Participatory Youth Council. The PYC’s twice yearly full-house sessions aim to promote the active involvement of Formentera’s children and youth —fully capable of thought and expression— in local policy.

20 November 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

‘Compra a Casa’ offers four special €1K prizes to get shoppers to buy local this Christmas

foto 2020 al nadal compra a casa 2Consell de Formentera deputy premiere and commerce councillor Ana Juan met today with Pimef Formentera chair Josep Mayans; local Chamber of Commerce envoy Juan Manuel Costa and Pimef director Lidia Álvarez to present an assortment of marketing campaigns lined up for the weeks ahead encouraging islanders to shop local this Christmas season.

‘This Christmas Buy Local’
New this winter is ‘Al Nadal Compra a Casa’, a Consell and Pimef initiative that will give four €1,000 prizes to local shoppers this Christmas. Special funding for the initiative was made available by the Balearic government’s 2020 ‘Cel Obert’ deal. In the words of Councillor Juan, “it’s about helping out Formentera businesses, particularly a year as tough as this one, and sweetening the deal for local shoppers while we’re at it”. She applauded the island’s retailers as well for their efforts to stay open and offer a safer shopping experience.

‘Compra a Casa’ cardholders who make purchases of at least €20 between 1 December and 6 January will be automatically entered in a drawing on 8 January. Winners will receive a voucher valid for 30 days from 11 January at participating businesses.

The Pimef chair applauded the Consell for “expanding their commitment” to Compra a Casa, calling the initiative “an efficient tool” and one that, given proper support, “will continue working very well”.

Lidia Álvarez highlighted the 32 establishments currently in Compra a Casa’s network of partner businesses and the 2,322 loyalty cards that have been issued since the initiative launched in 2016.

14th Christmas Shop-window Display Contest
Once again the island has begun gearing up for the Concurs d’Aparadorisme Nadalenc (Christmas Shop-window Display Contest), a Chamber of Commerce and Consell de Formentera initiative to foment a festive atmosphere among the local shops staying open this Christmas season. Registration ends 9 December and can be completed at the Chamber of Commerce (Avinguda 8 d’Agost, 6, Sant Francesc) or the Citizen Information Office (OAC). Winners will be announced 11 December and will receive, in addition to a commemorative plaque, €225 (first place), €150 (second place) and €75 (third place). According to Juan Manuel Costa, “Formentera businesses’ are a key part of life on the island, and this contest helps flesh out and enhance the kind of products on offer”.

Black Friday, 27 November
Another Consell-Pimef initiative that is associated with the loyalty programme is ‘Black Friday on Formentera’. All day long on 27 November, every purchase of €15 or more in participating businesses will automatically enter Compra a Casa cardholders to win a €50 gift-card. The winner will be announced Tuesday 1 December and can pick up their prize at Pimef offices.

Reusable bags
The commerce councillor also presented the newly designed reusable bags that play a key part in this year’s campaign. The bags feature the screen-printed slogans ‘Compra a casa, compra a Formentera’ (Shop local, shop on Formentera) and ‘El petit comerç ens fa grossos’ (Small business makes us big). A thousand bags will be distributed across island shops.

20 November 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera begins build of skating and fitness park

foto 2020 obres skate 1The Consell de Formentera announces that work will begin today, World Children’s Day, to build a 2,727-sq.-metre skate and fitness park along the Sant Francesc ring road. Construction is expected to be completed by mid-April.

The skate park will comprise one circuit for traditional skateboarding, one for “street” skating and another bowl-shaped structure. The space will also feature a fitness circuit for the elderly and green areas devoted to leisure. The project is expected to cost €482,723.

Youth services councillor Vanessa Parellada asserted that local youngsters not only widely supported the plans, but collaborated in their design too. “We’re thrilled to finally see the park get off the ground”, she said, enumerating perks like the park’s “snug fit into its surroundings, a walking path and universally accessibility. Our hope is that many different segments of the island will enjoy the space and interact here.”

Infrastructure councillor Josep Marí gave details about the 285-sq.-metre fitness circuit for the elderly, which will include assorted exercise machines and a rest area.

Free of obstacles, the 255-sq.-metre traditional skate park will be bordered on all sides by low concrete barrier delimiting the skating area and doubling as a bench.

Approximating the kind of street furniture traditionally found in parks and public squares, a nearby 238-sq.-metre section will feature obstacles like ramps, benches, platforms, railings and steps that are typical to “street” skate parks. The concrete will be polished by craftsmen.

The star feature of the fitness area will a 617-sq.-metre “bowl” modality: a raised platform with swimming pool-shaped indentations of 2.5 to 3.75 metres deep and 2.4- to 3.3-metre radii. The “bowl” will be surrounded by a green garden area featuring shaded spaces, benches and a walking path.

20 November 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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