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Open enrolment for kids’s farming course

horta infantil x eva parey 0071The Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture has announced that from this Thursday, October 20, signups will begin for the third round of children's farming classes and continue through November 1. The workshops get under way on Friday November 4 and are scheduled to run through June. Participants can choose one of three sessions: Fridays from 4.00 to 5.30pm, Saturdays from 10.00 to 11.30am or Saturdays from 11.30am to 1.00pm.

Approximately 10 children will be allowed in each group, which will be established on a first come, first served basis and according to the preferences given at the time of enrolment. The introductory course is free and is recommended for children aged 4 to 12. Classes will be held at the Hort dels nens, Formentera's vegetable patch for kids located near Sant Francesc's sa Tanca Vella chapel. Participants are asked to come in comfortable clothes and shoes and equipped with a bottle of water. The Office of Agriculture will open a wait list for children who enrol past the established deadline.

Agriculture councillor Bartomeu Escandell said the decision to offer the course for the second straight year centred on the positive feedback received on the back of the two previous courses, one of which was held during the school year and the other in summer. The goal, he said, is for local children to be familiar with and enjoy field work: “These are activities that have a long history here on our island”, he noted. Escandell highlighted his office's mission of reviving the Formentera countryside. If the task is to be achieved, he said, “it's important we start early”.

Supreme court nullifies section of law on tourism in Balearics

foto consell premsaThe superior court of justice in the Balearic Islands (TSJB, for its initials in Catalan) issued a partial ruling on the Formentera Council's suit challenging Decret 20/2015, a statute of the regional tourism law. The court, finding Title II of the statute does not comply with the law, declared it to be null.

In its verdict, the TSJB says the law's preamble contradictorily pledges to provide the Balearic island councils with “broad freedoms” —an idea which is reiterated in nine of Title II's chapters— to develop the content of the different chapters. However, the ruling reads, “the affirmations made in Decret 20/2015 are fictitious”, pointing out that “in practise the councils aren't given the ability to regulate on areas of local jurisdiction”.

According to CiF tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer, the verdict is proof that the regional tourism law encroached on the authority of island councils. (The island of Mallorca, which has never been given authority on tourism, presents an exception.) Formentera's legal services will now study their next move. Annulment, they say, is a possibility. In Ferrer's words, “it is our belief that the rest of the decree's titles are also contradictory, given they fail to bestow the island councils with the legislative authority which they are due”.

Signups approach for course on integration

foto entrega diplomasThe Formentera Council's social welfare office has announced forthcoming signups, October 17-31, for the administration's seventh course on social and cultural integration. The course is held twice annually; once in November and again in March. This round of classes will begin November 3 and run until November 29.

Space is available for 15, and anyone interested in participating should visit the Office of Social Welfare. A form of ID (foreign resident's card or passport) is needed for enrolment. The course, which includes a total of 20 hours of instruction, is given over two weekly sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4.30 to 7.00pm. Classes are held at the centre for adult learning, l'Escola d'Adults, and taught by Dolores Tamargo.

The course, which will turn on Spain's constitutional values, human rights and civil liberties, the so-named “statute of autonomy” guiding the Balearic region, the European Union, gender equality and other subjects, aims to educate students on the course content and furnish a certificate of completion. In particular, the course is geared toward immigrants and serves for renewals, to prepare students for the CCSE citizenship test and as integration accreditation in initial residency requests.

Rollout of Formentera's plan to promote values in sport

foto presentacio campanya1This evening at 8.00pm the Centre Antoni Tur Gabrielet was the scene of a presentation of the Pla de Valors Esportius, a plan laying out good values in sport hatched by the Formentera Council and the Govern Balear. Attendants included CiF president Jaume Ferrer, sports councillor Jordi Vidal, the Govern's minister of sport Ruth Mateu, that department's chair, Carles Gonyalons, and other members of the Formentera sporting community. The gathering also served to premiere a video by local filmmaker Alfredo Montero that will be used to spotlight local sports values in the Balearics.

Earlier this year Mateu and Ferrer signed into effect a partnership that turns on a programme —"Posam Valors a l'Esport"— to promote sportsmanlike values among school-aged children on Formentera. Under the deal, the Govern will cofinance the programme with €10,000 and the CiF will put forward €5,000. So far the money has been used for training and outreach regarding positive values and attitudes in sport.

Local emergency services huddle for coordination meeting with 112's psychological care rep

foto reunio emergenciesBenestar Social, the social welfare arm of the Formentera Council (CiF), hosted a coordination meeting today between the island's emergency service agencies and Minaya Benavente, the coordinator for the 112 emergency telephone number psychological counselling service. Vanessa Parellada gave details via press conference after the fact.

The councillor said the meeting served to “recount details of the deal struck this month between our emergency response agencies and the institute of psychologists”. Under the deal's terms, the number of psychologists on the service rises from 2 to 3. The coordinator called the service “essential to preventing a second process of victimisation” and underscored the assistance it affords at-risk groups.

The gathering was attended by representatives of the fire brigade, lifesaving and rescue services, local police, Guardia Civil, health workers and some of the psychological institute's member therapists, all of whom can use the service as necessary.

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