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Consell d'Entitats meets to set fees and dates for formentera.eco in 2023

foto 2022xi pres for eco AYesterday at 7.30pm, Formentera's league of associations convened to review and evaluate the results of formentera.eco, the scheme to regulate vehicles brought and driven on the island in 2022. Attendees of the gathering reviewed two proposals on the fees and start and end dates of the scheme in 2023. On Monday 12 December, the Consell d'Entitats will reconvene for a second session to review feedback from the island's associations and vote on proposals.

President Ana Juan explained that this was formentera.eco's fourth year and the third year in which the number of permits to drive vehicles on the island is reduced. Since the scheme launched the number of permits available has been lowered by 12%. Next year Formentera will reach legislators' goal of cutting the number of permits by 16% in four years. Juan emphasised the importance of "continued work on policies that seek social and environmental equilibrium and quality of life for our residents". The president added that the new contract for public transport "will mark a quantum leap forward in the service for tourists and islanders".

Weighing results
Rafael González, councillor of mobility, trumpeted the results of the scheme in 2022. "There has been a significant and perceptible drop in traffic", he said, pointing up an 8.5% decline since 2017, while insisting on the need to do more. Visitors' average stay is up from 3.5 days in 2021 to 5.4 days in 2022 and single-day visits are down: in 2021 they made up 40% of bookings, while this year they accounted for 27%. "Day-trippers are still constitute a considerable portion of our visitors", conceded the councillor, but he asserted that "the situation has improved, and we think that can be traced to last year's fee rise, which penalised short stays by creating minimum per-day fees of €15".

González also drew attention to impressive increases in cycling and cab-hailing, which are up 150% and 70%, respectively, since 2017. Bus ridership has also returned to pre-pandemic levels, he said. With all these data, the councillor argued that, as agreed at the start of the term, the ceiling on vehicles must continue to be lowered and one-day stays must continue to be penalised.

Discussing fees and enforcement period
To continue with the regulatory scheme, attendees reviewed two proposals which they will now relay to their associates. Vanessa Parellada, councillor of citizen participation and moderator of the gathering, said a vote would be held next week on the terms of formentera.eco in 2023.

Start and end dates
Option 1: extended regulatory period (1 June to 30 September).
Option 2: no change (15 June to 15 September).
Fees
Option 1: doubled fees from 15 July to 31 August, no change during rest of season (€6/day with €30 minimum for cars; €3/day with €15 minimum for motorcycles).
Option 2: doubled fees for entire regulatory period.

This last proposal was included at the request of associations. As a second option, the Consell proposed maintaining fees at the 2022 level during the entire regulatory period (€3/day with €15 minimum for cars; €1.50/day with €7.50 minimum for motorcycles). By request from the participants of the Consell d'Entitats, the second option was replaced by the option of doubling the fee for the entire regulatory period.

24 November 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Consell d'Entitats prepares calendar of meetings where islanders can determine future of Formentera

foto 2022xi cde AYesterday at 7.30pm representatives of local associations convened for a special session to open discussion about the future of Formentera. First, attendees got a look at two barometers designed to register the feedback and opinions of Formentera's residents and businesses. Next, they discussed data, perceptions and current problems facing residents and local workers. Finally, with discussion opened, attendees agreed to set a calendar of sectoral meetings to address the varying topics related to the model of island desired for Formentera.

Ana Juan, president of the Consell de Formentera, welcomed the start of the participatory debate, asserting that "data from these two barometers will help us adopt the necessary measures to decide on the Formentera we want." "These measures will relate to the protection of land, environment and coast, but they must also serve to safeguard the right to decent housing, continue promoting the rural environment and local products, and move forward in the energy transition, as determined by the people of Formentera".

In the words of Alejandra Ferrer, vice president and councillor of Tourism, "by presenting the data from the Data Observatory, we hope to open this debate with the necessary information to make decisions". Attendees agreed on the importance of engaging with the public in the months ahead through sectoral meetings on the various issues of concern. "These meetings will help us take the temperature of the current situation and make decisions for the future to find the best solutions to tailor our local model to the new dangers and challenges that Formentera faces", said Ferrer.

According to Vanessa Parellada, councillor of citizen participation, data gathered at the sectoral meetings will inform a second session of the Consell d'Entitats titled "The Formentera we want", where a roadmap will be developed to lay the foundations for the future of the island that citizens want.

She cast "The Formentera we want" as an outgrowth of the 2021 debate on the state of Formentera. There, local decision-makers unanimously urged the island's government to work with the Consell d'Entitats to engage islanders in a debate on emerging local threats on land and at sea, with the results to serve as the basis for new projects and new models of protection.

Resident barometer
The Data Observatory obtained the following feedback in its surveys of 671 Formentera residents:

Weaknesses:
• Negative impacts of tourism outweigh benefits, particularly in terms of environment and land.
• The vast majority of respondents characterised prices, particularly in housing and at the grocery store, as exorbitant.
• Wages are low compared to the island's high standard of living.
• Off-season jobs, services and businesses are insufficient due to the seasonal nature of tourism.
• Access to housing, public transport, healthcare, parking and cleaning services is poor.
• Traffic worsens in summer, increasing accidents and making roads less safe.
• A minority of visitors lack civic-mindedness.
• An extended summer season could increase saturation and overcrowding.
• Other competing destinations have a higher perceived value.
• Changes in the tourist offer generate demand that diminishes local equilibrium and residents' quality of life.
• Prices are made less competitive due to Formentera's triple insularity.
• "Tourism monocrops" have the potential to seriously impact the global economic and political situation.
• Formentera is dependent on other administrations to make local decisions.
• The actions of nearby territories directly affect Formentera.

Strengths:
• Formentera's nature, landscapes and beaches are unique and singular.
• Tourism is the economic engine, with additional economic activities where there is potential for diversification.
• Tourists report a high degree of satisfaction, which further promotes the island.
• Local cuisine and restaurants are ranked highly.
• The tourist season can be elongated.
• Cycling and pedestrian walkways promote sustainable mobility.
• Many areas of great natural and rural importance.
• A longer summer season can benefit employment.

Key issues:
• Fostering awareness of and sensitivity to the environment.
• Continuing to promote and reinforce sustainable mobility.
• Continuing to reclaim and elevate historical and cultural heritage.
• Regulating day-trippers.
• Improving public services and infrastructure.

Business barometer
The Data Observatory also surveyed 318 local entrepreneurs/business owners.

Weaknesses:
• Housing shortage jeopardises the yearly return of workers, making finding qualified personnel difficult.
• Employers are acutely dependent on workers from off the island.
• Compounded insularity makes for uncompetitive prices and transport costs.
• Beaches are not cleaned or maintained and lack services.
• Roads, paths and pavements are in poor condition and dirty.
• More personnel are required to reinforce security services.
• A highly seasonal tourism industry means businesses too are seasonal.
• Day-trippers and vehicles lead to saturation and overcrowding during summer months.
• Local tourism is highly seasonal.
• All-inclusive tourism negatively affects business, hospitality, leisure and entertainment enterprises catering to tourists.

Strengths:
• Island is highly adapted to new technologies, with a growing number of business websites, social media use, home delivery services, online marketing channels.
• Formentera's tourists are highly loyal.
• Tourists are willing to pay advertised prices.
• Formentera's beaches are wonderful and, at present, well-preserved.

Key issues:
• Local government must facilitate steps for businesses.
• Promoting local cuisine in tourist establishments and restaurants.
• Improving commercial, restaurant and service offerings by innovating and diversifying products and experiences for residents and visitors.
• Extending the tourist season and enabling businesses to operate year round.
• Diversifying the tourism product to attract visitors interested in local activities and products complementing sun and beach.

Complete information is also available at www.observatoriformentera.cat.


3 November 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Projects linked to health, social inclusion, environment and culture in 2022 Participatory Budgets

foto 2022 pressupostos partiThe third session of the 2022 Participatory Budgets initiative took place in the Consell de Formentera assembly hall at 8.30pm yesterday. Attendees of the session were briefed on how local associations voted on 20 projects presented as part of the initiative, known in Catalan as Pressupostos Participatius.

Ana Juan, President of the Consell de Formentera, praised associations' efforts to participate in this process and described the selection of projects as "a reflection of our local society". For her part, Vanessa Parellada, Councillor of Citizen Participation, stressed that the projects in health, social inclusion, environment and culture demonstrate the importance of solidarity for the people of Formentera.

Presenter associations and winning projects:
-Formentera chapter of the Spanish Cancer Association (AECC)
Materials for the comprehensive oncologic disease care programme. Approximate budget: €5,000.
-Cosmitos and Formentera Residents' Association (AVIF)
Water fountains in parks, squares and sports areas. Approximate budget: €80,000.
-Surf Club Formentera
Floating ramp for individuals with reduced mobility. Approximate budget: €3,000.
-Association of People with Special Needs of Eivissa and Formentera (APNEEF)
Inclusive furniture in play areas. Approximate budget: €25,000.
-Obra Cultural Balear (OCB)
Non-structural refurbishment of the cinema. Approximate budget: €250,000.

The 2022 Participatory Budgets of the Consell d'Entitats are endowed with €325,000 in funding. Although the forecasted budgets exceed this amount, Councillor Parellada made assurances that no project would be stalled due to lack of financing.

11 May 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Voting extended for 2022 Participatory Budgets

The Formentera Office of Citizen Participation reports that voting for 2022 Participatory Budgets has been extended. Taking into account the recent bank and school holidays, voting, which was due to end yesterday, has been extended until Tuesday 3 May.

In the days ahead, Consell d'Entitat members will convene for the third and final session of the Participatory Budgets initiative. Local associations must choose among 29 projects submitted. The Consell de Formentera has set aside €325,000 to finance the projects selected by associations.

27 April 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Formentera associations will choose from among 20 projects for participatory budgets of 2022

foto 2022 pressu parti BAt 7.30pm yesterday, attendees of the second meeting on participatory budgets in 2022 reviewed the list of the projects that have been presented. All told, 35 projects were reviewed, 13 from among the projects presented in 2022 and 22 from those projects which were interrupted in 2020 due to COVID-19. Of the 35 projects, four from 2022 and eleven from 2020 were not voted on because they are either already being implemented in other ways or are not viable for a participatory spending initiative. In the end, therefore, local associations must choose from among 20 proposals.

Ana Juan, President of the Consell de Formentera, praised "the broad participation of all associations that have submitted projects" and encouraged them to "relay the proposals to their associates and vote for those that best suit their preferences".

The Consell de Formentera has set aside €325,000 to develop the projects that the associations rank the highest. Vanessa Parellada, Councillor of Citizen Participation, stressed that most of the projects "deal with sustainability, youth, sports or health - proof that Formentera's associations are concerned with the good of society as a whole". Associations have two weeks from today to cast their votes. The related form is available online and must be filled out and submitted to the OAC or OVAC.

Voting ends on 26 April 2022. The results of the vote will be presented at the final session of Pressupostos Participatius 2022, to be held in the days ahead.


13 April 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

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