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Consell d'Entitats welcomes return of Participatory Spending and in-person encounters

foto 2022iii CdE AYesterday at 7.30pm the Consell d'Entitats convened for an ordinary session in the Consell de Formentera auditorium, next to the adult day care facility. On the agenda was the first discussion of Participatory Spending in 2022, which was attended by 17 association representatives.

Ana Juan, President of the Consell de Formentera, welcomed the fact that the island's council of associations could meet again to discuss Participatory Spending and more after two years of pandemic. President Juan praised the associations' participation and encouraged them "to present projects for the benefit of the whole island".

Vanessa Parellada, Councillor of Citizen Participation, explained that the session was the first to focus on Participatory Spending in 2022. Councillor Parellada pointed out that the Consell de Formentera had already set aside €325,000, and that that figure would be supplemented with "money for pending participatory budget projects from previous years that are under implementation".

Timeline

As of Wednesday 16 March, associations are invited to submit new projects proposals. Groups may consult with their members and submit proposals until 29 March. Association representatives agreed that the projects presented for the 2020 run of the Participatory Spending initiative, which were upended by the declaration of emergency orders, will be revisited.

On 12 April, the Consell d'Entitats will convene again to present the projects that are most viable according to technical and legal criteria of Consell staff. From 12 to 26 April, associations may vote on the projects through the Citizen Information Office (OAC) and Virtual Citizen Information Office (OVAC). Selected projects will be announced at a third Participatory Spending session on 26 April.

Bartomeu Escandell, Councillor of Economy and Finance, presented the Consell de Formentera's 2022 budget so that the representatives of the associations could have a first-hand idea about its basic lines. However, he stressed that "with the current situation of uncertainty generated by COVID-19 and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, investments will have to be adapted based on how the situation evolves".

Attendees of the session also heard an account of the newest associations to register in the Consell d'Entitats and a review of the status of Participatory Spending projects from previous years. In 2020 and 2021, funding allocations from the Participatory Spending initiative were earmarked for various measures to alleviate the effects of COVID-19. These measures were detailed in the session and association representatives were thanked once again for their generosity.

15 March 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Consell d'Entitats extends period of enforcement and increases fee forformentera.eco

foto 2022 2a sessio CdE 2At 8.00pm yesterday Formentera's council of local associations and entities held its second session where attendees voted on fees and the period of enforcement for formentera.eco, the regulatory scheme to count and cap vehicles brought and driven on the island in summer 2022. The Consell d'Entitats (CdE) voted to extend the regulatory period two weeks, from 15 June to 15 September, and to triple the fees currently in place. Motorists with cars will pay €3 per day and a minimum of €15 while motorcycle drivers must pay €1.50 per day and €7.50 minimum. The arrangement will be approved in the next plenary session of the Consell de Formentera.

Given the restrictions stemming from tier 3 of public health alert, the meeting was held online. Present in the auditorium were Rafael González, Councillor of Mobility; Vanessa Parellada, Councillor of Citizen Participation; the secretary of the gathering and the department specialist of the Formentera Office of Citizen Participation. Ana Juan, President of the Consell de Formentera, as well as association and political party representatives and the local cabinet were able to follow the CdE session online. Eighteen individuals from associations logged on and voted on the proposals together with political party representatives.

President Juan welcomed the involvement, suggestions and contributions of participants during the two sessions, affirming, "They encourage us to keep working to regulate incoming vehicles and achieve the Formentera we all want: an island that is more sustainable and with a better quality of life for residents".

formentera.eco 2022

For his part, the Councillor of Mobility underscored "the broad consensus" that found the majority of association representatives opting to extend the timeline of enforcement as well as to increase formentera.eco fees. Elongated enforcement was adopted with 19 votes for and 3 abstentions, while the proposed tripling of fees received 17 "yes" votes and 3 abstentions, with the 2 remaining voters opting to double fees.

"We hope that this summer the fruits of the regulation will be more palpable and are confident that the current decision by the CdE, together with the 4% lowering of the cap on vehicles, placing us for the first time below 20,000 vehicles, will help us get there", said Councillor González. González expressed hopes that "bicycles, pedestrians and riders of public transport will be increasingly visible, putting an end to the heavy strain caused by vehicles on local roads".

In 2020 in the CdE agreed to carry out a controlled and progressive reduction in the number of vehicles on the island over four years, decreasing 4% each year relative to the ceiling which was set in 2019 and ultimately delivering a reduction of 16% in 2023. In 2022 the decrease will be 12% with respect to the aforementioned ceiling.

Last Tuesday at the first CdE session focused on formentera.eco, participants reviewed and assessed 2021 figures from the scheme to regulate vehicles brought and driven on the island and weighed the proposal for summer 2022. CdE participants had one week to share the proposal with their associates ahead of yesterday's vote.

Reservations in 2022

The summer 2022 bookings portal will go online in the second half of February. The current rate of €1/day for cars (minimum: €5) and €0.50/day for motorcycles and mopeds (minimum: €2.50) will be applied until a modified rate is adopted in April or May. Accreditation will be free for residents of Formentera and the Balearic Islands and individuals with electric vehicles.

Until the bookings website goes online, all accommodation and ferry reservations will guarantee accreditation for reservation holders.

Reinforced controls and new information drives

Next summer control systems will be bolstered. The island currently has cameras in place in La Savina and a mobile camera. In 2022, cameras will be installed at the hospital roundabout; attendants will also monitor parked vehicles, and drivers of rental cars must display information about their rental contract when they park in La Savina.

Before the period of regulatory enforcement, to ensure that all motorists, whether island residents or not, possess the authorisation to drive and park their vehicles on local roads, in May the Consell will pilot an educational push tailored for this purpose.


19 January 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Consell d'Entitats kicks off discussion of formentera.eco scheme to count and cap vehicles brought on island

foto 2022 CdE 1At 8.00pm yesterday, representatives of local entities and associations gathered for a meeting of the Formentera Consell d'Entitats (CdE) that was focused on taking stock of the 2021 results of formentera.eco, a scheme to regulate the number of vehicles brought and driven on the island, and reviewing a proposal to carry the project forward in 2022. At the end of the first session, CdE members received a copy of the proposal and were asked to share it with their respective associates. On Tuesday 18 January, the CdE will reconvene for a second session to gather member groups' feedback and vote on the proposal.
 
In light of restrictions stemming from tier 3 public health alert, participants were asked to join the gathering online. In-person attendees included Ana Juan, President of the Consell de Formentera; Rafael González, Councillor of Mobility, and Vanessa Parellada, Councillor of Citizen Participation, as well as the secretary of the gathering and the department specialist of the Formentera Office of Citizen Participation. Members of associations, political parties and the local cabinet were able to follow the event online. A total of twenty individuals logged in.
 
President Juan traced the scheme to count and cap vehicles brought and driven on Formentera to a popular request gathered by the CdE and to collaboration between local and regional government aimed at creating legislation for "a more sustainable brand of mobility for Formentera". In that connection, the President said it was in 2019, when formentera.eco first launched, that local legislators set the scheme's current goal of 16% fewer vehicles on the island, shrinking annually by 4% until reaching the desired total.

Today, despite the pandemic, "it is plain to see that regulation is necessary", Juan asserted. As for the first CdE session, Juan signalled it would "serve to take stock of regulation in summer 2020 and to explain the proposed fees and regulatory timeline which will come up for a vote in next week's session".
 
formentera.eco in 2021

The Councillor of Mobility reported on formentera.eco in 2021, during which time a daily limit of 20,591 vehicles was in effect. "Not once was that ceiling surpassed, which means that we made good on one of our regulatory goals", said González, "but the drop in vehicles failed to make a difference in islanders' sense of saturation on the road in August".
 
During the 24 days from 4 to 27 August, visiting motorists accounted for 90% of the allotted vehicle quota. And, for five days during the same month (14-16 and 19-20 August), the quota was reached.
 
Summer 2021 data

Of particular note last season was visiting motorists' shorter-than-average stay of between three and four days. Moreover, 40% of bookings by visiting drivers were for just one day. Sensor and survey data additionally indicate another noteworthy feature: an increase in overall vehicle trips. While in 2019 the average visitor took two trips a day, in 2021 the daily average was 2.9.

Other 2019 and 2021 comparisons

Seventy percent more cyclists were observed on the island's network of nature trails (rutes verdes).
There was a 28% drop in individuals riding public buses.
Rides in taxis increased by 8%.
Daily traffic equalled that of 2019, when an 8% drop had been observed compared to 2017. However, rush hour traffic was up 11%.
 
Based on the data, Councillor González concluded that "regulation has driven a significant increase in bicycle and taxi use, but with the pandemic, people don't feel as safe as they once did on buses, so ridership is down". The pandemic also meant shorter stays and an increase in daily visitor trips. By González's lights, "this caused crowding on roads and, according to islanders, the feeling that there was a large number of vehicles". In that regard, Gonzalez identified imperatives like "continuing to lower the vehicle ceiling", "dissuading visitors from coming just one day" and "stepping up controls".

formentera.eco in 2022

Consell d'Entitats members will review the following proposal:
Lower the 2019 ceiling by an additional 4%.
2020: - 4 %
2021: - 8 %
2022: - 12 %
2023: -16 % (legislative term target)
In 2022, the vehicle ceiling will be set at 19,696 – dropping under twenty thousand for the first time.

Discussion of regulatory timeline and fees

The CdE session included discussion of the 2022 calendar of regulatory enforcement and fees. Association representatives will consult with their associates and a vote will be taken next week at the second session.

Timeline:
Option 1: 15 June to 15 September.
Option 2: Last week in June to first week in September (as in 2021).

Fees:
Option 1: treble current fees (passenger cars: €3/day [minimum payment: €15]; motorcycles: €1.50/day [minimum payment: €7.50]).
Option 2: double current fees (passenger cars: €2/day [minimum payment: €10]; motorcycles: €1/day [minimum payment: €5]).

2022 bookings

The summer 2022 bookings website will come online in the second half of February. The current rate of €1/day for cars (minimum: €5) and €0.50/day for motorcycles and mopeds (minimum: €2.50) will be applied until a modified rate is adopted in April or May. Accreditation will be free for residents of Formentera and the Balearic Islands and individuals with electric vehicles.

Until the bookings website goes online, all accommodation and ferry reservations will guarantee accreditation for reservation holders.
 
Sustainable mobility
 
Councillor González described the end-game of formentera.eco as "achieving an island where mobility is sustainable and where pedestrians, bicycles and riders of public transport enjoy increased prevalence to the detriment of private vehicles".
 
In 2022, €270,000 will be allocated to restore the public bus service to pre-pandemic levels and recover 28% of the riders lost in 2021. Likewise, the service will remain free of charge for residents and visitors under 18 and for residents and visitors with disabilities and their companions.
 
Councillor Gonzalez announced an agreement with the local chauffeurs' association that 49 taxis (25 ordinary and 24 seasonal permits) would provide summer service in 2022 and 2023 for a 29% increase relative to summer 2021, when 38 taxis (25 ordinary and 13 seasonal permits) were in circulation.
 
Other pre-season efforts will include encouraging pedestrians and cyclists to use the Camí des Brolls path linking La Savina, Sant Francesc and Es Pujols and closing traffic to motor vehicles, except for area residents. In addition, residents will continue to receive assistance to purchase traditional and electric bicycles.
 
Reinforced controls and new information drives

Lastly, Councillor González highlighted plans to bolster control systems. The island currently has cameras in place in La Savina and a mobile camera. In 2022, cameras will be installed at the hospital roundabout; attendants will also monitor parked vehicles, and drivers of rental cars must display information about their rental contract when they park in La Savina.

Before regulatory enforcement resumes, to ensure that all motorists, whether island residents or not, possess the authorisation to drive and park their vehicles on local roads, in May the Consell will lead an educational push tailored for this purpose.

12 January 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Consell strikes deal for use and revitalisation of Casa del Poble de la Mola

foto 2021 conveni casa del pobleEarlier today Alejandra Ferrer and Vicent Roselló signed a deal whereby local government lets La Mola Neighbourhood Association use the multipurpose administrative spaces and cultural centre known as “Casa del Poble de la Mola” and funds programming to enliven the facilities. The Consell de Formentera president and representative of LMNA were joined at the signing by Vanessa Parellada, chief of the Formentera Department of Citizen Participation.

Under the arrangement, Formentera’s government pledges to help LMNA cover the costs of programming and other services to the tune of €30,000. Meanwhile, LMNA promises to use the money in 2021 for upkeep and other expenses linked to maintaining the Casa’s catalogue of services, not to mention to publicise and support LMNA activities, including through community outreach.

Besides supporting upkeep and services, the aim of the funding is to help LMNA make the surrounding community more socially and culturally dynamic by organising and coordinating non-profit programming at least once a week except in summer. LMNA will also staff the Casa’s computer lab, facilitate access to Casa spaces, give logistical support for Consell-organised events that are held at the Casa, and more.

19 July 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Scheme to count and cap vehicles on local roads extended into June and September

foto 2021 2a sessio CdEThe island’s league of civic associations reconvened last night at 7.30pm to share respective members’ feedback on formentera.eco and two different propositions regarding the scheme’s period of enforcement, a majority of attendees ultimately opting to extend the ceiling on vehicles over a longer period.

Mobility chief Rafael González described the decision by the Consell d’Entitats to extend formentera.eco’s July-August enforcement by a fortnight, including the last week in June and the first week in September, as “unprecedented”.

“Our vision for Formentera is underpinned by sustainability-forward projects like formentera.eco”, said Alejandra Ferrer. “These are crucial because they keep Formentera unique and natural. Plus, they strike a balance between ecology, tourism and the quality of life of islanders — so it’s all the more important that these processes incorporate participatory tools like the Consell d’Entitats.”

All told 29 associations and three political parties were represented at the gathering. The option of elongating the formentera.eco enforcement period secured 16 votes, while each of the other options —keeping regulation limited to July and August, and abstention— obtained half that number. Citizen participation councillor Vanessa Parellada said she was pleased with turnout at both sessions and with how quickly participants took to the virtual format.

Two related sessions of the Consell d’Entitats have been held online amid enhanced tier 4 public health regulations. Attending in person were President Ferrer, Councillor González, Councillor Parellada, a clerk and a senior Department of Citizen Participation staffer, with civic group and political party representatives, together with members of the media, tuning in online.

formentera.eco 2020
Councillor González gave attendees a recap of his presentation from the previous session, highlighting local legislators’ goal, one year prior to formentera.eco rollout, of reducing vehicles on island roads by 16%. Decision makers set yearly -4% benchmarks, hoping to hit the goal gradually over the 2020-2024 term. The incremental goal for 2020 was reached.

formentera.eco 2021

Proposal terms as communicated to Consell d’Entitats:

Reduce ceiling by 4% (relative to 2020 figures)
2019: 22,382
2020: 21,486
2021: 20,591

Regulatory period subject to discussion
The majority of civic groups backed Option 1, extending regulation over the last week in June and into the first week of September.

Fee-based or free of charge? Pending developments in the public health situation.

Councillor González reminded attendees that free advance reservations could be made in the permit request section of the formentera.eco site, which is expected to be back online in March. Bookings will be finalised in May and, pending developments of the pandemic, will be free or subject to payment. The fee-based scheme would see tourists paying €1 a day (€5 minimum) for compact cars and €0.50/day (€2.50 minimum) for motorbikes and scooters, with Formentera residents getting authorisation free of charge.

Authorisation is also guaranteed for travellers with bookings for overnight accommodations or arrangements to travel with a personal vehicle made before March.

Sustainable mobility
By González’s lights, “the formentera.eco endgame is a brand of sustainable mobility where foot traffic, bikes and public transport all gain ground against cars”. He pointed to a number of routes forward on the path to sustainability, like encouraging islanders to use public transport or a bike, and enlisting communications tools to spotlight sustainable ways to get around the island.

23 February 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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