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Minute of silence

foto 2022 minut silenci

Photograph taken during Formentera's moment of silence, 13 July, on the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Miguel Ángel Blanco by members of the ETA terrorist group. The Consell de Formentera organised the gathering in response to a call from the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) to pay tribute to and commemorate all victims of terrorism.

 

Presenting the 2022 lifeguard crew

foto 2022 socorristesThis morning in Plaça de la Constitució, Ana Juan, president of the Consell de Formentera, and Josep Marí, councillor of interior, were photographed with members of the island's 2022 lifeguard and rescue service. Juan and Marí wished the team "good luck for this season".

The crew comprises 22 individuals. Lifeguard service will be provided on Formentera beaches until 31 October. The full crew will work until 30 September, before leaving eleven personnel to work between 30 September and 31 October.

The beaches division of the Consell highlighted the municipal ordinance prohibiting any type of animal, including dogs, on the beach between 9.00am and 8.00pm during the swimming season.

Between 1 May and 11 July, lifeguards logged 365 healthcare interventions and 938 warnings related to boats entering swimming areas, swimmers in boating zones and dogs in dog-free zones. There were also 32 rescues, including one involving a person who drowned to death.

Accessible and heart-healthy beaches

The beaches of Es Arenals and Es Pujols are specially adapted for swimmers with reduced mobility. The service is available when the green flag flies from 12 noon to 5.00pm. In Es Arenals, this service is available 1 May to 31 October; and in Es Pujols, from 1 June to 30 September.

In addition, all lifeguard stations are equipped with a defibrillator for possible cases of cardiorespiratory arrest.

Sea conditions can be consulted at www.platgesdebalears.com.

13 July 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Ana Juan encourages 'deep reflection' on tourism growth and 'courageous regulations' to preserve island

foto 2022 debat de l estat B· Juan urges stopping and considering whether more growth in tourism is necessary

· The Consell president highlights forthcoming opening of housing office, old people's residence and centre for enterprise

Today Ana Juan, president of the Consell de Formentera, stood in the plenary hall to open the first session of discussion on the state of Formentera. In her address, she championed regulatory projects like Formentera.eco and controls on mooring at Estany des Peix which local government has introduced this legislature and encouraged islanders to reflect on whether ongoing growth in tourism is necessary. "The spotlight is on Formentera. In this perilous moment success could kill us if we do not act and enact measures to preserve our island. We, the men and women of Formentera and many of our visitors, face this threat on our roads, at beaches, in the countryside, on the coast... And this threat not only endangers our model of tourism, but disrupts the way of life of our people", said the president.

Guardrails and tourism growth

President Juan asserted that "safeguarding Formentera is our raison d'être" and called initiatives like Formentera.eco "pioneering" and new rules at Estany des Peix "unprecedented in the Balearics and something no one on Formentera had dared do previously". She stressed that "recovering Estany des Peix will help us recognise the importance of preserving our natural spaces, restore part of our identity and show new generations there is hope and that this wonderful island has a promising future".

On tourism growth and the freezing of roughly 3,800 overnighting permits on Formentera under the tourism act, Juan offered the following: "If we are pursuing regulatory policies, do we really want to keep growing? The island and the policies we apply must be coherent".

Moreover, Juan highlighted local government's work in coordination with other administrations and Formentera's contributions to Balearic legislation on tourism, island councils, youth and education. That coordination has seen the opening of the Sant Ferran primary school, year-round 061 emergency response service and local availability of haemodialysis, for example.

Maritime transport and port of La Savina

President Juan highlighted the passing of the decree on maritime transport "which will be an instrument to improve and regulate maritime mobility and tourist excursions and, with early-bird and late-night ferry connections, ensure islander mobility". She called for continued efforts "to improve our port and tune it and our needs for environmental, financial and social sustainability" and bemoaned the fact that "unfortunately, the port of La Savina is suffering the consequences of a war of economic interests. We have seen this before at other ports nearby. It seriously affects many local businesses and entrepreneurs and the port's ability to function and do so safely". Juan said: "Let me be absolutely clear: the Consell and I, as a representative on Port Authority's board of directors, will always defend the general interest over private interests, and we will always defend a more social port designed for our residents, for our fishermen and, ultimately, for Formentera".

Housing

In addition to environmental equilibrium, the president spoke of social equilibrium – "another issue on red alert due to housing access woes. As political representatives, it is our duty to look for solutions and minimise impact. That includes offering the chance to islanders whose requests for holiday rental permits were denied to administer their properties as year-round rentals. If the law allows it, let's do it. I think this is a good opportunity and we must be courageous", said Juan. She announced that "after summer we will open Formentera's housing office. The pandemic put a stop to this project, but it is absolutely necessary. The Consell must be there for islanders and help them find housing at a decent price. We are also working on creating an ethical housing reserve".

Ongoing projects

During her speech, the president drew attention to work done in the different areas of the Consell and some of the projects that will either be launched soon or are currently in the pipeline. These include the old person's residence, due to open after the summer, the new waste management contract, the island's first solar panel-equipped pergola in a public parking lot, the roll-out of a packaging return system, the centre for enterprise and new stands at the municipal football field.

Juan closed with a word for maintaining and enriching local heritage, tangible and intangible alike: "It represents the vision of the future of a people, and it is very important we value everything that shapes who we are and gives meaning to our hopes for the island". In this sense, Juan also highlighted last Friday's awarding of the Formentera Gold Medal (Medalla d'Or) and offered a nod to the island's elders. "We speak about the island of the future, of younger generations, of paths towards sustainability and of the model we want for Formentera. Here, we must listen to our elders and learn from them, because they too, a source of wisdom and repositories of Formentera's true legacy, have plenty to say."

The second session of discussion around the state of Formentera will take place at 9.00am Thursday 14 July and include proposals from the political groups.

11 July 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Connoisseurs and transmitters of traditional craft techniques will receive island's gold medal

foto 2022 honorifiques sant jaumeToday councillors gathered for a one-off plenary with one item on the agenda: proposed recipients of the island's honorary distinctions for the year 2022. The awards mark the feast day of Sant Jaume, Diada de Formentera.

Participants voted unanimously to award the Formentera Medalla d'Or to local connoisseurs and transmitters of traditional craft techniques. Ana Juan, Consell de Formentera president, explained, "this award recognises these individuals' efforts to disseminate and pass on to younger generations the techniques that - using locally available items like wood, stone and vegetation - once fulfilled islanders' needs at home, in the fields and at sea, and that today have become part of our valuable intangible heritage".

The three Sant Jaume awards will go to:

Tur Ferrer Bookstore (1962)
The first bookstore and stationery store on the island of Formentera, Llibreria Tur Ferrer is a unique family-run establishment in the heart of Sant Francesc that has operated for more than 60 years and which is still about face-to-face and friendly service.

Can Platé (1922)
Exactly one hundred years ago Joan Ferrer Castelló founded the family operation that today we know as Fonda Platé. The third and fourth generations remain at the helm today as the touchstone of local tourism continues striving for excellence.

Marià Castelló Martínez (Formentera, 1976)
The Consell de Formentera recognises Marià Castelló Martínez for the originality of his work; an architectural language all his own; a remarkable respect for the island's cultural heritage, and the architect's acclaimed and award-winning contribution to the contemporary field.

'Fills adoptius'

Councillors voted to designate the following individuals as fills adoptius (adoptive children):
 
Maria Teresa Matilla López (Salamanca, 1957)
In her long history of disseminating painting on the island, Maria Teresa Matilla López has helped to develop countless islanders' imagination and creativity, of her commitment and participation in local affairs.

Miquel Àngel Riera Planells (Eivissa, 1970)
The Consell recognises Miquel Àngel Riera Planells for 14 years of work as priest of the parishes of Sant Francesc Xavier and Pilar de la Mola, and for the impulse and commitment to youth associations, families in need and social care.

On behalf of herself and the entire cabinet, President Juan applauded the award winners and invited them to the municipal awards ceremony Sunday 24 July 8.00pm at Jardí de ses Eres in Sant Francesc. Juan also thanked the members of the Honorary Distinctions commission for their work.


8 July 2021
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Councillors at June plenary approve archive regulations, budget modification and controls on anchoring

Today members of the Consell de Formentera plenary assembly gathered for their regular June session. Councillors voted unanimously to endorse use regulations at the Consell de Formentera Archive (Arxiu del Consell de Formentera, ACF). Raquel Guasch, councillor of heritage, said the regulations set the ACF's framework for action and management and conservation criteria "to ensure documentation is a more durable and accessible asset". The councillor said that this legislative term, the objective of Consell de Formentera, which is responsible for safeguarding local documentation, is "to promote the ACF and offer islanders transparency and accessibility". "The ACF is more than a repository; it  exists to serve everyone", she asserted.

The GxF-PSOE cabinet overcame the abstention of Sa Unió representatives to grant initial approval to budget amendment number 1/2022. Bartomeu Escandell, councillor of economy and finance, described the €4,204,253 amendment as equipping the budget to match current imperatives. He indicated it would be financed with the Consell's surplus funds, and that the administration would maintain zero debt.

"This is a necessary change that aligns the budget with current needs and islander services. New demands require new funding", the councillor added. The modification includes €460,000 to recruit personnel to regulate Estany des Peix, as well as money to open the local old people's residence. Line items of €290,000 will go to initiating development of professional career recognition for Consell de Formentera workers who apply for it; €1,159,000 for land acquisition; €160,000 to meet rising costs at the oil mill and €170,000 to draft the project for new stands at the Municipal Sports Field and to begin construction.

The cabinet again overcame opposition abstention to pass an amendment "to adapt to current staffing imperatives, i.e. staffing needs for the regulation of Estany des Peix and the future old person's residence; and also to attend to agreements made with unions at the negotiating table", according to Paula Ferrer, councillor of human resources.

2023 bank holidays

Plenary members came together to endorse the appointment of Juan Yern Juan as Formentera's substitute justice of the peace so that Mr Yern can be appointed by the Governing Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands for a period of four years. Likewise, representatives from every political party supported a proposed designation of local bank holidays in 2023: 25 July, Diada de Sant Jaume, and 26 December, Mitjana Festa de Nadal.

Restricting anchorage on posidonia

The day's session also brought approval for two opposition proposals that were brokered by the cabinet. In the first, which scored unanimous backing, councillors urged the Balearic Ministry of Environment to enable material and human resources necessary for an anchoring assistance service. The idea behind the measure, said Antoni Tur, councillor of environment, is "that no boat anchor on posidonia; that the service concession holder urgently dispatch boats to perform this work and that in the coming seasons there be strict contractual compliance". The second proposal involved posidonia removal on beaches. Overcoming the opposition's abstention, the cabinet urged the Govern balear to initiate an environmental awareness push; ask the Directorate General of Natural Areas to authorise the partial removal of washed up posidonia based on technical criteria (rather than scheduling issues) and finally, in order to combat the sand loss attending removal of the seagrass from beaches, to study the feasibility and suitability of enhancing how washed up posidonia is managed.

Cross-party support additionally materialised behind a proposal which was tabled by Sa Unió representatives and brokered by the cabinet to encourage the Consell de Formentera to continue implementing actions to facilitate access for people with reduced mobility in the centre of Es Pujols and the rest of the island. Councillors also urged the Consell de Formentera to continue implementing initiatives to decarbonise the municipal fleet of vehicles.

Finally, members of the plenary voted in unison to back a Sa Unió proposal "urging the Govern balear to take the necessary steps to guarantee the television signal reaches all of Formentera's inhabitants equally".

Official proclamations

Representatives also approved two official proclamations. The first proclamation marked the maiden celebration this year of World Refugee Day, 20 June, in which the Consell "stands with all refugees and denounces the systematic violation of their rights, as well as the extreme situation of vulnerability and helplessness they face". Ana Juan, president and councillor of equality, described the second proclamation, commemorating World LGBTIQA+ Pride Day, 28 June: "It reaffirms the Consell's commitment to continue promoting public policies that recognise the human rights of LGBTIQA+ people" and expresses local government's "firm intention to value equality, diversity and visibility of all identities and orientations".


30 June 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

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