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Formentera accepts critiques of Citizen's Information Office

Foto oac atencio al publicThe Formentera Council accepts the PSOE's critique of wait times at the OAC (in August users of the municipal service reported waits of up to an hour) and wishes to make the corresponding apologies to islanders and local political parties. Reprieve is expected in the days to come, when additional staffers will begin duty. The administration began a search for temporary supply staff on June 7. A total of 51 islanders answered the call, with 17 ultimately making it to the selection process, which came to an end on Wednesday, August 1. Officials anticipate names of winning candidates will be announced on Monday August 6. While thanking islanders for the patience and understanding, the Formentera Council also wishes to applaud OAC staff for their professionalism. Reinforcements are on the way.

As for the office's digital equivalent, the Virtual Citizen's Information Office (or OVAC), no incidents have been reported in thirty days. 

Formentera vets mobility and waste management schemes

foto ple juliol 2018 1Attendees of the Formentera Council's monthly plenary session voted to grant preliminary approval to the island's Pla de Mobilitat Sostenible, a sustainable mobility strategy introduced Wednesday, July 4, at a meeting of the local league of community representatives. The session also ended in support for draft guidelines on how non-hazardous waste is collected and managed locally. The two proposals were passed with “yes” votes from senior Gent x Formentera cabinet secretaries. PP, PSOE and Compromís party members, for their part, abstained.

Mobility secretary Rafael González highlighted the crucial nature of the mobility plan, saying “[the Pla de Mobilitat] is about getting motorists to share the road with users of other more sustainable modes of transport”. “The idea isn't that people be less mobile”, González clarified, “but walking, cycling or using public transport whenever possible”.

Environment secretary Daisee Aguilera applauded her counterparts' support of the preliminary waste management plan, calling it “a chance to define goals like prevention and reduced waste generation—both key elements to an improved approach to management”.

The fundamentals of the two plans can be consulted on the Formentera Council's transparency portal, which is also where the terms will be published once the complete details are posted to the Balearic Islands official gazette.

Other proposals
The initial votes on the two plans occupied a particularly significant place in the July plenary, which was held in the conference hall of the island's dependant care centre. Other measures got backing as well. The Council's senior secretaries scored across the board support for a proposal to join a regional pact for children (Pacte Balear per la Infància). Meanwhile, a GxF measure to request human resources and materials for the island's health centre and hospital got “yes” votes from GxF, PP and Compromís. PSOE party reps opted to abstain.

The PP earned cross-party support for a proposal to remodel sa Casilla.

The PSOE won unanimous backing for its proposal on Formentera's judicial district.

Formentera turns over sa Senieta keys to Govern as island prepares for museum

visita-sa-senietaAs part of the bid to restore the local building known as “sa Senieta” and equip it to house the island's future museum, the Formentera Council reports that administration officials will use this Friday's plenary session to introduce a plan to grant sa Senieta use rights to the Govern balear.

Once approval for the plan is secured, President Jaume Ferrer and Fanny Tur, the minister of culture, participation and sport in the Balearics, will put their signatures on a bilateral pact by which the Council, sa Senieta's owner, grants the ministry under Tur's charge full rights to use the building at no cost. In turn, the regional ministry pledges to restore and upgrade sa Senieta to equip it as an exhibition space and Formentera's future museum.

The handoff, which enters into force with the agreement's signing, will remain effective until December 31, 2033 and may be extended an additional five years after that. Once the handoff is complete, upgrades and maintenance work will begin under the watch of the Govern balear's Conselleria de Cultura, Participació i Esports.

All costs associated with the project —honoraria, taxes, charges, levies, et cetera— will be paid for by the regional government. Likewise, the Council, which will retain ownership of sa Senieta, must give its say-so before any work on the building can take place.

Future museum network
In accordance with the provisions of legislation passed December 21, 1998, sa Senieta is the only local construction included in Formentera's catalogue of Balearic historical heritage sites—a clear sign of the building's importance to cultural heritage on the island.

In addition to sa Senieta, which will accommodate the Formentera museum's permanent collection and other general services for the public, the island's future network of museums will include two other spaces: La casa de Can Ramon, home to the island's ethnographical collection, and the plot adjacent to Sant Francesc's historical cemetery (the "Fossar Vell"), which will be equipped to hold archives, a specialised library, conference hall, exhibition space, materials drop-off and reservation point and research lab.

The plan is part of Formentera's bid to create a premier “museum circuit” for islanders and visiting tourists that is in line with the Balearic Islands' so-called “Museum Law”.

Formentera backs Balearic and Valencian administrations' pact to develop strategy on fishing management in Pityuses

reunio---pesca-al-consell-d-ei1Formentera Council officials sat down today to explore the issues facing the Eivissa-Formentera fishing industry in a gathering at the Eivissa Council between fishing authorities of the Balearic and Valencian administrations and fisherman's guilds.

Among the items on the agenda was current legislation regulating the deep-water trawling operations of boats from the Spanish mainland in fishing grounds near Eivissa and Formentera. The legislation is seen to have gaps which make its revision necessary.

Participants at the gathering resolved to enlist a working group to draft a new proposal, which will ultimately be sent to Madrid, on how fishing areas should be administered.

Meeting attendees also spoke about other dilemmas, like illegal tuna fishing and discarded by-catch capable of causing serious damage to trawls, especially among fishing boats from Alacant which are stationed in the fishing grounds of the Pityuses.

Police use drones to tackle illegal vending at ses Illetes

foto dron 2This Tuesday the Formentera local police, partnering with drone pilots from the force in Sant Josep, engaged in a special sting operation targetting illegal itinerant vending in Illetes.

Devised at the headquarters of Formentera's local law enforcement with assistance from the Sant Josep force's chief of robotic process automations and drone operations, the sting was a feature of a partnership aimed at providing support for special circumstances—Formentera's understaffed force, for example, and spikes in illicit vending across the island and, especially, at Illetes.

Bartomeu Escandell, the secretary of the president's office and head of the local police, welcomed the Sant Josep local police force's help and highlighted the importance of going after itinerant vending, saying it “hurts local business and is at odds with the tranquility we seek to offer our visitors”.

With the help of drone-driven air surveillance, police detected the vendors' supply points and were able to decomission them. Plus, equipped with info from the drones, agents stationed at Illetes caught multiple vendors in action and were able to bring charges.

Fourteen bottles of alcohol and refreshments, as well cups and other cocktail-making materials, were turned up as part of the sting operation, not to mention 11 parasols, a tent, 186 cans and bottles of water and other refreshments, 63 pieces of costume jewellery, 88 pieces of fruit (pineapples and coconuts) and 60 dresses and beach blankets.

Though understaffed, Formentera's local police force has overseen similar small-scale operations since June, logging 49 cases of itinerant vending. All told, they have confiscated 346 dresses and wraparound skirts, 664 pieces of fruit, 300 bottled or canned refreshments and 63 pieces of costume jewellery.

More such special operations combining technology with manpower will be carried out through the summer.

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