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Summer lifeguard service returns to Formentera beaches

Servei socorrisme formenteraOn May 1 the Formentera Council's lifeguard service resumed operations across the main beaches of the island. Ten lifeguards are now stationed at Arenals, Llevant and Illetes and by June 15 the number will have reached 23. The service, maintained through October, mostly consists of prevention and tending to minor incidents like jellyfish stings and sunstroke.

Accessible beaches
Arenals and es Pujols beaches are accessible to swimmers with reduced mobility. The service, which is restricted from 12 noon to 5.00pm when the green flag flies, can be requested by phoning 609.76.85.06.

To check on water conditions, visit www.platgesdebalears.com.

Renewed support for local farmers' co-op

Foto signatura cooperativaFormentera Council president Jaume Ferrer met with the director of the island's farmers' co-operative, Cooperativa del Camp, to put their signatures on a partnership agreement between the two groups valued at €95,000.

With a focus on community-level efforts to revive local agriculture and beautify Formentera's landscapes, the partnership is aimed at renewing efforts like the co-operative's stewardship of unused land and management of member plots.

It is reckoned that the bid to reactivate agriculture on Formentera will have positive knock-on effects on economic, social, cultural and environmental areas.

The Farmland Reserve programme took wing in April 2015 when the first land was handed over to the co-operative. Since then, roughly 142 hectares of farmland have been donated by 60 private landowners.

Council adopts plenary plan to manage cultural heritage sites

Foto sessio plenaria abrilThe Formentera Council convened its April plenary session today. It was a meeting marked by the swearing in of Partido Popular (PP) operative Enrique Llorens Folgado as councillor, a role that was previously filled by Gabriela Mayans.

One proposal that followed on the heels of Llorens's appointment and got the vote of all parties was the 2017-2019 management plan for the island's cultural heritage sites. Patrimony councillor Susana Labrador took the floor in favour of the motion, aimed at setting up strategy and priorities in protecting and giving visibility to Formentera's historical heritage.

The day's session also saw a green-light for the island's census figures. According to chief of the CiF president's office Bartomeu Escandell, a tally put the island's population on January 1, 2017 at 12,905.

A socialist party proposal on upkeep of the es Cap tracks garnered the assembled plenary's full support. Infrastructure councillor Rafael González made assurances that a repair of the surrounding fences and a general check of the installation were in the works.

Request for rectification
Towards the end of the session and in response to a question from the PP, Council president Jaume Ferrer reiterated that standards had been rigorously upheld in tendering works contracts to Regioplus Consulting and Consultores de Políticas Comunitarias.

Ferrer expressed his stark disapproval of a posting made recently on social media by José Manuel Alcaraz. In his post, Manuel claimed, “on Formentera we're living in a handy age. I'm not talking new technologies; those are an absolute mess. I'm talking about all the handpicking Jaume Ferrer does when he hands out contracts to friends and family”. Ferrer pledged to take the matter to court if Manuel refused to retract the comments.

Head of Balearic parliament meets with Council leadership

Foto presidentsJaume Ferrer, chair of the Formentera Council, met with Baltasar Picornell as part of a visit by the head of the Balearic parliament to deepen local engagement with the Palma lawmaking body. A subsequent meeting, held immediately after, included the rest of the CiF's team of councillors.

Ferrer extended thanks to Picornell for his visit and drew special attention to a gathering to take stock held at the Council's main office on April 7.

Sant Ferran residents engaged in discussion of town's development prospects

Foto presentacio sant ferranLast night members of the Sant Ferran community gathered to review the Formentera Council's road map for the town's centre in the years ahead. Council chair Jaume Ferrer and Rafael González, the administration's infrastructure councillor, together with senior members of specialist architecture firm Estudi Lunar, shared details of the project in order to engage residents in discussion and get input on possible improvements.

Pitched as an articulation of the Sant Ferran identity, the project envisions repositioning the town as the island's cultural stronghold, a bid that will rest on constructing cultural facilities on the current site of the town's school. Dubbed a “centre for the arts,” plans for the complex include a theatre/auditorium, community centre and school of art. The firm hopes to fit the town with a cutting-edge public amenities infrastructure that is specially tooled to promote social gatherings and use of public spaces.

Introductory efforts
The gathering served to chart the project's initial phases, which officials expect will begin November 1, 2017. On carrers Guillem de Montgrí and València work will be focused on beautifying the streets for residents and cyclists. The two arterials will remain open to vehicles though additional plans are afoot for a change in the direction of traffic, a measure aimed at stemming south-north crossings of the town and forcing drivers to instead use the nearby roundabout. The current draft project was designed by Open Fabric, a firm specialised in urbanism.

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