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Newly renovated pool reopens Wednesday with activities

foto 2021 piscina AThe Formentera Department of Sport reports that the municipal pool will reopen Wednesday after upgrades were carried out on the facility’s air-conditioning system and waterproofing. Since January, crews have installed a replacement dehumidifier and performed maintenance and waterproofing on the roof, not to mention upgraded changing rooms and instructor spaces, installed energy-saving bulbs in indoor lighting fixtures, repaired the pool bassin, installed new pipes in the boiler room and done general upkeep like painting and cleaning.

One of the primary tasks was replacement of the dehumidifier — a machine that was originally installed fifteen years ago when the pool was still covered, and which had reached the end of its useful life. Installation of the €102,850 replacement machine concluded an administrative process that had started last year and which was blocked for a time by the invocation of emergency orders.

Deputy premiere and temporary FDS chair Ana Juan welcomed news of the completion and apologised to islanders for the wait. The process hasn’t been easy, she insisted. Work suffered setbacks and snags, Juan said, some related to the pandemic, some not. And crews took the opportunity to do other repairs and maintenance in changing rooms and common areas. Juan told islanders to expect “a safer and newly improved indoor pool” and hailed the return of supervised activities, on hold since the start of the pandemic.

Return of supervised activities
Suspended since the onset of the pandemic, supervised activities like aquafitness and gentle gymnastics are also back on the agenda. Appointments and visits can be scheduled from tomorrow by calling 971 321 240.

As per safety protocol now in place, free swims will last forty-five minutes, showers can be used for fifteen minutes, and changing room lockers will remain off limits. Pool equipment may be used and once used, it must be disinfected. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied and visitors may only remove their masks to exercise.

 
3 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera cinema’s newest features, “Idò mata’ls” and “Idò remata’ls”, cast island-folk in a gangster saga

cartell 2021 ido matalsThis Friday and Sunday at Formentera’s Sala de Cultura–Cinema, two short films from Ibizan director Javier Riera are part of a saga whose roots stretch back to 2005. That’s when Riera, then a youthful student in audiovisual arts, wrote and filmed Idò mata’l  as a 25-minute send-up of his film noir favourites set against the unmistakeable backdrop of the White Isle. Shot with the help of friends, Riera’s short wins Sant Antoni Short Film Fest’s audience pick, and in one fell swoop secures Idò mata’l an overnight cult following for the filmmaker’s deft combination of surreal humour, cinematic nods and everyday elements of cultura eivissenca.

Fast-forward eleven years. Not only is the saga’s first instalment still fresh in fans’ minds, but a production company is now in the wings, and Riera sets out to make a sequel. Idò remata’ls is filmed with a new set of tools and the familiar shoestring budget. Boosted by financial backing from a GoFundMe initiative and a uniquely spirited social media campaign, the short becomes a breakout hit and instant archetype of Pine Islands humour.

Idò mata’ls and Idò remata’ls will play at the local Sala de Cultura–Cinema from 8.00pm on Friday and Saturday (7 and 9 May). Tickets are available at www.entradesformentera.cat or thirty minutes before showtime at the box office.

3 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Consell extends grace period on seaside kitesurfing till 15 May

foto 2021 kitesurfThe Formentera Department of Environment has issued a decree setting 15 May as the date the currently suspended kitesurfing ban will be reinstated at Formentera beaches. The ban, which applies to the shoreline and swimming areas, 200 metres from shoreline to sea and 50 metres from shoreline inland, typically takes effect 1 May.

FDE chair Antonio J Sanz explained that, with Covid-19 assuring a slow trickle of beachgoers and following a request from the local kitesurfers’ group to elongate the grace period, the Consell deemed it provided kitesurfing rules are respected. Sanz held up islanders’ growing enthusiasm for the sport in recent times, pointing to Formentera’s October 2020 hosting of Fórmula Kite Spain.

Local government is currently looking at ways to retool the municipal bylaw and define particular areas of the coastline for distinct seasonal activities so kitesurfers and beachgoers can share the seaboard.

1 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera rebates occupancy fees for terraces, shops and markets and joins Climate and Energy Pact

foto 2021 ple abrilDecision-makers gathered today for local government’s April plenary assembly, a session which brought cross-party support for a collection freeze on fees paid by restaurants offering outdoor seating and by merchants at craft or farmers’ markets. Economy and finance chief Bartomeu Escandell defended the measure, saying, “This freeze has been extended every six months since Covid began, and we won’t hesitate to repeat the process if the situation requires”. He stressed“no one left behind”was the watchword and said the ultimate goal was to “help those who need it most as much as we can”.

Backing from the Gent per Formentera-PSOE cabinet meant preliminary approval, despite abstention from Sa Unió representatives, of a motion to modify the budget. The economy and finance councillor said the €3,344,629 retooling was about“adapting [spending] to current circumstances”and described it as “a necessary amendment financed with reserve funding”. “Now is the time to boost the economy, invest and help the most needy families and businesses on the island”, Escandell explained. “Among the new additions on the 2021 budget are aid for freelancers, business owners and families, and financing for the launch or completion of various construction projects.”

The GxF-PSOE cabinet again overcame opposition abstention to tweak the Consell’s Strategic Subsidies Plan (Pla Estratègic de Subvencions), including an €18,000 line item to collaborate with S.D. Formentera on the hometown football club’s 50th anniversary celebration. Councillor Escandell defended the proposal, reasoning, “This club is the oldest on the island and, in a way, their story is ours. Our support now can finance events and efforts to tell that story, and how we all remember it.”

Climate and Energy Pact
Cross-party support materialised behind Formentera’s joining of the Mayors’Climate and Energy Pact. “Climate change is here now and it’s one of the greatest challenges of our time”, noted environment chief Antonio J Sanz. “We need immediate action and cooperation between local, regional and national authorities the world over”, he insisted. “But our efforts mustn’t stop at mitigation. We need to adapt, and joining this pact will help us do just that”. The covenant means cutting greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030, reducing energy consumption by 27% and ensuring renewable energy accounts for 27% of total consumption. Sanz concluded his remarks by emphasising the importance of “making clean energy a part of local government’s mandate”.

Other proposals
Attendees agreed to officially designate Diada de Sant Jaume (25 July) and the feast day of Sant Ferran (30 May) as local holidays in 2022. They also green-lighted the yearly revision, dated 1 January 2021, of the municipal register of inhabitants (“el padró”), which counts 13,465 islanders. The figures will be forwarded to the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

Backing was additionally secured for the opposition’s proposal, ultimately brokered by the cabinet, to continue upgrades of the island’s sports facilities and to measure current and future needs against participation by sportspeople, associations, clubs, sports federations and political groups. Deputy premiere Ana Juan, who is temporarily in charge of the Formentera Department of Sport, highlighted improvements and changes this current legislative term and stressed the effort “takes listening to the demands of our various sports groups and clubs”.

Lastly, attendees came together to support a call from La Mola primary school, La Mola Parents’ Association (APIMA), La Mola Residents’ Association, La Mola Seniors’ Association and residents at large to, in the words of education chief Susana Labrador, “make sure La Mola park satisfies existing demand in those areas where it currently falls short”. The Sa Unió proposal was brokered by the GxF-PSOE cabinet.

Departmental review
The day’s session closed with a report from heritage, language policy and vocational training chief Raquel Guasch. The councillor highlighted “the work, dedication and commitment” of department staff. “One of our priorities this legislature was to expand safeguards and preservation around local heritage sites, and we’re still on this path”, she said. One such initiative was the listing of La Mola’s legacy windmill, el molí Vell de la Mola, as a cultural interest site (BIC), another involved commissioning a plan to afford Ses Salines with similar BIC protections. Formentera’s first “catalogue of country roads”was put to tender, and the Advisory Committee of Immaterial Heritage (CAPI) was formed. The call has also gone out for applicants to the Consell’s research grant — a prize which, since Guasch has held office, has grown by €2,500. The councillor also trumpeted completion of archaeological work at Sa Tanca Vella Byzantine necropolis, as well as archaeological research in autumn at La Mola’s Cova 127.

Guasch likewise held up the 39 technical reports and 18 authorisations for archaeological operations that her department has issued or processed since August. Pointing to a newly reinforced staff, the councillor claimed “100% progress”on efforts related to local archives. Other improvements at the municipal archive include an independent and better equipped space.

On language policies, the councillor insisted Catalan courses for adults remained “a cornerstone”. Classes took place and were well received in autumn and winter despite Covid-19 restrictions, which also brought the added challenge of locating classrooms better suited to new space requirements. Enrolment in 11 courses from October to February has totalled 225. Guasch gave special kudos to the daily efforts of the Consell’s language advisory service across the departments.

“Commitment, hard work, dedication”, mused the councillor, “these will continue to guide us day by day in the mandate that islanders gave us in 2019”.

30 April 2021
Communications Department
Council of Formentera

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