Road safety, environmental protection, child-first infrastructure and support for youth leisure among Consell d'Entitat priorities

foto-pressupostos-participatiu1The Consell d'Entitats, the island's league of associations, held its regular meeting yesterday evening at 8.00pm in the conference room of the CiF, next to the Centre de Dia. Among the items on the day's agenda was the third round of pressupostos participatius, or “participatory spending”, to involve islanders in decisions about which projects receive money from the administration.

Citizen participation councillor Sònia Cardona presented the results of the projects that were voted on by the 34 participating groups. The Council had set aside €325,000 to fund the five top projects and the first phase of the sixth on the list.

The following projects were selected, in this order:
1. Safety improvements at pedestrian crossings. Involves setting up sustainable lighting at crosswalks. With an estimated €40,000 price tag, this project was suggested by residents of es Caló.

2. Water fountains at local schools. Proposes putting a drinking fountain in each school so pupils can have access to water without having to use plastic bottles or drink processed refreshments. The AVIF-proposed initiative has an estimated cost of €10,000.

3. Improvements at la Savina children's park. Entails upgrading the gates around the park so toddlers at play can't get out without help from an adult. Upgrades to the rubber flooring and lighting are also planned, as well as switching out the pétanque area for a specialised area of park users' choosing. This improvements proposal was put forward by la Savina's neighbourhood association and would cost an estimated €50,000.

4. Youth leisure options
The initiative proposes specific measures, included in the island's strategic action plan for youth, to promote leisure. The APNEEF's proposal has an estimated €75,000 price tag.

5. Road closure and traffic redirecting to allow for unification of two Mestre Lluís Andreu schools
Envisions enlisting two metal gates at either end of the school to block vehicle traffic and link the two distinct areas. Mestre Lluís Andreu's parents' association came up with the proposal, which has been allocated €25,840.

6. Dustbins with separate recycling in towns
Only the first phase of this project will be programmed because its full implementation would push total spending into the red zone. This €175,000 project was proposed by es Caló's neighbourhood association and will receive any money left over after the first five are budgeted for.

Councillor Cardona drew attention to the diversity of groups behind the projects ultimately selected, pointing to “neighbourhood groups, parents' associations, groups working for social change”. She also highlighted the fact that this time around, the winning projects were those with smaller price tags. “These are initiatives that are important for a broad range of islanders”, she said, while declaring that the priorities—environment, youth, education and road safety—“are ones we can be proud of”.

Lastly, tax office councillor Bartomeu Escandell gave attendees a first-hand look at the projects on the horizon during the year ahead by unveiling the Formentera Council's 2019 budget.