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Local representatives vote to ditch non-inclusive architecture, finance play area improvements

Foto consell entitatsYesterday evening Formentera's board of community representatives convened its second session on participatory budgets, ultimately settling on two projects (from the 12 originally proposed) to entrust to the Formentera Council this year. One 100,000-euro project to eliminate architectural barriers,

The first initiative proposed employing €100,000 to eliminate architectural barriers on the island. The second, with a budget of €150,000, promised improvements at school play areas and parks for children. Both of them were the most popular among the 33 associations and four political parties that took part in the vote.

This is the first time the Formentera Council and the Consell d'Entitats implement participatory budgets. As the CiF's councillor of community involvement, Sònia Cardona, put it, “the initiative is aimed at engaging the people of Formentera in the participatory process”. She took the opportunity last night to thank islanders and associations for their efforts, which she said were key to the initiative's success. “This vote —and the fact that Formenterencs chose to support inclusive architecture and children— speaks very highly of our residents. We are thrilled.”

The participatory projects were assigned a total budget of €250,000. From today, the associated Council offices will begin working to make both of them a reality in 2016. The representatives of the 63 associations that comprise the Consell d'Entitats were invited to the two budget sessions.

Following a session dedicated to explanations of the 12 initial proposals, yesterday's gathering served to establish the two most popular measures. Associations voted on the two projects they thought were highest priority.

Two thousand turn out to keep Formentera landing 'where it's always been'

Formentera concentracio On SempreTwo thousand people packed the square in Sant Francesc Xavier de Formentera this morning to put a stop to plans to relocate the current Formentera-Eivissa ferry landing.

The gathering was organised by the Formentera Importa (Formentera Matters) residents' platform. Over the last month, el Consell d'Entitats, a group of business and community representatives that advises the Formentera Council on local issues, unanimously adopted a text urging dialogue with offices of the regional administration in an attempt to halt relocation plans. The Council later adopted the text in a one-off plenary held on Monday.

On Formentera, an island only accessible by boat and whose sole port of entry requires passage via Eivissa, siting the landing is an important issue. It is also one that has galvanised the political and social spheres of the island, who have roundly expressed their ire at the Balearic port authority's proposed plans. Not least infuriating, they say, are rumours the current landing will be reclassified as having a “social use”, a still murky distinction many see as a thinly-veiled attempt to turn the space over for use by luxury yachts.

All CiF councillors —from the ruling party and the opposition— were present at the demonstration. At the centrepiece of the lively gathering, punctuated by percussionists and traditional dance,

The lively gathering, which was punctuated by percussionists and traditional dance, saw

Punctuated by percussionists and traditional dance, the culmination of the lively gathering came when eight individuals lowered letters

In a lively event punctuated by percussionists and traditional dance performances, the centrepiece was when eight individuals lowered letters spelling on sempre (“where it's always been”) from the roof of the church to the applause of the crowd below.

Next week, Saturday April 23, another demonstration is planned that will unite the towns of la Savina and Sant Francesc Xavier.

For more info:
Contact Álvaro Mendoza, spokesman of Plataforma Formentera Importa: 678 90 97 55

Statement protesting landing relocation adopted at one-off plenary

foto ple extraordinariIn an extraordinary plenary session held today, members of the Formentera Council (CiF) unanimously agreed to launch a new negotiation effort with the Eivissa administration, the Eivissa nautical club and the Balearic port authority (APB) in an attempt to forestall the Formentera landing’s relocation within the Vila port. According to CiF community involvement councillor Sònia Cardona, the session also brought approval for a proposal to “seek legal counsel (either internal or third-party) to properly and successfully defend Formentera’s objection to the landing location change.”

Further, Councillor Cardona reported, “the plenary members will send and make public the Manifest drafted and unanimously adopted by the Consell d’Entitats [Formentera’s council of local community leaders]. In a statement addressed to the Eivissa town hall, the Eivissa Council, Formentera’s representative in the Balearic parliament, all the political parties with seats in parliament, the people’s ombudsman, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the president of Spain, the Consell explains its objection to the Eivissa-Formentera landing move. She thanked all the political parties for their unanimous support of the measure and quoted the Manifest: “IF WE JOIN FORCES, individuals, associations, political groups and the local Formentera government, we can reach our goal: KEEP THE LANDING WHERE IT IS.”

Formentera groups OK call for dialogue re: ferry landing

foto votació consell entitatsYesterday evening, Formentera’s association of local community leaders, el Consell d’Entitats (‘Council of Entities’), convened to unveil the group’s statement and action plan regarding the Balearic port authority’s proposed relocation of Formentera’s landing at the port of Eivissa. Of the groups with a vote, 29 voted in favour of the Consell’s proposed statement. There were neither abstentions nor “no” votes. The text, titled “From indignation to hope” (“De la indignació a l’esperança”), lays out the Consell’s case for dialogue with Autoritat Portuària de Balears, the Eivissa town hall (Ajuntament de Vila) and the Eivissa nautical club. The group says it hopes to clinch an agreement that establishes “a single landing site with all necessary services for Formentera boats”. The text also received the support of those in attendance without voting rights.

The president of the Consell and CiF councillor of community involvement, Sònia Cardona, celebrated the group’s first ever vote and congratulated the working group that drafted the text on a job well done. Further, she hailed the commitment of parliamentary representative Sílvia Tur, who pledged to take the issue to the Balearic parliament, as well as that of CiF president Jaume Ferrer, for promising to call a one-off plenary meeting to vote on the text.

Council of Entities rejects proposal to create "unloading spot", pledges perseverance

Consell entitats premsa EDIT 350x251The Council of Entities (Consell d'Entitats) met yesterday at 8 p.m. to discuss the proposal by the Balearic port authority (APB) to create an “unloading spot” for boats arriving in Eivissa from Formentera. Under the APB plan, Formentera boats would make an initial stop at an area of the port called el Martell before finally mooring at the commercial-use dock, the proposed site of the new Formentera port in Eivissa. Local group leaders present at last night's meeting likened the plan to a “bait-and-switch” because transport companies would be under no obligation to respect the el Martell stop. They also pointed out, among other disadvantages, that the unloading stop would lack necessary services and asserted that to accept the APB proposal would be tantamount to accepting an definitive move to the commercial dock.

Speaking after the meeting, CiF councillor of community involvement Sònia Cardona emphasised the unanimity of the Council of Entities' decision. She also announced the creation of a working group “to draft a document compiling the reasons the people of Formentera have rejected relocating the station and of an unloading spot”. In addition, the working group will create an action plan concerning the steps to be taken in Formentera. Councillor Cardona seized the opportunity to praise the people of Formentera on a process that ensures local involvement and gives a voice to residents.

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