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Minute of silence to condemn VAW slaying in Sa Pobla

foto 2021 sa poblaEarlier today a minute of silence was observed on the steps of the local government seat in condemnation of yesterday's gender-based killing in Sa Pobla, Mallorca. Consell de Formentera premiere Alejandra Ferrer was joined by fellow councillors and municipal employees in honouring the memory of the Balearic Islands’ first victims of gender violence in 2021: a 28-year-old woman and her 7-year-old son.

18 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

For smooth start to summer and islanders’ safety, Formentera keeps tier 1 rules and continues “slow” reopening

foto 2021 desescalada lenta AConsell de Formentera premiere Alejandra Ferrer was joined today in press conference by Josep Marí Ribas and Maria Antònia Font, the Balearic government’s mobility and housing minister and director-general of health and consumer affairs, respectively, to review new measures linked to the covid-19 public health crisis.

Ferrer described the island’s current epidemiological situation as “favourable”, highlighting “zero active cases and zero new infections in the last 14 days”. She pointed to a number of measures that would soon be relaxed as a result, but indicated de-escalation would be slow, “so the island can make it to summer in good stead. The priority is our residents’ welfare.”

Measures
With the island still in tier 1 of public health alert, the following restrictions will be in place for two weeks starting Sunday 9 May:
-Maximum six people (no limit on number of households) at outdoor get-togethers and family gatherings. Maximum six people from two households at indoor gatherings.
-Curfew from 11.00pm to 6.00am.
-Normal capacity at shops provided safe distancing measures can be respected. Closure by 10.00pm.

Another important change: eateries with outdoor seating are no longer required to close between 6.00pm and 8.00pm; these establishments can operate until 10.30pm. Rules are as follows:
-Indoor service must stop at 5.00pm on weekdays (Monday to Friday) and 6.00pm on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays).
-Outdoor service must stop at 10.30pm (Monday to Sunday).

Controls unchanged
President Ferrer also stressed the importance of controls on arriving travellers, which she said would continue for two more weeks and perhaps all summer if possible. Ferrer said current collaboration between the Consell, local business and the regional administration sought to offer competitively-priced PCR testing locally and she reiterated an earlier request that figures concerning infected visitors and residents be counted separately “so accumulated incidence isn’t impacted and protocol isn’t changed on account of visitors who have already left”. “And the Govern balear must work with individual island councils on a roadmap for measures, protocols and timelines that people and businesses will respect in summer”, she said.

On Formentera’s currently auspicious state of affairs, “It’s thanks to the responsibility of islanders and our businesses”, Ferrer said. She added, “We know people are tired, but they’ve continued to follow the rules”. The island's top-ranking official also called on islanders to answer vaccination calls with a “yes”: “It is crucial we all get immunised — for our safety and for the safety of those around us.”

For his part, the regional mobility and housing chief acknowledged improvements and Formentera’s praiseworthy case count of zero while insisting on a message of “prudence and prevention”. “We won’t be able to relax until the virus has been eradicated”, he said, and encouraged islanders to get vaccinated.

As for the director-general, “Formentera is the island with the best situation today”, she affirmed, citing data from the Health and Epidemiology Service of the Directorate General of Public Health and Participation. Two weeks have passed since Formentera’s last case was reported, meanwhile, Eivissa, Mallorca and Menorca wade through a weekslong crunch and report outbreaks of the more transmissible and now predominant British variant. As of 6 May, 3,071 vaccine doses have been administered, 2,320 islanders have received a single dose and 751 have received both doses.


7 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

New campaign urges islanders: ‘Get vaccinated, for you and for everybody’

cartell 2021 vacunatThe Consell de Formentera has put together a video encouraging islanders to support herd immunity and a speedy return to normalcy by answering the call to get vaccinated when they receive it.

The video will be shared across social media platforms and highlights the vaccine’s advantages in an effort to encourage solidarity around the vaccination push.

6 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

CES presents ten-year outlook for Balearics

foto 2021 CESConsell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer and local economy and finance chief Bartomeu Escandell sat down today with representatives of the Balearic Islands’ Economic and Social Council (CES) for a presentation of the CES’s Horitzó 2030, a report on the regional outlook in the decade ahead.

CES speaker Rafel Ballesteros said the Balearic government’s 2017 commissioning of the report involved asking experts to pinpoint areas of study key to understanding the region’s current trajectory. Four-hundred forty-four proposals from 58 experts were debated and voted on, ultimately providing the basis for the study. The goal of the report? “To make the Balearic Islands the benchmark in terms of tourism quality, new talent, competitiveness in the international arena and excellence in environmental sustainability, social inclusion, quality employment and progressive land-use policies.”

President Ferrer expressed her satisfaction because “in sustainability, vehicle and overnight-stay capacity, agriculture, local production and more, work has already begun on many of the study’s proposals”. “We need to try to set ourselves apart and become more competitive by defending, individually, what makes us different in terms of environment, heritage and culture”, she agreed. “And, of course, continue working toward sustainability and zero waste and combating climate change.”

Finally, the president highlighted challenges and work yet to be done in multiple areas, housing, education, health and science among them. She added that the coronavirus crisis has thrown into relief the fact that the path forward will involve “collaboration, coordination and solidarity; cohesive but different islands; with a circular economy and an egalitarian society”.

4 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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