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Formentera announces six openings on local police force

Foto policia localThe Formentera Council has issued a call for applicants to fill six positions on the island's police force. The offer was published yesterday (Thursday) on the regional gazette, the BOIB.

Conditions of access, including details about the competitive exam that candidates must pass, can be viewed on the Council's website (www.consellinsulardeformentera.cat) or at this link. The posting is for career civil servants specialising in law enforcement.

On a related note, the Council has lined up a series of talks and training sessions for prospective applicants. The sessions, which go from 6.00pm to 8.00pm, begin Tuesday, March 27 in the culture department's hall of ceremonies (Sala d'Actes) and will continue every Tuesday  till May 15. The sessions will be suspended on May 1, which is a bank holiday.

President's office secretary Bartomeu Escandell described the call for applicants as “crucial to making sure the local force has the manpower needed to provide a decent service for residents and visitors”.

At present, roughly ten of the force's 18 positions are filled.

Formentera supports hitching pensions to upturns in RPI

Foto ple mar 018 1Today, council members met for the administration's March plenary session. The gathering was marked by cross-party support for a set of guidelines giving structure and substance to joint action between the Formentera Council and the local cultural audiovisual association. The framework concerns production of content for the island's public radio station, Ràdio Illa, an independent, public and high-quality source of news about current events and activities organised locally.

Other proposed measures
Members of the assembly gave their approval to a Gent per Formentera (GxF) measure to urge the central government to contemplate tweaking pensions based on rising retail price indices. The PP abstained from the vote.

One measure from the PSOE to get the go-ahead called for repealing the so-called “Montoro Bill”, allowing local administrations to invest their surplus and hire new staff. “Yes” votes came from GxF, PSOE and Compromís council members while PP reps abstained.

Yearly review
Closing out the day's session, social welfare secretary Vanessa Parellada took the floor to review her department's action in 2017. She highlighted her office's commitment to families and underprivileged populations with initiatives:
providing support for the elderly and dependent individuals; protecting minors; developing new youth-positive policy; giving visibility and integrating people with disabilities; promoting equality. She underscored the Office of Social Welfare's renewed commitment to things like lifelong learning, employment and support towards integration for new arrivals to the island.

As for human resources, Parellada described her department's current phase of work as one of consolidation. The secretary said this meant continuing work with unions to regulate and cement local control over new positions within the Council, plus posting details about the jobs to the administration's website. Parellada also spoke about investment in new facilities. One building now under construction is the island's tanatori, or funeral home. Another, an assisted living residence, is currently up for tender.

Formentera Council OKs deal putting local administrations in charge of promoting tourism

Foto transferencia turismeIn a one-off plenary session held today, the Formentera Council gave the green light to a hand-off of authority on tourism promotions. The measure, which scored cross-party support from plenary attendees, paves the way for the island's receipt of a roughly €1-million funding package.

Funding to promote tourism
For the five years from 2018 to 2023, Formentera will get a fixed annual payment of €675,000. The island will also be eligible for an additional 1.82%, or €74,100. Taken together, the package amounts to €749,100 in yearly assistance, plus an extra slice of funding to be meted out over the next five years. Between them, the island councils will receive €7 million a year. In several years' time, Formentera, which currently gets a 11.07% share of the pie (€774,894), will be entitled to close to one million.

In 2018 the Formentera Council expects to receive €970,498, an approximative sum given that during the first quarter of the year the regional government was still in charge of tourism.

Another feature of hand-off: four salaried employees
The measure also means the Council will be able to add four new workers to the department responsible for tourism promotion. The staff will be tasked with new product design, research and statistics production and the creation of a new observatory to collect and analyse tourism-related data in a bid to improve Formentera's market strategies.

The change is set to take effect on April 1 following the next meeting of the joint committee and approval from the governing board.

Formentera extends partnership with local branch of cultural association

foto OCB 018Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer sat down today with Joan Francesc Ferrer, a representative of the Formentera chapter of a cultural foundation in the Balearics. Under the agreement renewed today by the two men, the Council pledges to extend an €8,000 funding agreement with the group.

In exchange for the support, Formentera's Obra Cultural Balear commits to coordinating “Primavera de cultura”, part of yearly Sant Jordi celebrations (April 23) including literary presentations, conferences, round-table discussions, poetry readings and more. As the island's de facto cultural clearinghouse, the local OCB arm also agrees to produce literature aimed at promoting culture and historic and natural heritage on the island, and fulfil certain advisory and research functions as well.

It's official: Council renews partnership with farmers' co-op

Foto accio concertada Cooperativa 2018Earlier today officials formalised a concerted action agreement between the Formentera Council and the local collective of farm workers.

For the fourth straight year the Council and the island's co-operative of farmers have sealed a concerted action agreement whereby the administration pledges to provide the Cooperativa del Camp up to €115,000 in financial support. The farmers' co-op must supply evidence demonstrating that need, which, according to the agreement, will be calculated as the group's earnings less expenditures.

The partnership aims to build on the push to reactivate local agriculture and improve Formentera's rural landscape. The pact also envisions support for other actions to beef up the local agriculture.

At its heart, the programme is about delivering a boost to farming on Formentera, with all the economic, social, cultural and environmental knock-on effects such a boon carries with it.

The current project took shape in April 2015 when the first islanders made land donations to the initiative. The bid went on to win successive renewals in 2016 and 2017. In the three years since its start, the reserve of untilled farmland has continued to grow. Landowners and the farmers' co-op formalise the land grants in contractual agreements, and Cens de Terres today counts 200 hectares in its catalogue of farmed land.

Nearly 85% percent of Cens de Terres plots are actively tilled. Roughly 50% of the land now supports grasses used for fodder and cereals and 38% of the reserve has undergone maintenance like ploughing and weeding.

The remaining parcels are either awaiting some form of action or on track to withdraw.

Harvest increases have been recorded since 2016.

In light of results, the push to reactivate local agriculture and improve Formentera's countryside can be considered a success.

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