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Formentera stands for equality advocacy and gender violence prevention

foto conveni ED 2018Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and Dolores Fernández Tamargo, chairwoman of the association Espai Dones, signed into action a €3,000 agreement to foment equality and defeat domestic violence in 2018. The document traces the contours of the Council and Espai Dones's coordinated engagement on action related to equality promotion and ending gender violence.

Espai Dones Formentera is a not-for-profit group which sees the feminist struggle as a vector for broad societal support for and recognition of gender equality. To get there, the group leans on tactics that vary from educational to fun and lighthearted. Recent campaigns have been geared towards advancing and enlivening the debate about gender equality and women's rights.

From the start, the association has pegged their efforts to annual international celebrations such as Women's Day and Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The two entities first teamed up in 2013. This year their partnership turns six.

On Formentera, taxes made easy

Foto renda agilThe president's office of the Formentera Council reports that between May 14 and July 2, an agent of the Balearic revenue service will be on the island to field inquiries related to Renda Àgil, a simplified tax payment procedure.

Taxpayers who need help with their 2017 declaration must phone 971 76 76 76 to schedule a meeting with the agent, who will be on hand at the local tax office, or agència tributària, at 9 carrer Eivissa.

At conference, regional first ministers join chorus of opposition to planned prospections, surveys

Foto conf pres 2018CiF president Jaume Ferrer met today at the Eivissa Council with Balearic chief Francina Armengol and their opposite numbers across the islands.

As attendees prepared to depart, Ferrer described the day as “immensely productive” and confided, “it's always a good thing to sit down with the other first ministers and the regional president and talk about the issues affecting all of us”.

On that note, Ferrer gave voice to concerns surrounding permits for hydrocarbon exploration in local waters. “Formentera is opposed to these projects. We expressed it unanimously in plenary assembly, and encourage our counterparts across the islands to act in kind”, he declared. Put simply, “if we fail to protect our natural surroundings as ecological havens, we can forget about tourism and fishing resources”.

At the meeting's close, attendees formalised their commitment to keeping the Mediterranean free of exploration and surveying. They signed a document urging the Madrid government to join the Balearic administrations in blocking projects which stand to jeopardise nearby marine wildlife and the Mediterranean Sea at large.

Formentera rolls out lifeguard service

Foto socorrisme 2018 1Formentera's 23-member lifeguard and rescue crew, on duty since this Tuesday, May 1, congregated for the service's seasonal kickoff on Llevant beach. At 9.30am CiF president's office secretary Bartomeu Escandell made an appearance.

Calendar and service upgrades
Lifeguard and rescue operations are in place from May 1 to October 31. The ten-person team of waterfront watchwomen and men grows by five from June 1, before assuming the full 23-person staff June 15. The progressive descent commences September 15, when a team of 15 administers the service the rest of the month. From September 30 to the close of October, ten individuals oversee service.

In a departure from last season, defence towers have been erected at es Caló and Cala Saona. The rescue service's new jet-ski was acquired in an effort to improve and expand the service. Fifteen walkie-talkies were also added to the team's stock for the same reason, and to facilitate communication between distinct areas of operations. Lifeguards took part in a refresher course covering on-the-job duties like prevention and care for minor incidents like jellyfish stings and sun stroke.

Self-managed service
The lifeguard and rescue service is still today run by the Formentera Council. “We've always felt that our corps of lifesavers should be Council staff”, said Escandell. The secretary noted that thanks are also in order for the Council's efforts securing housing for the crew.

Accessible, cardio care-equipped beaches
Arenals and es Pujols beaches have access points for swimmers with reduced mobility. The service is available when the green flag flies, from 12 noon to 5.00pm, and can be commissioned by phoning 609 768 506. Every lifeguard post is equipped with a defibrillator in the event of cardio-respiratory failure.

April plenary assembly

foto ple abril 2018As the Formentera Council convened its April plenary session today, two measures commanded particular prominence: a proposal to block acoustic surveys and initial support for an ordinance on metred parking.

Stopping MEDSALT-2
Thanks to backing from Gent per Formentera (GxF), PSOE and Compromís—and despite the abstention of PP representatives—traction was gained by a motion to immediately halt review of a push for acoustic surveys. The measure followed a decision by the Balearic Islands' parliament to support a ban on exploration, research and harvesting of hydrocarbons and similar substances in the Mediterranean.

The plan's outwardly scientific appearance notwithstanding, and despite the reticence of PP assembly members in acknowledging the petroleum industry's interests in seeing such a plan come to fruition, recent weeks have attended an array of warning bells sounded by the environmental community. Most recently, Aliança Mar Blava has claimed possession of evidence demonstrating actors within the petroleum industry have already shown interest in the project. Namely, the group points to the fact that the geological salt formations flagged for exploration are thought by some to be potential nodes of petroleum and gas.

Even more harmful, say detractors, are the acoustic disruptions airguns used in the survey process would produce. It is feared that such noise could be devastating for undersea animal life. Species considered most vulnerable are whales, sperm whales, dolphins and fish held to have commercial value.

Parking ordinances
With backing from GxF and PSOE, approval was also secured for two distinct plans—one concerning metred parking, and another laying the groundwork for the parking scheme's financing. The metred parking regime will be expanded from la Savina to the towns of es Pujols, Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran.

The project is part of a bid to meet burgeoning local demand for parking by promoting more frequent rotation and additional spaces.

Departmental reports
Concluding the day's session was a report from Bartomeu Escandell, CiF secretary of the president's office, the tax office and rural affairs, concerning his department's actions in recent years.

The secretary highlighted upgrades to the funding Formentera receives. In eleven years Formentera's financial package has swelled from €3 million to €6.8 million. Touting an increasingly sharp focus on local residents and online operations, Escandell also trumpeted what he called the Council's firm commitment to dynamism within the public administration.

As well, the secretary underscored efforts to revamp the legislative underpinnings of coordination between local law enforcement in the Balearics. Other similar gains have been netted in restoring local councils' leeway in hiring police officers, thus promoting the stability of local forces.

Escandell described such legislative tweaks as key to the Council's quest, now several years in the making, to fill vacancies, not to mention create altogether new positions, on the force. Council officials say that if everything goes according to plan, the new officers will be on the force in time for this year's high season. Escandell praised the work of the island's lifeguards, firefighters and the “tireless efforts” of Formentera's civil protection force—“volunteers who love Formentera”. “Thanks to these volunteers' close collaboration, we have been able to substantially improve our emergency response system”, he said.

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