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Road to sustainability—island prepares to reactivate formentera.eco to limit in-bound vehicles in July and August

foto-segona-sessio---consell-e3The Consell d’Entitats reconvened today, Thursday 6 February, in the second of two sessions devised to appraise member groups of plans for formentera.eco in 2020. After an initial gathering last week where the proposal was unveiled, today’s session saw groups get answers to some of their questions surrounding the measure and a vote on exactly when “regulated vehicle entry” will be enforced in 2020.

Citizen participation councillor Vanessa Parellada oversaw the event, which administration chief Alejandra Ferrer kicked off with a look back at the “three-pronged sustainable tourism strategy” used by Formentera to court visitors in recent years. “We’re talking about making the island economically, ecologically and socially sustainable”, said Ferrer, “it’s a brand of sustainability that’s grounded in quality of life—and not just for residents, but also with regard to the experience of our visitors”. “Since the very start, formentera.eco has been about keeping Formentera special; maintaining what sets us apart from other destinations; preserving our sense of tranquility; making sure that people can continue to enjoy the island today and for generations to come”.

formentera.eco 2020
For his part, mobility councillor Rafael González indicated that the ceiling on vehicles will likely be lowered by 4% in 2020. Last year the official limit was 22,382, however, only 21,929 motorists were given authorisation to drive cars on the island. The official limit this year will be 21,487. The question of when regulation would be enforced was also put to attendees of the meeting. After comments were heard, participants put the issue to a vote, agreeing to reinstate enforcement from 1 July to 31 August 2020, namely, peak tourist season.

Visitors must pay €1/day for cars and 50 cents for motor-scooters (minimums—€5 for the former and €2.50 for the latter—are also established). Permission to bring a vehicle and operate it on the island can be requested in advance. Such “pre-reservations” (prereserves) can be made from March on the formentera.eco website and formalised starting in April. Authorisation is guaranteed for people who have already reserved overnight lodging or ferry tickets for vehicle passage. A specific portal will be made available for related inquiries on formentera.eco.

Highlighting “a clear path forward this legislative term for an orderly and gradual reduction of highway saturation”, Councillor González indicated that the upper limit on permitted vehicles was expected to fall by four per cent every year—or 16% in four years. Discussion also centred on upgrades ahead to public transport—part of making sure that, for islanders and tourists alike, mobility becomes increasingly sustainable.

6 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Deadline extended for Participatory Spending proposals

foto-2020-consell-d-entitats1Formentera’s office of citizen participation has rolled back the clock on its previous deadline for project ideas in the 2020 round of “Participatory Spending” (Pressupostos Participatius), signalling that island groups will have until 10 February to submit proposals. Nineteen proposals came in before the original application period concluded on Friday 31 January.

As citizen participation councillor Vanessa Parellada put it: “Precious little time remained in January by the time the holidays had wound down, and we wanted to make the submission process as easy, inclusive and dynamic as possible”. Parellada called on local groups to “share their bright ideas on how to make Formentera a better place”.

Groups have until 10 February 2020 to submit proposals to www.conselldeformentera.cat (AKA the OVAC, or Virtual Citizen’s Information Office) or in person at the OAC (carrer de Ramon Llull, 6, Sant Francesc Xavier). The citizen participation office has sent out a template proposal to Formentera groups to facilitate the application process. Results will be announced at a late-February or early-March session of the Council of Entities (Consell d’Entitats) once proposals have been reviewed and, if necessary, legal and technical appreciations formulated. The Formentera government has allocated €325,000 to fund Participatory Spending projects in 2020.

3 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell d’Entitats starts new term

foto 2019 consell entitats 2Yesterday evening Formentera’s coalition of local associations —the Consell d’Entitats, or CDE— held a constituent assembly setting in motion the 2019-2023 legislative term. Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer highlighted “the entire governing team’s intention to boost civic participation”, insisting their scope extends to include “more than just local associations, but islanders of all stripes, and particularly young people”.

President Ferrer delegated CDE chairing functions to Vanessa Parellada, who heads Formentera’s office for citizen participation. The head of the local chapter of Asociación Española contra el Cáncer, Pepita Gabaldar, was appointed the CDE’s vice chair.

Crowdsourcing proposals
Consellera Parellada gave updates on the progress of sponsored projects under the CDE’s “participatory spending” initiative launched in 2016. Looking ahead to 2020, Parellada said €325,000 had already been set aside for projects in the initiative, and from Friday 22 November through the end of January, the CDE is accepting proposals from local associations. “Submissions are reviewed and a preliminary selection of feasible projects made in February”, explained Parellada, who said the next step would involve “proposals being presented to the CDE, whose member groups will in turn decide which initiatives will get funding in 2020”.

New communication channels
Meeting attendees also heard proposals about new ways to communicate with islanders. “Emails aren’t going anywhere”, said Parellada, but to make sure information gets to the CDE’s member groups quickly, additional channels of communication, like group text messaging, will be used — a change that was agreed by the whole CDE.
Member groups also reviewed the proposed formation of the CDE’s “Sectoral Sections” (Seccions Sectorials) for the 2019-2023 term. The sections were appended to include two new categories which the consellera called “hugely significant on account of their transversality”: mobility and equality. Representatives of the island’s audiovisual operations entity were named at the gathering as well. The CDE is the highest level, and only, body existing to promote coordination between the different associations of Formentera.

22 November 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera


Consell d'Entitats OKs proposed scheme to regulate vehicles brought onto island

consell-entitats-13-de-marc-- At 8.00pm this evening, March 13, members of the Consell d'Entitats, the island's coalition of community leaders, congregated for a special session to discuss questions which might have emerged following the group's last gathering. When members last met on Wednesday, March 6, they saw the unveiling of the proposed plan to manage entry, circulation and parking of vehicles on the island. The initiative is an outgrowth of legislation for Formentera's environmental and financial sustainability.

Mobility councillor Rafael González gave an overview of the proposed plan and answered questions from attendees. Put to a vote afterwards, the measure won the support of the Consell d'Entitats. The proposal will be voted on when council members gather for their full March assembly. Pending approval, an educational campaign will be implemented in early April with an online portal to follow later in the month, the goal being to carry out regulation between July 1 and August 31.

Formentera Council
Àrea de Comunicació
March 13, 2019

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.

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