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Formentera kicks off local government's bicentennial celebrations with round tables and community festivities

The Consell de Formentera is pleased to report that this week marks the start of a fortnight of programming by the Consell de Formentera to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the island's government. Ana Juan, Consell president, said the programme was designed to be a "popular celebration", as well as to "acknowledge the efforts of individuals who have dedicated part of their lives to serving the community".

Thursday 20 October at the Sala de Cultura (Cinema), the opening event includes two round tables. At 7.00pm, past mayors of the island will join moderator Pepo Rubio for "Governing on Formentera: the previous 39 years". At 8.30pm, Toni Ruiz will moderate a round table with representatives of associations and social agents on "Transformation and conservation: Formentera's present".

Community celebration on Friday with concerts and barbecue
The next event will take place in Plaça de la Constitució at 8.30pm, Friday. The evening starts with a concert in which Aires Formenterencs, Paquita Juan (from Can Jaume Porrosines), Paquita Juan (Paquita des Brolls), Luis Xomeu Juan, Tamara García, Cani Huertas, Sergi Gómez and Ermanno Panta tap into local heritage and celebrate the ties between the music of three cultures in the people of Formentera: traditional music, flamenco and Sicilian music.

At 10.00pm there will be a popular barbecue and then, around 11.00pm, a group of local musicians will perform an array of genres including funk, rock and Latin. Among the players are Genis Campillo, Mariano Menteguiaga, Nuno Alves and Pierra Alain, with other alternating musicians each bringing a change of musical style to the ensemble.

The Three Kings Association, the Santa Maria Festival Commission, the local chapter of Obra Cultural Balear and the Formentera Residents' Association as well as representatives of the local business sector and the island's Moroccan community are among the entities in Formentera's fabric of associations that either organised and took active roles hosting these events.

Commemorative T-shirts for charitable purposes
Throughout the various activities of the programme, commemorative bicentennial T-shirts will be sold to support Formenterers Solidaris. All proceeds from sales will be donated to the association.

24 and 27 October
The commemorative events will continue next week. Monday 24 October at Sala d'Exposicions "Ajuntament Vell". A look at the history of the island's government, with photographs of municipal buildings, photos, objects and documents (baton, municipal books, electoral rolls, budgets, etc.) and Thursday 27 October at 8.30pm, a commemorative concert of contemporary music and dance/movement at Sala de Cultura (Cinema). Works composed by Hugh Levick will be interpreted by musicians Mario Molina (piano), Catalina Sureda (violin) and Esteban Belinchón (cello); with interpretive movement performances from Valeria del Vecchio and Pablo Arias.

17 October 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Formentera celebrates local police with special tribute

foto 2022x dia policia local BToday the Consell de Formentera paid its annual tribute to local police forces. Officers of Formentera Local Police (PLF) were celebrated and awards were presented to two officers for more than 15 years of service, and to two officers and the local chief for participation in an operation targeting drugs sales.

President Ana Juan congratulated the officers and highlighted the gratitude of Formentera's government and its people: "For their dedication to making our lives better, for the task isn't easy". Juan underscored coordination this summer between various forces of law and order: "Thanks go to both departments. It is clear that remarkable milestones that can be achieved through inter-agency coordination", she said, encouraging the island's security forces "to continue the commitment to public service that they show islanders day in and day out".

For his part, Josep Marí, councillor of interior, congratulated honourees and applauded extra work by the entire force this summer to provide service 24 hours a day and cover night shifts. Marí reviewed recent efforts to make the island safer, such as intervening in parties, clamping down on street vending and illegal camping, overseeing traffic stops and engaging in special operations when a boat arrives with migrants.

In accordance with the PLF's Organisation and Operation Regulation, PLF agents Marc Roig Ferrer and Marc Aragay Torres received medals for more than 15 years of upstanding service.

Merit crosses and green badges were likewise delivered to Carlos Malberti Moragón, Marc Aragay Torres and PLF chief Félix Ramos Perez, per article 131 of Decree 40/2019 (24 May) which established adoption of the Framework Regulation for coordination between local police departments in the Balearics.

The men received these honours for successful completion of an operation helmed by the Civil Guard in collaboration with PLF which led to the arrest of two people for drug sales and trafficking. The officers' participation was key to dismantling one of the most important points of sale of drugs on Formentera and intervening in an apartment used for prostitution.

The event, held at Hotel Formentera Playa, was also attended by Enrique Sánchez Navarrete, director of central government affairs in the Pine Islands, members of the National Police and Civil Guard, as well as Vice President Alejandra Ferrer, cabinet and opposition councillors, representatives of Eivissa law enforcement forces and family and friends of the PLF.

2 October 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Formentera hosts first Pine Islands training course for local police

foto 2022ix formacio ebap CToday at Antoni Blanc Sports Centre, 15 local police officers from Eivissa and four from Formentera took part in a day of training as part of the Technical and Police Proficiency module of cadets' basic training. The course is organised by the Balearic School of Public Administration (Escola Balear d'Administració Pública, EBAP) in coordination with Formentera Local Police.

Ana Juan and Josep Marí, president and councillor of interior of the Consell de Formentera, respectively, along with Chief Félix Ramos, were on hand at the sports centre for the training, which was held on Formentera today for the first time. The president welcomed the fact that the training was being held locally, which she tied to "a long-standing request that today has become a reality". "This marks progress in the training and necessary stability that we offer agents, which ensures better service for islanders", she said.

Councillor Marí expressed satisfaction that after many years of petitioning the training was finally taking place on the island. "Not having to travel to Mallorca makes the work of our agents and applicants a lot easier", he said. "It makes the training process becomes faster and more efficient".

The day's training lasted ten hours and was part of the 43rd round of basic local police training.

Last year the Balearic Government, Consell de Formentera and municipalities of Eivissa signed an agreement to decentralise the basic training that accredits cadets from the Pine Islands to join local police forces.

1 October 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Plenary members endorse tuition breaks at escoletes, medals for local police, telework rules and provisions for future business space

foto 2022ix pleToday local decision-makers gathered for the September assembly of the Consell de Formentera, securing approval for tuition breaks at local nurseries (escoletes), rules on remote working, honorary distinctions for four local police officers, and the regulations underpinning a future space for members of the local business community.

First, plenary members voted unanimously to adopt a proposed amendment to the Consell's rules of order, enabling new telematic means to replace printed transcripts of plenary sessions. "From today monthly assemblies will be video-recorded, streamlining the administration's work and marking firm steps in the modernisation of local government", as explained Bartomeu Escandell, councillor of finance and general services.

Travel discounts
In the plenary session, members of the GxF-PSOE cabinet and opposition group Sa Unió came together in support of inter-island travel discounts in the low season. Alejandra Ferrer, vice president and councillor of Tourism, defended the proposal, which found councillors urging the Balearic government to consider deploying the initiative from October for islands in the Balearics that are heavily dependent on tourism. "The discount on inter-island travel was a success, so we're asking the regional government to reactivate it at least on the islands where tourism is currently down to help extend the season and improve residents' quality of life. This will generate employment and increased social welfare", explained Ferrer.

Cost of canteen service
Assembly members also handed final approval of the ordinance regulating the price of meal service in public primary schools.

Councillors also agreed to ask the Balearic Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to urgently assess reports of high temperatures in the public schools that fall under the ministry's authority. "Given complaints received by the educational community, we ask the Balearic government to make the necessary investments to alleviate these high temperatures because they impede the healthy development of learning", said Susana Labrador, councillor of education and culture. "Faced with forecasts that heat waves will be increasingly frequent due to climate change", said the councillor, "we are asking for solutions now so that we do not have the same problems at year end".

Tuition breaks
Councillors united again to support the initial amendment of the tax ordinance regulating fees at La Miranda and Sant Ferran escoletes. This modification includes free 8.30pm-to-12.30pm learning for year-three students and a 30% discount for children in year one (ages zero to one) and year two (ages one to two). The latest discount will take effect when the modification is legislated and becomes definitive. "This way we reach all children", explained Councillor Labrador, drawing attention to the "longstanding effort to give all families a quality service" and the current wait list of zero at both nurseries. "Now we will continue working to extend free education to all children in escoletes", she added.

Remote working rules
The cabinet overcame opposition abstention to pass telework rules at the Consell de Formentera. As Paula Ferrer, councillor of human resources, pointed out, "these regulations allow us to modernise local government and increase work flexibility to improve employees' work-life balance".

The councillor pointed out that "the benefits of this regulation are also social": "This is a way to reconcile work and family life, which can impact improved productivity, energy savings, and a more sustainable management of resources, transport and consumption linked to in-the-flesh activity". The regulation applies to civil servants and individuals providing services to the Consell de Formentera.

Local police medals
Plenary members also unanimously agreed to award a merit cross with green distinctive to Formentera Local Police Chief Felix Ramos Perez and Officers Carlos Malberti Moragon and Marc Aragay Torres. On 4 August, the officers played key roles in dismantling one of the biggest points of sale of drugs on Formentera, and intervening at an apartment where prostitution took place.

Councillors also voted to award category-two medals to Marcos Roig Ferrer and Marc Aragay Torres for 15-plus years of upstanding service. Josep Marí, councillor of interior, thanked all the agents for their dedication in the special operation, and for the dedication of both agents in their 15 years serving the public. The award ceremony will be held Sunday at 12 noon.

Espai Empresarial
Cross-party backing materialised for regulations at the Espai Empresarial, the future space for local enterprise promoted by the Consell de Formentera, and endorsement was secured for an ordinance regulating the public cost of the initiative. Ana Juan, president and councillor of entrepreneurship, cast the approval as key to the launch of the Espai Empresarial, which she described as "a seedbed to promote and develop initiatives to diversify, deseasonalise and encourage innovative start-ups". "This is a space that will promote business cooperation through the exchange of information and experiences among business people and entrepreneurs".

"Policies and actions to support the creation and launch of new businesses and the consolidation of existing ones deliver significant boosts to employment, wealth and local economic growth, which are so necessary and urgent in moments like these", said Juan.

Eco-friendly buoys
As part of a proposal developed in cross-party collaboration, assembly members asked the Balearic government for information about eco-friendly buoys in the Pine Islands and their exact location. They also asked the Govern balear to provide the island's government with access to Formentera-specific data and, if disaggregated data are not being collected, to take the necessary steps to do so in the immediate future.

Finally, unanimous backing was handed to a Sa Unió proposal to press the Consell de Formentera to install lighting systems at pedestrian crossings, at least at points of low visibility and/or high danger.

Department report
President Juan, who additionally serves as councillor of commerce, entrepreneurship, elderly and equality, offered an account of the work done in the departments she oversees.

The president highlighted the development, since Juan assumed control of the office in October, of local government's first-ever Equality Plan and related training and educational work that is under way.

Juan summarised all the work being done to open a business space for entrepreneurs of Formentera by the end of the year. She touted the island's first job fair and training and support coordinated by the department to promote employment and capacity building, particularly among young people and the unemployed.

Juan reviewed events and actions last year like the Plan for Stronger Businesses, Passarel·la de Moda (the island's fashion showcase for home-town designers), coordination between craft markets and campaigns to promote local trade.

The president underscored agreements with and maintenance of local senior citizens' clubs and the lecture series for elderly islanders (Universitat Oberta per a Majors, UOM).

Finally, for International Day to End Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Women, Girls and Children (23 September), President Juan presented a unanimously-backed official proclamation reiterating the Consell's commitment to tackling such violence.

30 September 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Formentera to receive authority over coastal planning in rural areas

foto 2022ix pres AToday Ana Juan, president of the Consell de Formentera, took part in the fifth Conference of Presidents in Portixol (Mallorca). Chaired by Francina Armengol, regional president, the meeting was attended by Susana Mora, Catalina Cladera, Vicent Marí and Ana Juan (presidents of the island councils of Menorca, Mallorca, Eivissa and Formentera, respectively); Mercedes Garrido, regional minister of presidency, public function and equality, and Miquel Mir, regional minister of environment and territory.

Attendees of the gathering agreed to begin transferring powers of territorial planning on rural coastline to the island councils. With the 40-year anniversary of the passage of the Statute of Autonomy approaching, the move will mark a forward step in the deployment of competences foreseen in Article 70 of the 2007 version of the Statute.

President Juan called the development "good news for Formentera", explaining that it would "put us in a position to make our own decisions on sensitive local issues, and thus advance in self-government". Juan has also pledged that the island's government would advocate so that the change came with "appropriate financial means and resources".

As such, the agreement brings the Balearic Islands closer to the transfer of competences envisioned in the Statute of Autonomy while also strengthening island institutions to improve local public services.

Water Pact
At the encounter it was also announced that from next year, the regional government will make a one-off investment of €20 million in Balearic municipalities to tackle losses in municipal drinking water distribution networks. Attendees also discussed the importance of taking forward the Water Pact (Pacte del Aigua) and commitments to improve water management. While the Balearic Ministry of Environment and Territory has invested €64.4 million in water supply since 2015, and a separate €395 million has gone toward purification and sanitation, leakage still presents a significant problem in municipal drinking water distribution networks.

For her part, President Juan highlighted encouraging data concerning Formentera's network that were released this week. The data put the efficiency of the local network at 92.71%, placing Formentera ahead of the other islands in the region. President Juan said that Formentera's budgetary allocation would go to "investments in supply and sanitation networks as well as reservoirs, to advance water management on the island".

22 September 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

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