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Consell to rebate bus fare for residents, cover 70% of costs for other riders and pick up registration fees at nurseries

foto 2022viii pleToday decision-makers with plenary representation on the Consell de Formentera unanimously agreed to give residents of the island a full rebate and, for other riders, cover 70% of costs, for all current seasonal passes and multi-journey bus tickets for the period between 1 September 2022 and 31 December 2022. Rafael González, councillor of mobility, explained that on 16 September the Consell de Formentera would also issue a new call for grants for conventional and electric bicycles for local residents. In the councillor's words, the measures "are complementary and ensure that all islanders, whether living in towns or remote locations, benefit from mobility assistance."

The proposal, which was tabled with another as part of a compromise with Sa Unió representatives, envisions paying for 100% subsidies with own funds of up to 50% and supplementary funds from the state and region (30% and 20%, respectively). The 70% rebates will be financed with own funds of up to 20% and the above split.

Free registration at escoletes
Cross-party support was additionally delivered to a compromise proposal to fully subsidise the yearly €70 tuition fee for children in local nurseries (escoletes) in 2022-2023. The Consell will also cut the price of 9.00am-to-1.00pm childcare, September to June, for years one and two during the 2022-2023 school year. The ordinance maintains current rebates and exemptions and includes a 30% rebate for single-parent families, like the one already in place for large families. Vanessa Parellada, councillor of youth, presented the proposal and stressed the Consell's "long-standing commitment to early-childhood education, as evidenced by its zero waiting list and the enormous budgetary effort to invest in this service".

She signalled that "the times ahead will be challenging for Formentera families and public administrations alike" and said the aid would serve to alleviate the economic burden borne by families. Parellada emphasised the importance of "promoting educational policies at every level of government to achieve free, universal early-childhood education".

Regulations on childcare providers
Plenary members handed cross-party support to a statute setting authorisation criteria for childcare centres serving children ages zero to three and not part of the education office. Rafael Ramírez, councillor of social welfare, stressed that "this regulation marks a step forward in the quality of assistance, protection and support for Formentera kids and is a guarantee for families and children".

Fifty new permits for holiday rentals
Unanimous backing was also secured for a proposal on the distribution of 50 holiday home rental permits, including the conditions and criteria of access. As Law 3/2022, containing urgent measures for sustainability and circularity in the Balearic Islands, came into force, so too did the temporary suspension of new holiday home rental permits and, with it, an exception: 50 additional permits for Formentera. Alejandra Ferrer, vice-president and councillor of tourism, described the proposal as "exclusively limited to tourist stays in homes". The 50-permit exception was negotiated during the comment period in a bid to offer solutions to families and small businesses which have already made certain investments. Priority will be given to parties whose investments and works projects meet sustainability and environmental criteria included in the Municipal Quality Plan. According to Ferrer, the exception will also apply to investments and projects meeting criteria set out in tourism regulations, statutes which were negotiated during the consultation period for Balearic legislation on sustainable and circular tourism.

Interested parties will have ten days from publication of the resolution to make appropriate requests.

Petitioning the coastal authority to refurbish wooden walkways
Lastly, assembly members endorsed a proposal from all political groups asking the authority charged with protecting coastal areas in the Balearic Islands (Demarcación de Costas en Illes Balears, DCIB) to urgently refurbish wooden walkways, information panels and other similar structures in parts of the island belonging to the Public Maritime Terrestrial Domain. According to the proposal, the structures' current state of deterioration "means accidents are more likely and constitutes a public health risk". Decision-makers also pressed DCIB to instal solar panel-equipped pergolas to provide electric vehicle charging points near beaches.

Progress report from Antoni Tur
The plenary session ended with a report from Antoni Tur, councillor of environment and inspections. Tur offered a review of work within his departments and highlighted progress during his first year as councillor, pointing to the tender of beach services ("with 200 applications received so far and the award process now under way, improvements on the previous period of operation are plain to see", he said) and the regulation of Estany des Peix (a project 20 years in the making that "strikes a balance between traditional anchoring techniques used by recreational boaters and environmental sustainability, while addressing a long-standing plea of Formentera residents").

Regarding the service contract for waste collection, the councillor cast the previous contract, which dates from 2007, as "insufficient". He also insisted that this year the new service, which has been "tailored to the current and future needs of islanders, with maximum efficiency and sustainability", will be put to tender. The councillor underscored progress this term in energy policies "that will allow us to cut consumption and improve Formentera's energy efficiency"; described inspections, which also "need to be reinforced" with an additional staff member, and trumpeted a waiting list of zero at the roadworthiness test site. Finally, the councillor praised "our entire team", asserting, "I want to publicly recognise and applaud [them] for their work and involvement, past and present".

26 August 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Two members of Formentera Local Police force complete officer training course

foto 2022 curs capacitacio policiaTwo officers of Formentera's law enforcement agency have passed the training course to access the category of local police officer. A graduation ceremony was held yesterday at the Balearic School of Public Administration (Escola Balear d'Administració Pública, EBAP) in Palma for 23 students from the Balearic Islands –three women and twenty men– who completed the 175-hour EBAP training course. The course involved 14 teachers and an alternating list of physical and online modules and, for the first time, was decentralised. The two agents are now completing their training period, which will end at the end of this year.

24 August 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Temporary swim ban at Es Pujols beach

foto 2022 bany prohibit es pujolsFollowing a recommendation from the Balearic Islands Public Health Laboratory based on water quality checks, today at noon, the Consell de Formentera issued a temporary ban on swimming at Es Pujols beach (Platja des Pujols). Swimming at the beach will remain restricted until conditions return to normal, and the Consell is currently awaiting results from a new water quality analysis. The negative indicators appear to stem from the emptied bilge waters of boats anchored nearby. Dumping bilge waters near beaches is not only irresponsible, but doing so is prohibited, and the Consell de Formentera calls for extreme vigilance in coastal areas to prevent such occurrences.

Formentera lifeguards announced the measure to the swimmers who were on the beach.

18 August 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Formentera Local Police continue efforts to stop illegal house parties

foto 2022vii venda ambulantFrom Thursday to Sunday, Formentera Local Police (Policia Local de Formentera, PLF) responded to 13 illegal house parties on the island, and cited 28 violations of municipal ordinances on the environment, health and pollution. In accordance with legislation on public safety, 26 reports were issued involving disobedience and obstruction of an officer of the law. The department additionally cited 27 vehicles for obstructing the roadway or access to dwellings.

PLF are now making arrangements with estate agencies and property owners, who are required to register guests, to identify and fine guests who refuse to identify themselves pursuant to the law. PLF applauded certain owners for their collaboration. At four of thirteen parties, guests were dispersed when PLF officers arrived on the scene.

On 30 July, PLF and Civil Guard began collaborating on nightly sunset patrols near Es Cavall d'en Borràs to prevent parties in the nature reserve.

Ana Juan and Josep Marí, president and interior councillor of the Consell de Formentera, respectively, praised PLF officers for their tireless work this summer to stop unlawful parties, as well as agents of the Civil Guard and the Citizen Safety Unit of the Civil Guard (USECICO) for their special efforts to keep islanders safe.

Itinerant vending
From May to 7 August, PLF reported 185 cases of itinerant vending. The Consell de Formentera has launched an educational push under the slogan "Protect local commerce: say NO to itinerant vending!" Fruit, drinks, clothing, accessories and jewellery sold on beaches are not subject to legally mandated food and quality controls and represent unfair competition for Formentera businesses.

8 August 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Formentera to get USECICO reinforcements to curb illegal parties

foto 2022vii reunio seguretat AToday, at a one-off security coordination meeting at the Consell de Formentera, President Ana Juan and Josep Marí, councillor of interior, met with Civil Guard officials and representatives of the coastal authority and Balearic Ministry of Environment (Conselleria de Medi Ambient, CMA) to reinforce personnel and coordination to keep the island safe and prevent illegal parties in homes and protected areas.

The gathering was also attended by Alejandra Ferrer, vice-president and councillor of Tourism; Antoni Tur, councillor of environment; Llorenç Córdoba, head of the opposition, and Llorenç Mas, general director of natural spaces and biodiversity, among others.

Attendees were briefed on plans to bolster the local Civil Guard's Citizen Safety Unit (USECICO). President Juan hopes that "with this unit and the collaboration of Formentera Local Police, steps can be taken to tackle illegal parties on our island".

Juan also asked the heads of the CMA to "seek effective ways to sanction establishments in natural areas that allow their customers to violate regulations and harm the environment". She additionally called on the ministry to reinforce locally stationed CMA staff, since currently just one of the three agents on Formentera is active.

For his part, Councillor Marí said special preventive patrols would continue in the area of Es Cavall d'en Borràs in Ses Salines Nature Reserve and encouraged islanders to report indications of large parties to law enforcement.

The Civil Guard is currently investigating an individual for organising a illegal house party in recent days in defiance of authorities.

5 August 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

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