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Local league of information professionals gets Formentera’s gold medal

foto 2021 distincionsAAs Formentera gears up for its local holiday, or diada, decision-makers gathered today for a one-off plenary session to vet proposed candidates for the island’s honorary distinctions, the Sant Jaume Awards, in 2021.

Assembly members unanimously backed giving the Medalla d’Or (Gold Medal) to the island’s information professionals. As President Alejandra Ferrer put it, “by delivering news and insight about local goings-on to islanders, [these individuals] guarantee one of the most basic human rights, the right to information – an indisputable pillar of the freest and most independent thinking”. The poignance of the award is underscored by the pandemic-era efforts of news outlet staff on the island.

The three Sant Jaume awards will go to:

Three Kings of Formentera
In recognition of the momentum and social commitment surrounding Three Kings cavalcades, the Yuletide Mitjana Festa, charity activities and cultural and popular festivals as expressions of local identity and popular culture on Formentera.

Fonda Pepe
An iconic local establishment whose history extends from the fifties to present day, Fonda Pepe has been the undisputed fulcrum of Formentera’s unflagging multiculturalism since opening and remains key source of identity and uniqueness today.

Teixits J. Marí Serra
Since the mid-20th century, when Teixits J. Marí Serra opened as a family business trading in fabrics and textiles, they have become one of Formentera’s flagship establishments.

Adoptive daughter
Assembly members also agreed to name Remedios Castillo Cañas (Granada, 1940 - Formentera, 2021) the island’s adoptive daughter. Beyond Castillo’s work in ceramics, the award highlights her passioned, thirty-plus-year career as exponent of the discipline. Castillo shaped the imagination and creativity of so many Formentera residents, and maintained a deep commitment to peaceful coexistence, participation and equality.

President Ferrer congratulated honorees on behalf of the local cabinet and invited them to an 8.00pm awards ceremony on Saturday 24 July in the courtyard of the La Mola lighthouse. Attendees should arrive 30 minutes early to ensure orderly seating. The event will be aired on the YouTube channel of the Consell de Formentera and TEF.

15 July 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

84 tickets issued as formentera.eco’s count-and-cap scheme concludes week-two

foto 2021 f.eco la savinaThe Formentera Department of Mobility reports that in the two weeks since regulation began on 24 June, law enforcement and detection equipment in La Savina have recommended 84 citations.

Eighty-three traditional rental cars and one private vehicle rented online were observed in circulation or parked without the required authorisation.

On some occasions, multiple citations were issued for a single vehicle. Motorists who operate or park a vehicle without the necessary permit face penalties of between €1,001 and €10,000.

In other cases, fines of as much as €1,000 were recommended because the car hire company failed to affix their decal to the vehicle.

The architects of the plan hope to see 8% fewer cars on the road in summer 2021 than two years prior, and Rafael González insisted that an array of checks, including patrols by law enforcement and licence plate readings in La Savina, were being put in place to get there.

The Consell will publish proposed fines weekly on www.formentera.eco and at this link.

Number plates of vehicles that are brought or driven on the island this summer must be registered on www.formentera.eco.

9 July 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera presses energy firms to share surpluses with local grid

foto 2021 ple junyMembers of local government gathered today for their June full-house assembly, a session which secured unanimous approval for an initiative urging energy supply companies on the island to ensure new and existing private facilities can divert surplus production across the network in compliance with current legislation. “Energy must be democratised”, insisted environment chief Antonio J Sanz, pointing to challenges faced by both existing and newly commissioned facilities as they try to alleviate strain on es Ca Marí plant by feeding their surplus energy into the grid”. Sanz also highlighted the measure’s snug fit with three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including affordable and non-polluting energy, responsible production and consumption and climate action.

Likewise, cross-party support meant definitive approval for an ordinance regulating the cost of local government’s involvement at, access to and exercise of activities within the power plant, as well as for temporary permits. Planning chief Rafael González said fees for new activities would be subject to a 50% reduction till year end, with the fee for title changes and simple modifications dropping 83.3%, from €1,200 to €200.

Another measure that won cross-party backing was the draft of a plan to rethink spaces and uses of buildings where the Consell provides public services. Governance chief Rafael Ramírez tied the Formentera government’s purchase and retrofitting of buildings where services are provided “to local needs and demands” and said the local administration was “clearly facing a facilities shortage”. The upshot, said Ramírez, is that “now more than ever, we need to look at how public buildings and spaces are used and adapted and outline strategies to optimise how this is done”.

Assembly members also came together to back the appointment of Lina Mayans Tur, Andreu Ferrer Juan and Javier González Granado to the island’s ethics and good governance commission. According to Ramírez, who also heads up the transparency department, “the aim of this code of ethics is twofold; first, to chart our course on a policy of integrity, and second, to set our guiding principles and standards of conduct for good governance”.

Finally, plenary participants unanimously adopted two official declarations. The first of these was related to World Refugee Day and presented by Rafael Ramírez, who additionally directs the social welfare office. After giving an overview of global migratory crises since the twentieth century, Ramírez insisted, “Our current situation demands a greater and more determined commitment to the defence of human rights, the right to asylum and the protection of refugees”. Assembly members agreed “to show solidarity with all refugees and denounce the systematic violation of their rights”, and to urge international institutions “to provide urgent, effective and permanent responses to the current migratory challenge”.

In a measure that was tabled by equality chief Vanessa Parellada, assembly members approved a statement to mark World LGTBI Pride Day. “Forty years have gone by since delcaration of men and women’s right to sexual self-determination”, said Parellada, “and discrimination and hate speech against LGTBI people and increasingly common fear-motived hate crimes represent a serious threat to respect for fundamental rights in the EU”. Decision-makers “strongly condemned any discrimination”, voiced “particular concern at the upsurge in hate speech” and urged “institutions and civil society to intensify efforts to disseminate best practices and build cooperation in this fight”.

25 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera Police break up party at Migjorn locale

Local law enforcement were dispatched to platja Migjorn this Saturday afternoon in response to purported violations of covid health regulations. Officers reported music and dancing at a party on a building’s upper terrace and participants were observed in violation of distancing rules and mask mandates.

The roughly 70-person party was shut down and earlier today a report and request for expedited processing were sent to the Balearic government.

The Formentera Department of Activities will launch its own probe into potentially unlawful behaviour and violations of municipal ordinances on music and noise pollution.

Beachside botellón
The same day, the island’s agents of law and order broke up a party with music and drinks on platja des Cavall d’en Borràs on the ses Salines reserve. The agents confiscated a loudspeaker and informed the owner of an apparent violation of Formentera’s beaches ordinance, and perhaps other environmental legislation given the nature reserve’s protected status.

Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer said reinforcements from national law enforcement agencies were critical to “putting controls in place and stopping the proliferation of parties and other situations that could put us in danger”. She also renewed calls on the Balearic government to “use inspections both to explain the rules and to sanction those who don’t follow them”. “A few rule-breakers can cost us all the season, so I ask for responsibility”, concluded the president.

21 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

‘Protect Formentera, for you and for everyone’ revisited for summer 2021

cartell 2021 protegeix AThe Consell de Formentera president’s office is pleased to announce the return of “Protect Formentera, for you and for everyone!”, an educational push launched last June as islanders geared up for summer-one of the pandemic. “The aim is to make sure residents and tourists are once again following safety protocol designed to curb spread of Covid-19 and to take care of each other”, explained President Alejandra Ferrer.

With the tagline “Protect Formentera, for you and for everyone!” and reflecting a host of successive public health proclamations, the campaign underlines the chief ways to prevent the virus’s spread.

“Protect Formentera, for you and for everyone!” will be disseminated in several languages across social media and on the Consell de Formentera website, with additional educational material available for download there and on the website of the island’s office of tourism. Signs will also be found in Consell display cases, restaurants, ferries, tourist information points and other places of interest.

President Ferrer affirmed that, as the island prepares for its second summer of pandemic, “we’re wiser for the experience of last year, and everyone from businesses to regular islanders is doing their part to make Formentera as safe as it can be”.

Educational posters displayed at restaurant entrances remind people to wear masks, keep a safe distance from other patrons, wash hands frequently and that smoking is prohibited, with similar information additionally available on tabletops. The revamped poster will be distributed to shops and ferry companies.

17 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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