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Plenary gives Formentera.eco regulations green light and agrees to create working group on coastal property limits

foto 2022i pleToday at the January full-house session of the Consell de Formentera, the Gent per Formentera (GxF) and Socialist cabinet secured backing for the 2022 proposal on quotas and an enforcement period for Formentera.eco, as well as a proposed agreement to amend the tax ordinance governing fees to bring and drive a vehicle on the island.
Councillors also endorsed lowering the 2021 ceiling on total vehicles by an additional 4%. In 2020 the Consell d'Entitats agreed to "cut the total number of vehicles on the island 4% annually" based on a maximum which was fixed in 2019, determining to achieve fewer vehicles on local roads "in a controlled and progressive manner over four years" for 16% fewer vehicles on the island by 2023. In 2022, with the ceiling fixed at 19,696, the island will accommodate 12% fewer vehicles than when the project launched two years prior. "For the first time, we will drop below 20,000 vehicles", explained Rafael González, Councillor of Mobility.

Assembly members also passed an agreement to tack on two additional weeks' enforcement of Formentera's vehicle count and cap scheme. The regulations will take force 15 June to 15 September. Lawmakers also gave the go-ahead to another change agreed by the Consell d'Entitats: tripling current prices for a daily rate of €1.50 or €3 and a minimum of €7.50 or €15 for scooters and cars, respectively.

Councillor González welcomed the Consell d'Entitats' broad consensus around proposals to discourage stays under five days to alleviate traffic. González stressed that the project, which stems from the initiative of ordinary islanders, focuses on "a more sustainable mobility for Formentera, where both residents and visitors are satisfied in the high season".
The agreement also provides for improvements in public transport as well as on controls and regulatory guidelines. In May the Consell de Formentera will pilot an educational push aimed at making sure that residents have the required permit –processing fees are waived, the councillor pointed out– before enforcement of the rules resumes.

Support for labour reforms

"Yes" votes from the GxF and PSOE overcame Sa Unió resistance "to support the labour reform agreed among trade unions to promote stable and quality new employment and reduce job insecurity and joblessness in our country". Rafael Ramírez, Councillor of Social Welfare, said that Formentera "feels the weight of this precariousness too", so "we must defend labour reforms to expand workers' rights, improve wages and restore employer-employee equilibrium by reinstating collective bargaining".

COVID-19 protocols

Plenary participants united in support of a proposal about new COVID-19 protocols in classrooms. Susana Labrador, Vice-President and Councillor of Culture and Education, proposed new protocols to respond to COVID-19 in schools amid escalating new cases. "We hadn't seen spikes like the current one at any point in the pandemic", Labrador insisted. "This has complicated the task of managing schools and fed into uncertainties around new protocols".
The proposal urges the Balearic government to account for the exemption of students under six from mask-wearing and the fact that physical distancing cannot be guaranteed by employing differentiated protocols for the first and second tranche of early-childhood education. Councillors went further still, urging the Govern balear to tackle further spread of the virus by maintaining diagnostic screenings and contact tracing when affected individuals are children in early learning programmes. And they highlighted the importance of ongoing assessments and updates of protocol as the vaccination push progresses and the pandemic situation improves, prioritising safety, in-person affairs and work/family balance.

Cross-party support emerged behind a motion brought by Sa Unió party members urging the Consell de Formentera to keep signage for nature trails, or "rutes verdes", in better condition and look into adding routes per provisions in the Sustainable Mobility Plan.
Coastal property limits

There was also unanimous support for a compromise proposal from the cabinet to define the steps required for a fair delimitation of property lines on the island's coast. First, councillors noted that the Consell de Formentera and Platform of Affected Individuals (Plataforma d'Afectats) should continue collaborating on a proposal. Second, they called on the Consell de Formentera to convene the Board of Spokespersons to appraise political groups of comments made during the hearing on the modified coastal regulations. Third, they urged the island's government to convene the Consell d'Entitats to report on the reply when it comes, and to activate a working group within the Consell d'Entitats in collaboration with the Platform of Affected Individuals to lobby to ensure delimitation is fair.

Departmental report
At the close of the session, Paula Ferrer, Councillor of Sports, Island Services and Human Resources, reviewed efforts in the last two years in the areas she manages. On human resources, the councillor highlighted a new path for municipal employees to obtain recognition as career professionals, as well as selection processes and job pools in place which have helped strengthen various essential departments like Formentera's Office of Social Welfare, "to ensure the proper functioning of the Consell at the service of islanders".

In island services, she pointed to regular maintenance and upgrades as well as changes to tailor spaces and working areas to pandemic imperatives. Ferrer insisted that the sports department was among most affected by public health restrictions and thanked both sports clubs and users of municipal facilities and schools "for their understanding, patience and collaboration, without which decision-making would have been even more challenging". The councillor drew attention to competitions which have been scheduled throughout the year, the annual subsidy plan and facility upgrades, including a renovated AC and heating system in the indoor pool, and initiatives promoting values and equality in sport, "with an unchanging focus on youth sport".

28 January 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Consell recruits 3 more unemployed islanders through 2021 SOIB Reactiva programme

foto 2022 soib 3 personesToday Ana Juan, the President and Councillor of Entrepreneurship of the Consell de Formentera, welcomed three more new hires from the first round of recruitment under SOIB Reactiva. The individuals will work for the island's government for the next six months. Two women will work as administrative assistants and one man will work as a brigade operator.

Plans are also in place for a second round of recruitment, which will include selection of three additional recruits. 2021 SOIB Reactiva has been promoted by the Occupational Service of the Balearic Islands (Servei d'Ocupació de les Illes Balears, SOIB) and co-financed by the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 Youth Employment and Regional Operational Programmes and State funds through the Sectorial Conference of Employment and Labour Affairs.

10 January 2022
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

As Formentera enters tier 3 of public health alert, COVID certificate to be required in restaurants, cultural establishments and indoor sports facilities

foto 2022 nivell 3Today Ana Juan, President of the Consell de Formentera announced in a press conference that the island has entered tier 3 of public health alert  the same as the rest of the Balearic Islands. Endorsed by the Government Council, the change will take effect today on publication of one-off edition of the Official Gazette of the Balearic Islands (Butlletí Oficial de les Illes Balears, BOIB).

Among the chief features of tier 3, COVID certificates must now be presented inside all bars, cafeterias and restaurants, as well as for indoor cultural and sporting events like the cinema, swimming pool and the fitness centre.

President Juan stressed that in the last fortnight, Formentera's case count had "increased exponentially". Faced with these data, she said, "it is necessary to expand protective measures on the island". Juan asserted that "while the vast majority of cases are mild or asymptomatic, today four Formentera residents are in the ICU for COVID-19". The President pointed to the primacy of vaccination in stopping the pandemic and insisted that measures like the COVID certificate and self-tracing help further reduce spread of the virus. "We must continue to be responsible, and not let our guard down with protection, hygiene and ventilation".

Municipal sports schools and Festival of Children's Entertainment cancelled

The President also pointed out that the island has closed municipal sports schools until 17 January and cancelled the Festival of Children's Entertainment originally scheduled for this weekend. "Children are once again heading back to the classroom, and as much as possible, we intend to adhere to bubble groups. Since the start of the pandemic, classrooms have been safe places and we want to keep them that way", said Juan, who apologised for any inconvenience the postponements may cause. The cancellation of sports schools was done in collaboration with local clubs and next week the situation will be re-evaluated. Likewise, tomorrow's gathering of the Consell d'Entitats, where members were set to address measures to regulate vehicles brought and driven on the island, will be held online and at the originally scheduled time: 7.30pm for the first group and 8.00pm for the second.

Under tier 3 of public health alert, access requirements apply to the following establishments:

-Gyms and sports facilities.
-Cultural and sporting events in indoor spaces like cinemas, covered circuses, theatres, auditoriums, concert halls, heated pools.
-Seminars, conferences, assemblies, gatherings, business meetings and events.
-Seniors' clubs and spaces where activities are held specifically for the elderly.
-Gaming and betting establishments.
-Restaurants and dining establishments.
-Regional outdoor and indoor sports competitions and training for people aged 12 and up.

10 January 2021
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Consell helps 84 Formentera freelancers and SMEs weather COVID-19 crisis

The Formentera Office of Entrepreneurship is pleased to report that 84 local freelancers and small businesses received the office's help weathering fallout from COVID-19 restrictions. Two-hundred fifty-six thousand euros in assistance were handed out following the response to two announcements of aid in 2021. Aid payments have already been received by all but a few, with the 16 beneficiaries who are still awaiting payment resolving outstanding issues with applications just last week.

Forty-two freelancers and small businesses got help as part of the first call for applications in March. The second announcement came in August and led to the same number of awardees, although paperwork is still in the works for five of those applicants. Roughly 70 % of applications submitted have been accepted.

"We are glad to have helped that many", said Ana Juan, Consell de Formentera President and Councillor of Entrepreneurship, and stressed that, moreover, "the vast majority have already received payments". President Juan recalled "great uncertainty" marking the start of the 2021 summer season, insisting that the aid has "proven to be the main engine of our economy and served to support an essential productive sector".

Finally, the President underscored the work of the various departments of the Consell to "manage, process and deliver the aid".

€1,500 to €7,000

Small businesses and freelancers on the island have received payments ranging from €1,500 to €7,000 each. The payments have been financed in equal parts by the Consell de Formentera and Balearic government.

30 December 2021
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

Extraordinary plenary session 29 December

foto 2021xiipleExtraAt a one-off plenary assembly earlier today, and tracking with a decision by the Advisory Council of the Balearic Islands, "yes" votes from the GxF and PSOE cabinet overcame Sa Unió abstention to reject Sunway SL's request for an ex officio review of planning permit 94/2007, which the Consell de Formentera granted to Morsanix SL on 11 May 2012.

Bartomeu Escandell, Councillor of Economy, Finance and General Services, described the Advisory Council's decision as "proof the technical and legal teams of the Consell de Formentera observe best practices; so I want to congratulate them on their work. I think today is a good day for Formentera and a bad day for those who continually question the actions of the Consell de Formentera".

29 December 2021
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera

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