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Formentera firefighters map out emergency routes

Foto servei bombersCiF president's office head Bartomeu Escandell and Iván Marí, chief of Formentera's fire brigade, unveiled a series of changes in the firefighting service this summer. Escandell highlighted the recent hire of an additional full-time employee, which brought the brigade's number of staff to six, four full-time professionals and two on-call workers.

Said Escandell: “For the first time our firefighters are carrying out regular daily patrols, coordinated with agents of the regional ecology bureau, to ensure we have people on the streets overseeing preventive measures at those times when wildfire risk is highest”. The brigade has two fire engines and a pick-up truck fitted with a water tank and hose. Escandell, who also reported on plans to acquire a second such truck in August, said smaller vehicles like pick-ups were useful for situations in which rapid response is important.

According to the fire chief, Formentera firefighters have intervened 69 times in 2016, eight times fewer than the same dates last year. He said that decline also reflected a drop in brush fire interventions, which went from 12 to 6. Marí referred to the new GPS system in place for geolocating remote homes on the island, saying the scheme had already made a noticeable difference in the brigade's ability to arrive quickly at the scene of emergencies. Councillor Escandell took the opportunity to ask islanders to their help preventing wildfires.

Council unveils new inspection service

Presentacio cos inspeccioToday, on the steps of the Casa Consistorial, the Formentera Council rolled out its new inspection service. At the event were CiF president's office councillor Bartomeu Escandell, councillor of land, tourism and trade Alejandra Ferrer and environment councillor Daisee Aguilera, along with the inspection staff and two recently hired members of the Formentera police force.

Pointing out that the inspection service had been in place for shortly over a week, Councillor Ferrer described the division's role: “To ensure businesses' proper use of public walkways and to enforce the island's ban on 'dynamic publicity'”. Another new endeavour: active monitoring of web-based tourist services, a move it is hoped will assist in articulating long-term protocol.

Ferrer said these first months would be spent “tracking patterns and gathering information” so the Council could adapt regulations to the particular needs that pop up. The inspection service team is composed of nine workers, five enforcement agents, three inspectors and one coordinator. In the coming weeks two new controllers will join the service's ranks.

Environment advocates
Three of the enforcement agents are staff of Formentera's Office of Environment. Department head Daisee Aguilera highlighted the addition this summer of an extra staff member to the inspection crew, who will coordinate activity between Council departments. The three agents —or 'environment advocates'— will be tasked with “supervising correct waste disposal, carrying out checks of beaches and waterfront concession services”. As Aguilera pointed out, this year's inspection service also includes an outreach person for environmental issues. Inspection service workers will have use of the electric Meharis that Citroën recently donated to the island.

Greater police presence
For his part, Councillor Escandell of the president's office introduced two Formentera police officers that started work on July 1. He said the force's expansion reflected a desire by the Council to “lighten the load placed on the local Formentera police force.” Furthermore, he explained that the service, whose staff positions are filled by Council employees, was aimed at “coordinating inspection efforts, checks and safety efforts to ensure rules are upheld and Formentera continues to be a place that balances leisure with tranquility”.

Briefing on inspection service

Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 5 at 1.00pm, the Formentera Council (CiF) will unveil the administration's new inspection service (Servei d'Inspecció) on the steps of the municipal building, la Casa Consistorial. The presentation will be led by Bartomeu Escandell, president's office councillor, Alejandra Ferrer, councillor of land, and Daisee Aguilera, environment councillor, and will be followed by a media briefing in the plenary hall.

Formentera Council ordered to pay in Ca ses Castellones case

June 17, 2016, the third bench of the administrative court of Palma de Mallorca ruled on a suit brought February 4, 2010 by the Plaça de Sant Ferran company against the Formentera Council. In a qualified ruling, the court set the Council's fine at €1,549,482 plus accrued legal interests.

Alleging damages caused by the cancelation of the works contract, as well as the cost of returning the site to pre-construction conditions, lost earnings and other economic losses, the plaintiff had asked for €5,146,582. The judge overruled the claims based on lost profits and defamation.

Authorisation to demolish the original Ca ses Castellones home in Sant Ferran and the permits to develop commercial spaces on the property were granted April 27, 2005 by the now-defunct Formentera Town Council, or Ajuntament de Formentera, under a coalition government formed by the Partido Popular (PP), Grup Independent de Formentera (GUIF) and Partit Renovador (PREF). 

Moment of silence for victims in Orlando

Foto minut silenci OrlandoThe Formentera Council has joined a motion launched by Federació de Municipis i Províncies, a network of cities and provinces, to observe a minute of silence in condemnation of the horrific acts that recently took place in Orlando. The Council also wishes to extend its support to the victims and their families.

The general public was invited to take part in the moment of silence today at 12 noon on the front steps of the Council. CiF president Jaume Ferrer, as well as CiF councillors and other administration staff, all took part in expressing their profound sadness for the lives lost.

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