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Formentera celebrates children's day with month-long programme of sports, culture, fun and education

Foto presentacio cartell mes de la infanciaVanessa Parellada, Jordi Vidal and Mónica Rey sat down today to announce details about the programme of events for Universal Children's Day. The island's secretaries of social welfare and sports and the Office of Youth Services' staff specialist gave a sense of what to expect on 20 November. For the past two years, the day has entailed a range of activities for children and teens on the island. It bears remembering that Formentera has been designated a Child Friendly City since 2014.

Sports-related activities
First up, on Saturday, the Council will invite years five and six of the island's primary schools and local highschoolers to watch SD Formentera and RCD Mallorca face off from a youth area set up in the stands of the municipal football pitch. Secretary Vidal reminded residents that admission to the match will be free for youth under 12 and encouraged them to come out for the event. The sports don't stop there. Sunday, November 5, a family sports day will be put on at the Antoni Blanc fitness centre so residents can learn about the centre's programme and facilities. Then, the municipal pitch will host another round of sports days, this time during school hours, and November 27 an aerial acrobatics show will be staged from 4.00pm to 6.00pm at the sports facilities of Marc Ferrer secondary school (Poliesportiu Vell).

Children's parliament
On November 20, representatives of Formentera's youth participatory council, or CPIJF, will take part in a session of parliament designed for children and titled “What kind of world do we want to live in? Looking at the Agenda 2030”. The day's session is presented by UNICEF with additional support from the Balearic Islands' office for the defence of the rights of minors. Then, November 29, the CPIJF will hold its own plenary session.

Theatre and shows
The first stage production will take place October 30. The Camut Band's “Big Drums” is for the student body of Marc Ferrer high school. Another theatre group, Xoc, will arrive on November 17 ready to present Formentera crowds with two shows: “Improaventures” will unfold in the Marià Villangómez library at 6.00pm and “Improxoc” in the Casal de Joves at 7.30pm. November 24 will be marked by a stage production dubbed “El molinet màgic” (The magic mill) in Formentera's cinema. The very next day at 6.00pm, cinema audiences can see Engruna Teatre's “Codi Postal 00,” part of the island's ninth festival of children's theatre.

Organised talks
Two talks for parents and teachers have also been included on the Universal Children's Day programme. The first, Una altra forma de relacionar-nos és possible (“Another way of communicating is possible”), will be led by Elena Sorribes from el Sol free school at 7.00pm in the Casal de Joves. The second is called Ciberassetjament (“Cyberbullying”), and will be given by IB Jove's Ajo Monzó at the same time and place.

Then, from 5.00pm to 7.00pm on November 9, a gymkhana has been organised to educate Formentera residents about issues facing minors with disabilities. More gymkhanas, including sports activities and fitness drills, are also scheduled for 5.00pm on November 16, 23 and 30. The activities will play out in the courtyard of Sant Ferran's primary school with the help of Formentera's youth counsellors.

Saturday, November 11 at 6.00pm, Íker Reyes will lead a cooking workshop in the Casal de Joves. On November 25, youngsters of the island are invited to come out for a bike ride aimed at promoting healthy habits. Register in advance at the Casal de Joves.

All November long, children of the island will have an opportunity to engage with patients of Formentera's elderly care centre in an intergenerational space.

'Vola Ploma' puppet show touches down on Formentera

Vola ploma fotoThe Formentera Council's Office of Culture and Festivities presents “Vola Ploma,” a puppet show for children four and up that department head Susana Labrador described as “an international headline grabber ready to take Formentera's youngsters along for the ride”.

The 50-minute show will open on Formentera this Saturday, October 28, at 5.30pm in the municipal cinema (Sala de Cultura). Admission is three euros and tickets can be purchased the day of the show at the box office. The act is part of the island's Illa a Escena performing arts programme that will ultimately bring seven stage productions to Formentera from September to December.

“Vola Ploma” (literally, fly feather in Catalan) is a story about the dream of flying, freedom and being true to ourselves as living things. The three issues will be essential to the main character realising her dream in the course of the show. The audience, for its part, gets to join her in flight.

“Vola Ploma” comes to Formentera as part of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport's PLATEA programme, started in 2014 by the national institute of performing arts and music (INAEM) as a way to bring world-class show's to island audiences.

Since 1989, Periferia Teatro has supported research and education about puppet theatre. With a string of productions and national and international festivals under their belts, the theatre group has nabbed a range of accolades. Among them was the Tolosa puppetry festival's award for best production of 2015, for “Vola Ploma”.

Formentera finalises preparations ahead of face-off with Athletic Club

Foto graderies campThe Formentera Council's secretaries of sport and mobility, Jordi Vidal and Rafael González, respectively, met today with SD Formentera president Xicu Ferrer to announce details about upgrades at the municipal sports pitch in the run-up to the Formentera football club's match against Athletic Club on Wednesday, October 25. Among the topics discussed as the three congregated at noon in the press hall of Formentera's Camp Municipal d'Esports: the local plan on managing travel to and from the event.

According to Secretary Vidal, it falls to both the Council, the facilities' lease-holder, and SD Formentera, to see the match goes as smoothly as possible. He congratulated Formentera's football club on two straight years facing off at the King's Cup against a first division team, but added that “the island's image itself” would be at stake at the match, too. “At the very least,” said Vidal, “we're hoping to match the success of last year's match,” referring to the team's pairing against Sevilla.

As the sports secretary explained, rental and assembly of seating for the event will run €64,598 (plus VAT) and be covered by the Council. Another tab Vidal said the administration would be picking up: lighting, which will cost €20,929 plus VAT. Maximum capacity at the field is 2,974, with 2,616 extra seats brought in for the occasion.

The bleachers have already been installed in time for SD Formentera's Sunday bout with Hèrcules. They will be left standing after the match with Athletic Club in preparation for the next league day, which will see SD Formentera confronting RCD Mallorca.

A celebration for Formentera
For his part, SD Formentera president Xicu Ferrer said he hopes the showdown will be “not only a football match, but also a celebration for the whole island,” and encouraged locals to get their tickets, which, he noted, are available at ticket stands at the pitch or on the Trasmapi website.

According to SD Formentera's president, the group will take on the €34,500 (VAT included) cost associated with the event's management: €7,000 for employee travel, €4,000 room and board, €5,500 for staff hired by organisers, €14,000 for transport costs (Trasmpai will also collaborate), €3,000 for a private security firm and €1,000 for cleaning.

Lastly, Xicu Ferrer urged the whole island to come out at 5.00pm the day of the match to Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució, to “show support” and walk to the match together.

Mobility plan
Secretary of mobility Rafael González described the Council's special mobility plan for the day as aimed at making sure everyone can enter and exit the field in a “safe, orderly fashion”.

Events will proceed as follows:
3.00pm – 8.45pm: Travel along Camí Vell de la Mola will be regulated, with one-way traffic from Sant Francesc to Ca Marí permitted.
• 3.00pm – 5.00pm: All vehicles allowed.
• 5.00pm – 8.45pm: Only authorised vehicles and those of neighbourhood residents.
• 6.00pm: Entrance to match opens.
• 8.45pm – 10.30pm: Travel prohibited along Camí Vell de la Mola from Sant Francesc to the football pitch (fans will leave on foot towards Sant Francesc). Travel along Camí Vell de la Mola will be regulated, with one-way traffic from the pitch towards Ca Marí permitted.

Everyone must walk to the football pitch. On that note, the secretary called to mind Sant Francesc's roughly 1,000 parking spaces available to fans that wish to park and walk.

Reduced mobility
Individuals with special mobility needs will have a free shuttle service from 5.00pm to 7.00pm in order to get to and from the field. The shuttle will make four stops in Sant Francesc, Sa Senieta car park, Antoni Blanc sports centre car park, the Cementeri Vell car park and the roundabout. Once the match is over, the shuttle will a return service as well.

Eivissa-based visitors
A special bus service on 25 October will be available to visitors from Eivissa. From 9.30am to 7.00pm, la Savina and Sant Francesc Xavier will be linked by bus. Starting in the port, bus departures will coincide with the arrival of boats from Eivissa. The Sant Francesc stop is located at the roundabout. Access to the pitch will be limited both ways to pedestrians. Once the event is over, buses bound for la Savina will depart from the roundabout.

The €5 round-trip shuttle service will be self-sufficient except for a €760 (plus VAT) contribution from the Council.

The final meeting to coordinate safety measures at the event was held just before this morning's presentation.

Formentera firefighters' 2017 tally of extinguished blazes: 40

feines bomber incendi cala saona juliolOn the heels of the announcement, October 15, that the Balearic Islands had put their season of high fire risk behind them, the Formentera Council's firefighting brigade released wildfire figures for this year. From January 1 to October 15, crews tackled a total of 40 fires, two less than the same period in 2016.

“This season's star operations,” reported president's office secretary and head of interior Bartomeu Escandell, “were without a doubt the three forest fires that swept across 29.5 hectares (h) in Cala Saona between 20 May and 18 July”.

Escandell took the opportunity to congratulate the brigade and other volunteers on their hard work and effectiveness on the job. “This was a particularly heart-wrenching year,” said the secretary, pointing to the loss of 29.5h of forested area, compared to 1.8h damaged by fire in 2016. He also highlighted crews' efforts on other occasions: two house fires and two traffic accidents.

Brigade enlisted in 158 operations
In all, Formentera's firefighters were called on 158 times in 2017, forty-two more than the same period in 2016, when the service was activated 116 times. Escandell linked the upsurge to two causes: the brigade's expansion and consolidation (local ranks swelled from five in 2015 [three salaried, two part-time] to six in 2016 to seven in 2017) and the storms that pounded the island last winter.

In fact, the greatest uptick was recorded in efforts which required the brigade's technical expertise: 21 in 2016 against 60 this year. Such operations followed damages caused by things like wind- or rainstorms or spills on public roads. The service was also tapped for 17 rescues, 18 false alarms and 23 preventive operations.

Moreover, Secretary Escandell stressed the importance of ongoing training. This year, firefighters took part in refresher courses and training in: extraction with lightweight tools following traffic accidents; emergency management and control; hazardous materials; managing updated tactical situations; accreditation to use semi-automated external defibrillators; indoor fires and ventilation including multi-pronged approaches.

Council clinches agreement to build local residence

Residenciaformentera web 0367The president of the Formentera Council and the regional secretary of social services and cooperation signed an agreement today paving the way for construction of a local residence for care-dependent individuals. Joining Jaume Ferrer and Fina Santiago at the event was Govern balear president Francina Armengol.

The residence, which will be part of the Govern's public care network, is expected to cost 1.2M€. The price tag will be split between the Govern (70%) and Formentera Council (30%). The two administrations will also share the facility's operating costs. The Palma government's per-day contribution for care for dependent individuals varies between €63 and €68, according to their degree of dependency.

The new residence, designed to accommodate 18, will have 14 single and two double rooms. Plans call for a connecting hallway allowing the neighbouring dependent care centre, or Centre de Dia, and the residence to share resources. President Ferrer hailed the agreement as an important step towards “a facility that will add a level of dignity to the lives of Formentera residents, particularly those in situations of care-dependency”. In closing, Formentera's president saluted the hard work of social welfare secretary Vanessa Parellada and her opposite number in Palma that made construction of the residence possible.

Transfer of authority on admissions to live-in care
President Ferrer also took part in today's gathering of the so-called “Mixed Transfer Commission,” in which participants agreed to transfer admissions authority at residences and care centres for senior citizens, care-dependent individuals and facilities that promote personal autonomy to the island councils of Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca. The change will take effect in early 2018.

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