Formentera calls for a new plan to tackle the pine processionary blight and improve the postal service

foto 2021 xi ple AAt the November plenary assembly of the Consell de Formentera, the body passed two cabinet proposals calling on the Balearic government to develop a new management plan for the pine processionary pest, and another to guarantee local provision of the state postal service, Correos. Also, for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the assembly observed a moment of silence for victims.

Pine processionary

Councillors came together in support of a proposal from Antoni Tur, Councillor of Environment, urging the Balearic Directorate General of Natural Spaces and Biodiversity to take appropriate steps to draft and budget for a Formentera-specific plan for natural control of the pine processionary from 2022 to 2025. Councillor Tur affirmed that "the most effective technical solution is helicopter dustings over affected woodland, including near the coast and wetlands".

Defending the postal service

Councillors delivered cross-party backing to a proposed agreement defending the public postal service on Formentera. Bartomeu Escandell, Councillor of General Services, described the measure as "pressing the relevant bodies and administrations to guarantee a quality public service for the island" and said cuts in recent years were behind the local public service's scaling back to morning operations at the Correos office in Sant Francesc.

Councillors urged Sociedad Correos y Telegrafos (SAE), Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI), the Ministries of Finance and Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda and the State Government to take necessary steps to ensure the uninterrupted provision of postal services on Formentera: covering structural posts that have been eliminated; regulating working conditions to ensure sufficient human resources for replacements when employees are ill or on leave or on holiday, and maintaining funding commitments to guarantee a proper postal service, including mail delivery five days a week as dictated by the European postal directive.

Historical archives

Cabinet leadership struck consensus with Sa Unió councillors on that group's proposal regarding the island's historical archives, agreeing that the future plan to reorganise buildings where the Consell de Formentera serves the public should include a rethinking of the archive's current location. Assembly members also backed a measure pressing local government to digitalise existing documentation and ask the Eivissa archives to facilitate files pertaining to Formentera. Raquel Guasch, Councillor of Heritage, highlighted efforts this legislature to adapt the local archive and order its holdings to optimise the service which is delivered to the public. Additionally, she remarked on the ongoing digitalisation -1,600 documents and counting- of the Image and Sound Archive.

Butane and propane gas

Plenary representatives also handed unanimous support to a Sa Unió proposal to again urge the butane and propane gas supply company to restore the full distribution on Formentera of this essential resource and reinforce technical and human resources to ensure every islander can have butane and propane delivered to their home. Councillors additionally called on the Balearic government to open an informative dossier on the situation.

Department report from Alejandra Ferrer

During her annual appearance today as Vice-President and Councillor of Tourism Planning and Promotion, Alejandra Ferrer also spoke about her work during ten months as President. She divided her efforts over the last 12 months into two categories: public health, "which found us continuously adapting to new situations to keep islanders safe", and the economy: "And the economy depends on what happens in public health, although it has made leaps and bounds thanks to assistance and a smooth summer".

"Showing the rest of Spain and the world that we could handle this was a team effort, and that helped us during the 2021 season", said Ferrer, who insisted that "as we move ahead to 2022 we will keep taking steps to be the safest possible destination".

And the deputy premier and tourism chief stressed that "once more this summer showed us how urgently Formentera requires measures that fit our needs and our carrying capacity as an island and as a port, in ways that put the environment, our heritage and islanders' quality of life first every time". Pointing to rising numbers of day-trips and changing driving habits and needs, Ferrer insisted, "This winter we will have to chart our course of action together so we can keep progressing and tackle the negative effects and feelings of summertime saturation". "Ultimately, the priorities are clear. We will keep working for a sustainable Formentera where the most important thing is people and their quality of life", she concluded.

Official proclamations

Lastly, an official proclamation for World Children's Day, 20 November, secured backing from Gent per Formentera-PSOE cabinet members and Sa Unió representatives. The text highlighted challenges that lie ahead in the effort to make children's rights a reality and pledged to continued measures to: keep children's rights at forefront of political activity; invest in mental health; ensure safe, responsible and critical use of technology; address the climate crisis and engage with children and adolescents via real, active and constant listening. "Formentera is staying on the path set by the 2030 Agenda", held Vanessa Parellada, Councillor of Youth, who presented the proclamation. She signalled that "our children at the centre of the response to these challenges".

The second proclamation was presented jointly by all groups with plenary representation and by Ana Juan, President of the Consell and Councillor of Equality, for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The text reiterates "the Consell's commitment to tackle gender-based violence against women and against their daughters and sons".

"We cannot resign ourselves accept the painful daily tragedy of gender-based violence", said Juan, who offered, "This is a knock-on effect, not a foregone conclusion", she continued, and cited the United Nations insistence that persisting unequal power relations between women and men constitute "a silent crisis". President Juan closed her declaration by asserting "only a society where women do not suffer violence because they are women can be considered free, only a democracy free of male violence is a full democracy".

25 November 2021
Communications Office
Consell de Formentera