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Formentera Council OKs deal putting local administrations in charge of promoting tourism

Foto transferencia turismeIn a one-off plenary session held today, the Formentera Council gave the green light to a hand-off of authority on tourism promotions. The measure, which scored cross-party support from plenary attendees, paves the way for the island's receipt of a roughly €1-million funding package.

Funding to promote tourism
For the five years from 2018 to 2023, Formentera will get a fixed annual payment of €675,000. The island will also be eligible for an additional 1.82%, or €74,100. Taken together, the package amounts to €749,100 in yearly assistance, plus an extra slice of funding to be meted out over the next five years. Between them, the island councils will receive €7 million a year. In several years' time, Formentera, which currently gets a 11.07% share of the pie (€774,894), will be entitled to close to one million.

In 2018 the Formentera Council expects to receive €970,498, an approximative sum given that during the first quarter of the year the regional government was still in charge of tourism.

Another feature of hand-off: four salaried employees
The measure also means the Council will be able to add four new workers to the department responsible for tourism promotion. The staff will be tasked with new product design, research and statistics production and the creation of a new observatory to collect and analyse tourism-related data in a bid to improve Formentera's market strategies.

The change is set to take effect on April 1 following the next meeting of the joint committee and approval from the governing board.

Formentera extends partnership with local branch of cultural association

foto OCB 018Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer sat down today with Joan Francesc Ferrer, a representative of the Formentera chapter of a cultural foundation in the Balearics. Under the agreement renewed today by the two men, the Council pledges to extend an €8,000 funding agreement with the group.

In exchange for the support, Formentera's Obra Cultural Balear commits to coordinating “Primavera de cultura”, part of yearly Sant Jordi celebrations (April 23) including literary presentations, conferences, round-table discussions, poetry readings and more. As the island's de facto cultural clearinghouse, the local OCB arm also agrees to produce literature aimed at promoting culture and historic and natural heritage on the island, and fulfil certain advisory and research functions as well.

It's official: Council renews partnership with farmers' co-op

Foto accio concertada Cooperativa 2018Earlier today officials formalised a concerted action agreement between the Formentera Council and the local collective of farm workers.

For the fourth straight year the Council and the island's co-operative of farmers have sealed a concerted action agreement whereby the administration pledges to provide the Cooperativa del Camp up to €115,000 in financial support. The farmers' co-op must supply evidence demonstrating that need, which, according to the agreement, will be calculated as the group's earnings less expenditures.

The partnership aims to build on the push to reactivate local agriculture and improve Formentera's rural landscape. The pact also envisions support for other actions to beef up the local agriculture.

At its heart, the programme is about delivering a boost to farming on Formentera, with all the economic, social, cultural and environmental knock-on effects such a boon carries with it.

The current project took shape in April 2015 when the first islanders made land donations to the initiative. The bid went on to win successive renewals in 2016 and 2017. In the three years since its start, the reserve of untilled farmland has continued to grow. Landowners and the farmers' co-op formalise the land grants in contractual agreements, and Cens de Terres today counts 200 hectares in its catalogue of farmed land.

Nearly 85% percent of Cens de Terres plots are actively tilled. Roughly 50% of the land now supports grasses used for fodder and cereals and 38% of the reserve has undergone maintenance like ploughing and weeding.

The remaining parcels are either awaiting some form of action or on track to withdraw.

Harvest increases have been recorded since 2016.

In light of results, the push to reactivate local agriculture and improve Formentera's countryside can be considered a success.

Formentera OKs waste management revamp

Foto ple feb2When members of the Formentera Council gathered today for the administration's February plenary assembly, the encounter was marked by a successful bid to tweak the guidelines for the contract in place for public rubbish collection and transport of household waste, road cleaning and upkeep of natural spaces.

The change in wording will enable waste collection of plant material from those on the island who are currently generating the most of it. Plenary members hope the modification will help achieve two things. First, that such waste can be made into compost and reused across Formentera's countryside and, second, reduced transport costs that reflect less rubbish shipped to the Ca Na Putxa tip.

Plenary attendees came together in support of proposed guidelines for acció concertada with the Cooperativa del Camp, the island's farmers' co-operative, in 2018. The move is seen as a way to expand efforts already under way to revive local agriculture and beautify rural and other natural spaces. In that spirit and in light of an upsurge that took place last year in the lands the co-operative is charged with stewarding, assembly members agreed to allocate an additional €20,000 to the group's spending allowance.

Other measures
The assembly was also united in support for a Gent per Formentera (GxF) proposal to request islanders be given more robust travel discounts. Plenary members voted to increase the price offset on flights from Eivissa to the Spanish mainland to 75% and to 100% on airport duties).

Broad backing was likewise secured by a number of other measures, such as a proposal to modify use guidelines for the municipal exhibition space (also called the “Ajuntament Vell”),  another to recognise three local police officers for thirty years of service, and a third to lend official support to the plea being made in conjunction with March 8, World Women's Day.

Official statement
Assembly members crossed party lines to urge support for the Asociación Española contra el Cáncer's manifesto. Cancer claimed the lives of nine million people in 2015, making it the second cause of death worldwide.

Given the gravity of the problem, members of Formentera's plenary assembly agreed to support the AECC manifesto as well as prevention and eradication efforts that that group and broad segments of society clamour for.

At the end of the gathering, sports secretary Jordi Vidal shed light on the efforts under his watch in 2017. He highlighted progress in one crucial aspect of his department's work: construction of a nautical sports centre on the island. According to Vidal, the facility is a crucial part of what he indicated was the Council's broader goal of “developing a whole basket of activities related to the sea”.

Formentera Council commends Santi Colomar

Santi colomar 2President Jaume Ferrer, speaking on his own behalf and on behalf of the entire Formentera Council, offered congratulations to Santi Colomar on the historian's receipt of the regional administration's 2018 Ramon Llull prize.

Born in 1968, the Formentera native graduated from the Universitat de Barcelona with a bachelor's in modern history before becoming a prolific disseminator of the medieval, modern and contemporary histories of the Pityusic Islands and, more broadly, the Mediterranean.

The Formentera Council nominated Colomar for the Premi Sant Jaume in light of his commitment to rebuilding the historic memory of the island where he was born, and to his efforts within the local chapter of Obra Cultural Balear, a cultural foundation in the region.

The Council also extends congratulations to the local division of Civil Protection volunteers, who received commendation this year along with their counterparts across the Balearics.

The Civil Protection service members of Formentera received praise locally in 2014, when the Council awarded them a Sant Jaume award for their generosity and charitable work. The volunteers were celebrated for multifarious efforts, including “taking an active role in prevention and protection during emergencies and guaranteeing the safety of local residents”.

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