Local News (5th October 2017 issue)

Democracy in Action in Pollensa

The Catalan referendum, which is filling newspapers and news broadcasts around the world has also touched Mallorca. Local organizations called for towns to “mobilize” and speak out against the reaction of Spanish authorities to those wishing to vote. It also directly affected the council of Pollensa when one of the stakeholders threatened to break away from the governing team if they approved the motion in favour of the referendum. The coalition Junts Avançam, which governs the council of Pollensa in minority thanks to its pact with Unió Mollera Pollencina (UMP), has successfully persuaded its government partner to keep the agreement signed at the beginning of the legislature. 

For five days, the coalition was waiting for the UMP’s final decision after it had threatened to leave the government team if the plenary of last Thursday approved the motion in favour of the Catalan referendum presented by Alternativa.

The motion was approved with the mayor’s vote, and the UMP subsequently met the following day to decide whether to break the pact. It didn’t communicate its resolution, rather the group promised to issue a statement within three days. The party’s president, Jose Antonio Hortas, was in favour of breaking away, while others, including the councilman and mayor’s delegate in Puerto Pollensa, Andrés Nevado, wanted to maintain the pact. 

Mayor March said in a statement that Junts Avançam “has fulfilled the pact of government signed with UMP” claiming that this is a coalition “with different parties and diverse political sensitivities” which is why there is freedom in ideological positioning. He also added that the motion in favour of the Catalan referendum “does not compromise the action of government and has no legal or economic connection.”

In the end, the UMP has decided to keep the pact and stay loyal to the Junts Avançam party. This helped Miquel Angel March avoid a very tough situation where he would lose majority. Someone who didn’t come away unscathed is the UMP party president Jose Antonio Hortas who resigned with immediate effect. 

Pollensa & Alcudia receive €2.1m

Local Development Minister Joan Font visited Pollensa and Alcudia last week to see new projects that the Consell has subsidized through the Special Investment Plans of Investments 2016-2017. In total €2.1m has been invested, of which €710,385 to Pollensa was invested in Pollensa; and €760,478 in Alcúdia.

In Pollensa, the renovation of the Guillem Cifre de Colonya Cultural Centre (where the Music School is located), and the maintenance of energy efficient street lighting of several zones, were the main areas of expenditure.

In Alcúdia, the council has executed a total of three projects. The repair of the pavement in the old town and the public lighting of the Paseo Voramar has been improved; the sewerage of the Artà road has been improved and finally, the town hall of Alcúdia has been able to acquire an electric car and motorbike valued at €30,000.

Theatre Reopens in Muro

The municipal theatre of Muro reopened last Sunday after a complete reform that took several months. The project, which cost €137,500 and was financed through the special aid plan 2016-2017 of the Consell de Mallorca.

The work included structural repair and improving access. Specifically the false ceiling was replaced, new lighting installed and the stage was repaired. Entry via calle Joan Carles I is now completely accessible and the services have been adapted for those with mobility problems. 

The theatre reopened with the presentation of ‘Ramon Llull per a tots’ performed by the band Unió Artistic Murera and the singer Joan Manel. The councillor of Culture, Miquel Porquer, told the public that Muro “needed a scenic space like this, since we are a municipality with cultural concerns.”

Port of Bacares Investment

The Minister for Territory, Energy and Mobility, Marc Pons, presented the project to reform the port of es Barcarès in Alcudia, with the aim of increasing security and reordering moorings. Drainage will be improved by dredging sediment and sand, and the conditioning of the bottom of the port. The work will start this month and will take four months. 

Once complete, the little port will have new paving, improved facilities and green areas. There are also plans to replace the beached ramp with a non-slip and safer pavement. The small port of es Barcarés meets the demand mainly of residents and a few from elsewhere. Pons explained that the reform will not expand the number of moorings, but that “the majority will have Barcarés as a base port, which will help to reduce the waiting list of applicants in the municipality by almost 50%.” 


Bus Station Update

The Council of Pollensa has opened the bidding process for the construction of the future bus station in Puerto Pollensa. From next summer, the terminal will operate the shuttle bus service to the Lighthouse of Formentor. Note that the new restrictions will be in place and private cars will no longer have access.  

The budget for the bus station is €420,000 with a timeline of four months. Interested companies have until the middle of this month. 

The ‘Moll’ bus station will be located in the vicinity of the health centre and will consist of a few bathrooms and a pergola, as well as four passenger loading points, as explained yesterday by councilman Tomeu Cifre Bennàssar.

The City Council dismissed the criticism from the GOB, which argued that the land does not have the necessary qualification, according to laws, to house this type of public service. The environmental group had previously proposed another site, located next to the Gola wetland, a solution that the government team described as “crazy”.


Pedestrianization Update

All tenders are in for the pedestrianization project and the council are deliberating. Cifre told press that some who applied actually reduced the period of work to four months, a factor that “has great weight” in determining the company awarded. In addition, some of them have committed to making improvements on the initial project. In principle, the works should begin in November.