Funds for natural parks

THE Balearic environment ministry plans to spend 2.5 million euros on managing natural parks this year. Joana Xamena, the director general of biodiversity, said that her department was planning to introduce changes in how the parks were run, and to make them more accessible to the general public. She said there would be more organised activity at the parks of Mondragó, Sa Dragonera, S'Albufera and S'Albufereta. One of the projects which will be carried out this year is the refurbishment of a building at Mondrago, which will be used as a reception centre. Sa Dragonera is managed in conjunction with the Council of Majorca and it plays an important role in environmental education, Xamena said. At S'Albufera, improvements will be made to the drainage channels while S'Albufereta will be opened up, as up to now, visits have been restricted to scientist.

Saving defence towers

THE town council will ask the central ministry of education and culture for aid to restore the three defence towers on the coast. The three towers, Cap Vermell, Torre Esbucada and Son Jaumell, have been abandoned and are in danger of disappearing, even though they were declared of cultural interest in the 1970s. The council admitted that restoration work would be difficult in the cases of Cap Vermell and Son Jaumell as they are in mountain areas and hard to reach.

Keeping streets clean

A private enterprise has been contracted to keep the streets of Vilafranca clean, as the municipal work brigade cannot cope. The contract is for a year, and came into force yesterday. The company will clean the streets once a week. A council spokesman said that it was a pilot scheme and if successful, the contract would be renewed. The firm will be responsible for the maintenance of six kilometres of streets in the upper part of the town and four and a half kilometres in the lower part. Most of the streets are in areas where few people live, but the council said that this was no excuse for neglecting them.

Cost of fair queried

THE PSM (Majorcan Socialist Party) members on the town council will ask the Balearic government how much public money was spent on the first Fair of Ancient Crafts organised by the Sa murtera neighbourhood association, and “sponsored” by the Partido Popular (PP) in Campanet. A spokesman expressed concern that the government should use the taxpayers' money for activities organised by the PP. It seems that the fair received a subsidy of 36'000 euros and was widely promoted. The PSM also claims that the Balearic ministry of public works was directly involved in organising free bus rides from the train station to Inca. The Mayor Francesc Aguilo, who belongs to the PSM, criticised the government for promoting groups and events to promote their electoral interests.

Theatre finance

THE town council will have to seek new sources of finance for completing the refurbishment of the Municipal Theatre. The first stage of work has been completed, and the second stage is now in process. It involves opening a main access door in the Calle Sant Vicenç Ferrer and the construction of an attic. It will also include completing the dressing rooms and bathrooms and the main façade. This stage of work will cost 150'000 euros, and is being financed by the Council of Majorca. The council, however, is now seeking finance for the third stage. The Mayor said he did not know when the theatre would be opened to the public.