New image

T HE town council is putting the finishing touches to the first environmental maps which will shortly be handed out to tourists. It is part of a new promotional campaign developed by the council's tourism department, which includes opening a tourist information centre at the train station. Bernat Amer, the councillor in charge of tourism, and Magdalena Torres of the tourism office, yesterday presented the new image, which will be launched at Fitur, the international tourism fair which opens in Madrid on January 26.

More schools

THE Balearic ministry of education will build a new infants' and primary school in Inca this year, and will also expand the Ponent school, to meet the growing demand for places in the municipality. The two projects will cost more than four million euros. Rafel Bosch, the director general for school planning, said that there had been a boom in recent years, and Inca now has the highest number of pupils per class on the island. The two projects will provide an additional 620 places for the 2006-7 school year. The new infants school, next to the Berenguer d'Anoia Institute, will have 450 places and is due to be opened in September 2006. The enlargement of the Ponent school will provide an extra 170 places and will also include the complete refurbishment of the premises.

Marine reserve

THE central government plans to spend one million euros in setting up a marine reserve off the east coast of the island. This was confirmed yesterday by the secretary general of fisheries, Juan Carlos Martin, during a visit to Cala Rajada. The reserve will cover an area of 14'000 hectares from Punta de n'Amer to Cap Ferrutx. Martin, who was accompanied by Miquel Angel Calviño, the Balearic director general of fisheries, and Bernat Marti, head of the Cala Rajada fishermen's guild, said that it was Madrid's intention to share the reserve with the Balearic government and to have it up and running before the end of the year. He said that there were nine marine reserves in Spain. Once the reserve has been created, a patrol boat will be charged with detecting possible infractions. Calviño stressed the importance of such a zone off Majorca.

Single association

VOLUNTEER groups in Alcudia involved in various Third World countries have decided to join forces and work as a single group, which will be called Alcudia Solidaria. It will centre its efforts in Peru, El Salvador, the Sahara and Mexico, “places which we know and which Alcudia is already supporting,” the new group's chairwoman, Apollonia Ballester, said, adding that other possibilities had not been ruled out - for example, the funds raised at the Sant Antoni fiestas will go to the tsunami victims. The new group has approved its statutes and will be officially registered shortly. Members will pay annual dues of 30 to 50 euros.

Green light

THE town council has approved a planning agreement which will allow the development of an area of 19'105 square metres, between the Inca road, Calle Fray Juniper Serra and the Santa Margalida road. Under the agreement, three plots of 4000 square metres will be ceded to the town council which will also receive 43'000 euros. The opposition has criticised the agreement, claiming that the compensation which the council will receive under the agreed conditions is too low. One councillor alleged favouritism, alleging that one of the owners who will benefit is a director general of the Balearic government.