Palma.—Palma City Council confirmed yesterday that it has decided to cancel its adult education programme (for people over 16 years of age) due to lack of local authority funding.

Amongst the subjects being eliminated are language courses in English, Russian and German (amongst others), information technology and preparation for university entrance.

These courses had been very much in demand in Palma as around 7'000 people had applied for the 2'500 available places. This coming Monday had been earmarked as a registration day for the new term with classes scheduled to start at the end of the month.

Education Councillor Aina Ferriol explained that lack of funding had largely arisen because the municipal council wasn't receiving sufficient income from taxation and other sources. The council had therefore been forced to cancel the two year adult education programme. “The council simply doesn't have the 600'000 euros which was needed for the courses,” claimed Ferriol. She said however, that if the council's financial situation improves over the coming year, there is every intention to restart the adult education programme. Municipal spokesman Julio Martinez said that it had been necessary to “prioritise basic services so that the city could continue functioning normally.” Martinez pointed out that classes in Catalan for adults will remain in place. The City Council contributes 30'000 euros towards this particular language programme.

Commerce, Work and Training Councillor Esperanza Crespi said that some of the courses which have been eliminated can instead be taken through PalmaActiva. From this coming Monday, details and information can be researched on website or through telephoning free to 900-139138. Crespi said that the Sa Gerreria training centre offers courses all the year round to over 16 year-olds.

Budget for 2013 Meanwhile, Martinez said that the City Council is working on its budget for 2013 and is trying hard not to have to allocate funding any lower than 10 percent beneath the level of this year's budget figures. Initially, planning teams were having to plan around a 15 percent drop in comparison with the 2012 budget but the City Council is apparently going to get more than had originally been predicted from Central Government, around 93 million euros (12 million more than this year). Martinez said that caution would have to be exercised because although the increase from Madrid has been mooted, there has been no official confirmation.