The ice-cream stall doing brisk trade. | Hans Monheim


Social media was sent into a frenzy over the weekend when the call went out to save one of Puerto Pollensa's oldest establishments: the Gelats Valls ice-cream kiosk at the start of the Passeig Anglada Camarasa by the yacht club roundabout. A fixture for decades, the defence and support were stout. A petition rapidly raised over 3,000 signatures.

In an unusual move, prompted by this frenzy, the town hall issued a statement on Sunday. It explained that a town hall governing board meeting of 5 May last year had passed an "extraordinary and non-renewable authorisation" to end on 31 December 2015 in respect of the kiosk. It went on to say that there would be a tender for this ice-cream "point of sale" for this year.

Any fixed-site kiosk on the public way, which this one is, is subject, the explanation continued, to an open public competition. This is a legal obligation. Were there not to be such a competition, then the town hall could be accused of malfeasance. Gelats Valls was aware of this situation. Under this, it was not supposed to open, but the kiosk has opened.

In legal terms, the matter appears straightforward. Regardless of the length of time that the kiosk has been where it is, the town hall was applying the law regarding the occupation of the public way. The statement added that the bidding for the tender had not been opened because a process of mediation between affected parties had been seeking a "satisfactory and amicable solution" for all concerned. The "unilateral" opening of the kiosk had cut short this process.

What this refers to is the fact in September 2014 the town hall had received a request from the owner of the establishment near to the kiosk to consider this occupation of this public way. The owner is Cafe Capuchino 1919 SL. The establishment is Gran Café 1919. The cafe and the company named form part of Grupo Boulevard, an organisation with varied bar, restaurant and shop interests in Puerto Pollensa and elsewhere: its base is in fact in Playa de Muro. The request makes reference to what might be considered to be an invasion of space authorised or authorisable for use by the cafe.

The town hall is said to currently be completing a tender for continuing the activity of the sale of ice-creams in the kiosk.