Palma's Cathedral.


Palma town hall is to establish a consultative council to consider the city's future. The aim is to have this council in place by the end of this year.

Various organisations and associations have called for there to be such a council. These include the Arca heritage association, the Obra Cultural Balear, the Gadeso Foundation (which conducts a great deal of market research into public opinion), the Economy Circle, which is linked to the Chamber of Commerce in Majorca, and Palma XXI.

The president of the latter grouping, Jaume Garau, explains that this new council will focus on issues in the medium to long term. It will differ from a body that already exists - the Council of the City - which is more focused on immediate budgeting proposals by the town hall. The three most important issues, Garau suggests, are transport, housing and tourism.

The council will not be a lobby group, says Garau, as each of the constituent associations will do what they believe they need to in this respect. Instead, it will represent views that need to be represented at a political level regarding the repercussions for future policies.

Mayor Antoni Noguera has received the proposals for the council and has responded by saying that it will be possible to set it up. He says that the council will in any event be along the lines that the town hall has already envisaged and be the "fruit of citizen participation and of organised civil society". It will help in the challenges facing Palma and fits in with the town hall's vision of a modern European city.

The council would not have a budget, and representatives from the various entities would not draw any remuneration for attending meetings.