The Fira Artesana celebrates its 40th anniversary and showcases the best local produce and art. The Sant Domingo cloister over the weekend hosted thirty 'paradetes'. | A. BORRAS

Last weekend, Inca held its third autumn fair, the Epoch Fair. While this is the official name, it is often referred to as the Mediaeval Market, which is a key attraction of this particular fair. Inca goes the whole mediaeval nine yards - knights in armour jousting, this sort of thing - and with a firm nod in the direction of the mediaeval origins of the fairs.

The timing of the fourth fair, Dijous Bo, so it was explained in 1807, had to do with All Saints and the fiestas for Saint Luke but also with the holding of the Pollensa Fair. This reference to Pollensa 216 years ago may have been incidental in that Pollensa was now staging a fair. But it may not have been incidental. Was the Pollensa Fair a lot older than is nowadays believed?

1784 is accepted as being when the fair started, or at least when records appear to indicate when it started. As with Inca, it was linked to Saint Luke. The fourth Sunday after Luke might have been when Inca held its fourth fair, but Inca didn't a) because the final fair was to be a grand celebration of the historical Thursday market and b) because the fourth Sunday was when there were celebrations for Santa Maria la Major. There was a free Sunday and Pollensa took it. Or so it is believed.

One of the main reference works for Mallorca from the eighteenth century was the encyclopaedic map produced by Antoni Despuig i Dameto (Cardinal Despuig) in 1784. The Cardinal insists that the Pollensa Fair was "on the last Sundays of November" and not therefore the second Sunday, as tradition has it. The date may have differed (and may well have been wrong), but the Cardinal's observation sounded emphatic. "On the last Sundays" - the stress here implied the fair had been well established before 1784.

However, the Cardinal's work is open to question. According to him, Pollensa had a population of 1,100 in 1784, when other sources have given a figure of around 4,500. And this larger population would have made Pollensa the fifth largest place in Mallorca, larger than Inca but smaller than Palma (obviously), Manacor and Felanitx (neither of which had fairs at that time) and Llucmajor, which did have a fair.

Given this larger population - the correct one - Pollensa was a fairly important municipality. This hints at there having been a fair before 1784 and quite possibly for some considerable time before 1784. Will we ever know for sure? That's doubtful unless some record is unearthed as proof. And so Pollensa avoids any mediaeval pretensions for its fair; it has to settle for the Saint Luke connection to Inca fairs that were definitely mediaeval.

The boat service operated from June to September. Photo: CAIB

Which Mallorcan municipality had the most coastal rubbish this summer?

The Balearic government's ministry of the sea has issued the annual report for waste collected from the seas around the islands. This is waste floating in the water and which is collected by boats. It includes plastics (generally bulky plastics), driftwood and dead animals. The boat service operated from the start of June to the end of September. In Mallorca over that period, 16.91 tonnes of waste were collected from the sea. And the municipality that contributed the most was Pollensa - 3.23 tonnes, almost 20% of the total.

Up to a point, this will reflect the length of the coast. Pollensa's is far longer than Alcudia's, and Alcudia generated the third most waste (1.93). But it might also be associated with the level of activity and with population. There again, Palma created only 37% of Pollensa's waste - 1.21 tonnes.

There may not be any convincing reasons as to why the amounts vary as they do. For example, Felanitx, with a comparatively short coastline, was fourth with 1.50 tonnes. And it isn't necessarily the case, of course, that the waste actually came from the municipalities in question or indeed from Mallorca.

ALCUDIA. POLITICA MUNICIPAL. La oposición pide en bloque la dimisión de un regidor de Vox. Un instante del último pleno de Al
An archived photo of a town hall council meeting in Alcudia.

Transparency and debating motions in Alcudia

At town hall council meetings, all parties with representation are entitled to register motions for debate. At last week's meeting in Alcudia, nine motions were raised by opposition parties. Of these, five came from Podemos on their own, and four of the five were rejected without the possibility of debate.

Podemos say that these were rejected because the administration stated that they were "already doing them", which Podemos took to mean that the administration hadn't yet done anything about them. The party is therefore critical of the mayor and her executive councillors and argues that there is a lack of transparency.

It has to be said that Podemos do make a habit of registering numerous motions, and so it might seem as if they do so for the sake of it. Still, they are within their rights, while when it comes to transparency, I continue to wonder when the minutes of council meetings will once again be published on the municipal website. They ceased to be following the death some time ago of the town hall secretary and haven't been restored. Must do better.

In Playa de Muro, where restricted access doesn't mean restricted access

In Ses Casetes des Capellans there is continuing concern about the fate of three restaurants' terraces and of 23 cottages threatened with demolition because of Costas Authority terrestrial-maritime domain demarcation.

Meanwhile, the popularity of the restaurants is one reason why so many cars park there. Despite this being an Acire restricted parking area for authorised vehicles only and there being camera readers, Muro town hall processed some 29,000 fines between May and October. But an opposition party, Més, maintains that of some 6,000 fines early in the season, 2,000 were dropped for a reason not covered by the Acire terms.

Rather like what used to happen in Formentor, the fines were being waived if drivers could produce a receipt from one of the restaurants. Més say that there was no allowance for this. The mayor, Miquel Porquer, explains that there was a verbal agreement with the restaurants regarding the quieter months of the season - customers would be exempt from fines.

As this has generated controversy not to say a good deal of confusion (as well as fines having been wrongly handed out), the administration is proposing that the Acire system only operates from June to August. Other councillors aren't convinced. Former mayor Antoni Serra points out that the intention had been to fix the problem of traffic "saturation". Instead, there has been chaos.

And who's to say that there won't be saturation in May and September next year.