San Antonio has become the 2nd island council to actively take steps to curb the effect of the existing Tourism Act that allows hotels to also have nightclubs and beach clubs on their premises.
At a fractious meeting on Wednesday 31 Aug the ruling left wing council voted by a majority for a motion to urge the new Balearic Government to amend the existing law to prevent the opening of any future hotels who intend to also have discotheques and/or beach clubs as secondary facilities.
The council’s motion is in direct response to the news that ‘Space Ibiza’ is planning to open a 5 star resort hotel in the town which will also include a nightclub/beach club. As the plans for this were submitted in July 2015 the council say they are powerless to legally stop it but also say that they don’t view it with “good eyes”.
The leader of the opposition, Pepe Sala, urged Juanjo Ferrer, head of town planning, to tackle the issues himself rather than wait for central government intervention. Sala said “there’s no need to ask for anything from the Balearic Government as the town council already has the legal instruments required to decide on these issues”.
Juanjo Ferrer promised to study the resolution that Santa Eulalia passed in 2013 which was specifically designed to prohibit the proliferation of beach clubs with exterior music.
“One of the main problems for residents is noise. Music playing at all hours of the day in every corner of the island both in the town and in the country. There are beaches that become chill outs with DJ’s, restaurants offering techno music sessions and hotels that become open air discos…” said Ferrer adding that “in recent years various laws and regulations have given more and more freedom to tourist establishments in allowing these secondary activities”.
Residents v Tourists
These latest developments are part of an ongoing ‘battle’ between residents and tourists with neither side wanting to compromise. San Antonio’s 3 party coalition council assumed control in June 2015 promising to protect residents rights.
Juan Jose Ferrer Martinez, head of the centre right PI party, now has a big weight on his shoulders. After 4 years of opposition at San Antonio town hall his party gained 3 seats in the recent municipal elections so he found himself in the unenvious position as kingmaker for the next administration. PP won 8 seats & PSOE/REINICIA won 6 & 4 respectively so his 3 seats were enough to give either side the 11 seats required for an overall majority, so it all came down to him & his party to decide who would be the next Mayor of San Antonio.
After 4 years of being battered by the absolute majority of the Pepita Gutierrez regime it wasn’t a big surprise that he eventually decided to form a Tri-party coalition with PSOE/REINICIA and make Pep Tur ‘Cires’ the 1st socialist mayor of Ibiza’s 2nd largest town however on paper & character PI have much more things in common with PP so his decision is sure to cause some conflict within his own party but his desire to change San Antonio means that he is now part of a 3 party coalition with those who may not always be on the same page as him.
He was offered the Deputy Mayors job if he sided with the PP but a personality clash between the hierarchy of the 2 parties ensured that this was never really an option.
At yesterday’s inauguration his mood was very upbeat and as we chatted afterwards he told me that he knows that there will be challenging times ahead but he was happy that the people of San Antonio had given him & his coalition a chance to govern and a chance to change San Antonio.
I have known Juanjo since he was a teenage receptionist at a local hotel and he has worked tirelessly over the last 4 years on the opposing side trying to make San Antonio a better place. He now has his desired chance and also the extra responsibility due to his decision to side with PSOE/REINICIA. I wish him well and look forward to seeing the changes that he, Pep Cires and Pablo Valdes have promised for our town. MM
I have to be honest and say I really wanted to become the 1st British councillor for San Antonio however I’ve been beaten to it and it’s almost gone unnoticed. I’m slightly jealous however I’m also happy that it’s somebody I’ve known and respected for over 20 years. CRISTINA RIBAS from the centre right political party ‘PI’ is actually CRISTINA RIBAS MOUNTFORD born in Newcastle-under -Lyme to an English mother and Ibicenco father and very proud of her British heritage even though she moved permanently to the white isle aged 3. Her mother Doris first came to Ibiza with a friend in the early 60’s at a time when travel agents didn’t even know that the island existed and it took them 3 planes to get here (a bit like the winter then!). Cristina tells a great story of how it was fate that her mother came to Ibiza as she and her friend chose their holidays blindfolded with a map and a pin. On that ‘blind’ holiday her mother met her father Toni and romance blossomed and over the next few summers Doris made the trip back accompanied by different family members with Toni visiting England whenever possible. Her parents finally married in England in 1965 and the rest, as they say, is history. Cristina grew up in Ibiza, studied tourism and has always worked within the tourist sector, firstly as a hotel receptionist and then at the airport for the last 25 years. This is where I first met her as an airline representative helping me out especially on long delays and flight cancellations. She still works at the airport but now handles private jets and their passengers – how times have changed. Cristina is married to Evelio who is also from the island and they have two daughters and they all share the same love of Ibicenco culture and tradition and even perform the Ibicenco folklore dance.
Cristina says “Although my heart is mainly Ibicenco I feel as much English as I do Spanish, I’m proud of my English blood and although my parents and grandparents are no longer with us I like to visit family and friends in England as often as possible and keep the ties. I’ve decided to go into politics because I love San Antonio and I think there’s so much to be done and why not do my share. To all British residents: I will be pleased to assist you with anything in any way I can”.
From 13 June 2015 Cristina will have a lot more work on her plate as she embarks on this new chapter in her life, she will be involved in various jobs at San Antonio Town Hall: Trade, Agriculture and Fishing, Fiestas for the villages, Ibicenco culture and traditions and in charge of the Buscastell, Santa Ines and San Mateo areas.
Having personally known Cristina for over 20 years I am delighted that someone who understands the British culture and mentality is now occupying a seat in the town hall as this can only be a positive for our town. MM
Don’t be put off by the casual dress & tattoed neck of the guy on the left. His name is Pablo Valdes and he’s thrown a major spanner in the works of old school local politics. His 1496 votes in the recent elections means that his REINICIA party have 4 seats on the council and has enabled a Tri-party coalition which will see San Antonio free from the PP party for the 1st time in 35 years. Pep Tur ‘Cires’ (PSOE – 6 seats) will become Mayor with Valdes assuming Deputy Mayor status. Juanjo Ferrer (PI – 3 seats) will become the 2nd Deputy Mayor in a major shake up & kick up the bum for local San An politics. Only time will tell if this coalition will be successful however I feel we need to get behind our new local government and support them but also keep them accountable with relation to their election promises.