GOB matters. July 2015

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GOB matters is a section of Roqueta, a monthly magazine in English, written by Chita Laurie.

GOB cares for the environment and for this island, especially. It gives voice to all those people who feel disempowered with no say in important local government decisions that affect the character and purpose of the island and its unique nature. For some time, many people in the general public as well as institutions have watched with horror the excesses of the works to the main road between Mahon and Ciutadella and can now see how disproportionate the plans for roundabouts are on this small and essentially country island. Visitors love its tranquillity, its virgin beaches, its country walks as well as the sports of both sea and land. They come to get away from the hustle and bustle of cities and the endless horror of motorways. Locals and visitors alike are shocked at the threat to the honorific of Reserve of the Biosphere by such an unnecessary attack to the countryside.

Now, since the May elections and the new local government with a smaller PP majority as well as the departure of the transport councillor, Luis Alejandre, GOB is hopeful that the interests of the people will be listened to and heard by the new local council and that a more balanced approach to road works can be undertaken.

Here is the request to the new council from the pressure group which was formed last year. The explanation is self-evident and is on the GOB website so you may add your own name to those signatures already on it.


We, the people whose signatures appear below, ask those charged with forming a new Island Council of Minorca, to reconsider and analyse all the interventions previously made as a result of the highly controversial road works proposed for the main road.

Specifically, we ask for full institutional involvement to find new ways of going ahead with current plans and to replan the section between Mahόn and Alaior taking into consideration first of all the double level roundabouts at Biniai, Rafal Rubi and Argentina, and to analyse the options for access to Alaior. To be able to do this, there ought to be a temporary stay on the works at these points, while maintaining the rest of the works being carried out along the road. We also ask that the projects envisaged for the sections between Ferreries and Ciutadella as well as between Alaior and Ferreries, be revised.

A pressure group was constituted in February 2014. Its aim was to organise various discussion meetings with the last government. These meetings were always fruitless.

It is the will of the signatories to be able to reopen a process of dialogue with the newly elected representatives of the 24 May elections. As on previous occasions, the objective is to find a model for a road more integrated with the countryside as well as being safer and one that coheres with the declaration of Minorca as a Reserve of the Biosphere.

This group believes in the permanent participation of the public. To this end, we offer to help find solutions, to analyse problems, and reach a consensus on these matters.

Responsible cooperation would allow for greater social cohesion, as well as regaining the image of a well conserved island, now perceived as damaged by the disproportionate designs for some of the interconnections already awarded to the first section of work. Everyone must work together on the project for the main road improvements which would serve to enhance Minorca entirely.

This constitutes our aim.

General Notes:

GOB webiste: wwwgobmenorca.com (remember the automatic translation into English is complete rubbish. It is easier to understand the automatic translation into Spanish.)

The office of GOB is in a converted mill in Mahon at 53 Cami des Castell. Here you will receive information, or you could become a member to help with the work GOB does as a non-profit making, non-political, non-governmental society. There are small exhibitions and books and wine for sale. Telephone: 971 35 07 62.

The GOB shop is in the market of the Claustro del Carmen, Mahon and sells books, maps, wines as well as being a source of information.

Es Viver is the GOB garden centre where you can buy local native plants, receive advice and information, or find out about reed beds for recycling grey water. It is open on Friday and Saturday mornings from 10 to 1.30. It is on the road that joins the airport to the Mahon/Ciutadella Road next to Mestral.

The Wildlife Recuperation Centre is near Ciutadella. Here injured birds and animals are given treatment and if they recover they are released back into the wild. Financial funding is needed and you can buy a square metre for 50 euros to help support it.