Fuerteventura magazine Interviews
September 2023

Paloma Hernández Cerezo - Councillor for Commerce, Industry, Craftwork, Green Circular Economy, Safety and Emergencies and third deputy President of the Cabildo and Senator for Fuerteventura

“The Cabildo has great management abilities, but we have to catch up on lost time and make progress in many areas”

Paloma Hernández Cerezo - Councillor for Commerce, Industry, Craftwork, Green Circular Economy, Safety and Emergencies and third deputy President of the Cabildo and Senator for Fuerteventura

It isn't the first time that we meet with Paloma Hernández, although during the last term, when she became senator, we kind of lost touch, but we are delighted to see her again and check out her progress in politics and the experience she has gained from it. First of all, we congratulate her for being reelected as Senator and we would like to know more about the areas she is looking after at the Cabildo.

Can you tell us about your new duties at the Cabildo?

Thank you, yes, of course, as well as being the thirst deputy president, I look after the councils for Commerce, Industry, Craftwork, Green Circular Economy, Safety and Emergencies.

Is it possible to juggle this work at the Cabildo with that of Senator in Madrid?

Both positions are compatible and I hope to be able to cover everything, but if I was ever to feel that I wasn't able to do it, I would make the appropriate decision. Both are positions with responsibilities and require all my attention. I need to go to Madrid every two weeks to the Senate and as for the Cabildo, it is more about management and administrative work.

How do you feel about the island's Cabildo?

The Cabildo has gone through a weird and unstable stage. It has a lot of power and great management abilities, but we need to catch up on lost time and make progress in many areas. We need to make progress on sustainable tourism, on waste management and provide support to the collectives and people who are aware and act and care for the environment. The pilot project of Guisguey should be replicated all over the island. Each municipality should have at least one neighbourhood community generating sustainable development. It is necessary to create community awareness but it is also essential to help them. We need to develop the 2030 agenda for a sustainable economy, which would provide guidelines which we need to follow together with the ayuntamientos. 2030 isn't that far ahead and we can't get delayed, there is financing, but it needs to be articulated, it can't be resolved from one day to the next.

We know that the areas of Commerce and Industry are complicated...

Indeed, Commerce is closely related to the Canarian Government, and concerning Industry we have to look for subsidies for self-sufficiency and also to increase renewable energies, for businesses, the restaurant industry and livestock farming, which is already underway. We must create and promote a network of electric chargers, which are being installed. Craftwork depends totally on the Cabildo, and although it's not a very complicated sector, it is all run by this Council.

What about Safety and Emergencies?

This area relies a lot on the ayuntamientos, but we have to coordinate the ayuntamientos with Civil Protection and the fire services. We need to motivate them to have protection plans in place and we also provide them with funds to invest in ambulances, trucks, materials, whatever is necessary. The Cabildo also wants to organise a campaign with the ayuntamientos for the prevention of drowning, norms, signposts, etc., so that they can be uniform all over the island.

Paloma, we are going to ask you a somewhat personalquestion. Do you prefer working at the Cabildo or the Senate?

They are quite complimentary. At the Senate, we make proposals for laws where there are needs and we try to adapt them and apply them in areas of exception, such as the Canaries, which need to be treated differently with more support and in some cases, in a different manner for each island. There are also conferences on studies concerning various subjects which we feel are interesting. We make progress on procedures at the Ministry, such as what happened with the seafront path of Puerto del Rosario. This is where we work, fight and make ourselves heard and it can't be ignored. We could think that this chamber isn't essential, but I believe that no one has really been fighting for our corner, because when we look for a way, we can be heard and we achieve things. This is how we managed to obtain the isothermal lorries for the guild of Gran Tarajal, we fought for them and obtained them. During this term, we have worked on aconference from the Canarian Group, regarding immigration in ultraperipheral communities, which include as well the Balearic Islands and Ceuta y Melilla. A study was carried out, and a conclusion reportwas created, which was then presented to the Government. We are also working on the scholarships for students which should be greater for peripheral areas, and which should be reevaluated, when it is for an island that doesn’t have a university, as for those islands, like Fuerteventura, it is more costly because students have to move and secondary islands should have more budget and we must ensure that it is respected.