by Michael Briguglio
The Malta Independent
Article published on 17 February 2012
S. Camilleri (TMID, 15 February) said that the Sliema local council “cannot stop developers when a Mepa permit has been issued”. True. But it can attempt to stop Mepa from issuing certain permits that lower quality of life, and it can help Mepa ensure enforcement of permit conditions.
This is precisely what the local council did between 2003 and 2009, when, upon my insistence as Alternattiva Demokratika local councillor, a culture of consultancy on development with residents was introduced, and where Sliema local council started objecting to unsustainable developments. This was successful in the case of Il-Pjazetta, Chalet and Qui-Si-Sana, which were going to be characterised by intensive development.
I agree with S. Camilleri that the authorities are allowing developers to do as they please. Indeed, various construction projects are characterised by daily inconvenience to residents and by blatant cases of lack of enforcement: The so-called protective “green nets” supposedly used for hoarding are a case in point. Potholes, broken pavements and uneven infrastructure are taken for granted practically everywhere around the locality. Contractors often carry out shoddy work, and construction trucks are frequently overloaded, thus causing damage to roads, pavements, sewage systems and so forth – which citizens pay for in taxes. Indeed, taxpayers in Malta are subsidising the building industry. For the umpteenth time, I invite Transport Malta to publish reports on such inspections and on enforcement carried out on overloaded trucks.
If elected in Sliema local council, I will do my utmost to work with other councillors against unsustainable development and inconvenience to residents, also by frequently consulting residents and NGOs like the Sliema Residents’ Association.
Candidate, Sliema local council for Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party