Sociologist from Malta

Sunday, May 31, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (52) Ċaw Ċaw tieni mewġa? Ippubblika l-evidenza, Prim Ministru

Fl-istess diskors fejn il-Prim Ministru Robert Abela qal li tista’ tiġi kkunsidrata amnestija għall-multi li weħlu n-nies f’dawn l-aħħar ġimgħat, l-istess Prim Ministru ipprova jżeblaħ lill-awtoritajiet, xjentisti, esperti u ħaddiema mediċi madwar id-dinja li qed iwissu dwar il-possibilita’ tat-tiena mewġa tal-Coronavirus.

Abela qal li l-istatistika turi b’mod ċar ħafna li l-COVID-19 hija warajna u issa beda perjodu kruċjali li permezz tiegħu ħa nirritornaw għal normalità sħiħa. Spjega li kull min qal li bir-rilaxx tal-miżuri se jkun hawn it-tieni mewġa, ingħata prova bil-fatti kemm kien żbaljat, u hekk se jerġa’ jiġri fil-ġimgħat li ġejjin.

Jekk il-Prim Ministru huwa daqshekk ċert li pajjiżna mhux ser ikollu tieni mewġa tal-Coronavirus, imissu jippublika l-evidenza (li ma tinkludix biss statistika li sservi l-argumenti tiegħu), il-pariri, ir-riċerka u l-minuti tal-laqgħat li wassluh għal din il-konklużjoni.

Sur Prim Ministru, argument ma jsirx b’saħħtu billi jiżżeffnu kliem dwar amnestiji u  baġit multi-miljunarju f’nofsu. Iżda forsi iktar konsultazzjoni, trasparenza u umilta' min-naħa tiegħek jgħinu biex ikollna serħan tal-moħħ.


Saturday, May 30, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (51) Ħal-Ferħ: Jinħtieġ proċess ta' studji dwar impatti soċjali


L-Awtorita' ta' l-Ippjanar ħabbret pjan għall-iżvilupp f'Ħal-Ferħ, li fost oħrajn jinkludi .lukanda u vilel. Għal dan il-għan ġie ppublikat dokument, u l-pubbliku jista' jibgħat is-sottomissjonijiet dwaru lil nwlp.halferh@pa.org.mt sa' l-1 ta' Lulju.

F'dan ir-rigward ktibt lill-Awtorita' ta' l-Ippjanar u tlabt li jkun hemm proċess ta' studji dwar impatti soċjali (SIA). Il-proposti tiegħi dwar SIAs jistgħu jinqraw f'link hawn taħt.

Ta' min ifakkar li sena ilu l-istess Awtorita' ħabbret pjan biex ikun hemm proċeduri għal dawn it-tip ta' studji, iżda s'issa dawn qatt ma tħabbru.

Huwa importanti ħafna li proposti ta' żvilupp jinkorporaw SIA sabiex ikun hemm evalwazjoni u konsultazzjoni kontinwa dwar l-impatti soċjali ibbażati fuq l-evidenza. B'hekk stakeholders bħar-residenti ikunu parteċipi fid-deċiżżjonijiet dwar il-lokalità tagħhom. 

Links: 





#Ħsibijiet (50) Marsa: Jinħtieġ proċess ta' studji dwar impatti soċjali

L-Awtorita' ta' l-Ippjanar ħabbret pjan għall-iżvilupp ta' kumpless sportiv ta' 60,000 metru kwadru fil-Marsa. Għal dan il-għan ġie ppublikat dokument, u l-pubbliku jista' jibgħat is-sottomissjonijiet dwaru lil ghlp@pa.org.mt sa' l-10 ta' Lulju.

F'dan ir-rigward ktibt lill-Awtorita' ta' l-Ippjanar u tlabt li jkun hemm proċess ta' studji dwar impatti soċjali (SIA). Il-proposti tiegħi dwar SIAs jistgħu jinqraw f'link hawn taħt.

Ta' min ifakkar li sena ilu l-istess Awtorita' ħabbret pjan biex ikun hemm proċeduri għal dawn it-tip ta' studji, iżda s'issa dawn qatt ma tħabbru.

Huwa importanti ħafna li proposti ta' żvilupp jinkorporaw SIA sabiex ikun hemm evalwazjoni u konsultazzjoni kontinwa dwar l-impatti soċjali ibbażati fuq l-evidenza. B'hekk stakeholders bħar-residenti ikunu parteċipi fid-deċiżżjonijiet dwar il-lokalità tagħhom. 

Links: 





Thursday, May 28, 2020

Corona Quandaries - Michael Briguglio

In my fortnightly op-ed in the Malta Independent I discuss various policy and social quandaries concerning Malta's response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

You can read the article here:

https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2020-05-28/blogs-opinions/Corona-quandaries-6736223592


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (49) Telework

Ħabib tiegħi illum qalli

"Jien drajt teleworking... Nista' naccessa n-network u d-data li għandi bżonn. Li mhux qiegħed isir huwa li nipprintjaw id-dokumenti u niffajljawhom. L-aħħar stage wara li nkunu għamilna u ssejvjajna x-xogħol kollu virtwalment. Dan ifisser li hemm bżonn li nidħlu xogħol għax il-filing fil-premises isir. Imma, kif qiegħeda tgħid il-UHM, ma jfissirx li hemm bżonn li kulħadd jidħol kuljum. Jista jsir redistribution ta' meta għandu wieħed jidħol u meta le."

Dan il-kliem jagħmel sens. Ammont sostanzjali ta' xogħol f'xi setturi jista' jsir id-dar, u dan iġib miegħu bosta vantaġġi, diment li l-ħaddiem ikollu għażla jekk jużax din il-faċilita’.  Is-CEO tal-UĦM – Voice of the Workers Josef Vella u s-Segretarju Ġenerali tal-GWU Josef Bugeja elaboraw dwar dan f’intervista fil-Malta Today, li tista’ tinqara hawnhekk: https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/102547/teleworking_should_stay_major_unions_tell_employers#.Xs5pOTPis2x

 Fl-istess ħin għandna nżommu f’moħħna ukoll li għal uħud, it-telework jista’ jfisser iktar xogħol per eżempju jekk wieħed irid jibbilanċja dan kollu ma’ responsabilitajiet familjari f’kompetizzjoni ta’ ħin u attenzjoni. Jekk mhux regolat sew, it-telework jista’ jwassal ukoll għal kundizzjonijiet ta’ xogħol iktar prekarji.

Għalhekk, fil-politika dwar l-irkupru ekonomiku tal-pajjiż, tajjeb li policies tajbin jiġu sostnuti u li opportunitajiet u riskji jiġu evalwati u diskussi permezz ta’ evidenza, konsultazzjoni u deliberazzjoni.






 



Saturday, May 23, 2020

#SaveWiedGħomorODZ - Please send an objection to the Planning Authority against further development



Please join residents, local councils and NGOs in objecting to further ODZ development at Wied Għomor. The area is characterised be an onslaught of development applications. The PN believes that the valley should be protected, and the Minister for the Environment said that he is looking into the calls for protection which has so far been ignored by the PL Government. Various applications were stopped when joint coalitions between residents, local councils, NGOs and political parties were formed. Personally I have been active to protect this valley since the 1990s.

One pending application is the following, and you can send your objection to the Planning Authority by 29 May. 

PA 2752/20 - To link two existing dwellings, and to change the use from two separate (MTA host family licensed) Class 1 dwellings to one Class 3A guest house with 11 guest bedrooms and one 2 bedroomed guest apartment. 

The site in question refers to a hotel which was operating as guesthouse without a permit - developers have applied again as their application was withdrawn.  Please scroll below to copy+paste objection to the Planning Authority.

Background info here:

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/environment/townscapes/96858/st_julians_valley_ruins_to_get_green_light_for_guesthouse#.XslArTPis2w

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/wied-ghomor-guesthouse-application-withdrawn.734155

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/why-deny-wied-ghomor-protection-minister-asks.783197

https://netnews.com.mt/2020/03/31/wied-ghomor-ghandu-jibqa-protett-pn/

https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2018-07-30/local-news/Permit-for-Wied-Ghomor-development-residence-refused-6736194220

SEND YOUR OBJECTION TO PA 2752/20 - GUESTHOUSE:  

Objections to the Planning Authority may be submitted until Friday 29 May 2020.  You can copy + paste objection below and send via email to representations@pa.org.mt

To: representations@pa.org.mt

PA 2752/20:      Wied Ghomor

              Change of Use from two dwellings to Guesthouse

Kindy consider the following as my objection to this application;

I contend that in the interest of the conservation and protection of this protected valley, WIED GHOMOR, and its special status as an area of scientific and ecological value, this application should be refused.

The introduction of Rural Policy ad Guidelines 2014 emphasises our obligation to protect and preserve sites as is WIED GHOMOR, a valley which has become extremely significant and sensitive to the nation. 

The site in question is located Outside the Development Zone, and therefore any permissible development is limited to that listed in the Rural Policy and Design Guidelines 2014 document. This document allows for the possibility of a specific list of development typologies in ODZ areas, all clearly related to farming and agricultural uses; Farm dwellings for livestock farmers and arable farmers; Livestock farm units; Slaughter Houses; Agricultural Stores; Greenhouses; Reservoirs; Conversion of land for agricultural use; Rubble walls; Access Paths; PV panels; Wineries; Olive Oil production; Bee Keeping; Farm Retail Outlets; Visitor Attractions within farming enterprises; Animal Sanctuaries; Stables; Dwellings. Nowhere in this document is there any reference to Commercial Development, apart from that related to agricultural and farm uses. 

The proposed Guest House is clearly a Commercial development which is not permissible under PA regulations for Outside the Development Zone. ODZ areas and in particular valleys are to be protected from Commercial Development. 

The proposed development will have an unacceptable negative effect on the environment and landscape thus meriting a refusal.

The wild fauna, flora and species and their habitats would be damaged, disrupted and also detrimental to their existence in many cases which in time will have an adverse effect on us not to mention the increase in light and sound pollution which comes with the increased number of people coming and going to and from the guesthouse to the detriment of the over-developed conurbation of Swieqi, St Julians and San Gwann. These localities do not deserve the spread of urbanisation.

SPED Policy RO1.7 emphasises the safeguarding of the distinctiveness of rural areas as is WIED GHOMOR and promotes the control of “the cumulative effect of rural development."

It is a fact that the proposed guesthouse will have a negative effect on the special qualities of ODZ Wied Ghomor.  The surrounding community of St Julians, Swieqi and San Gwann certainly do not require another Guest House but rather require more quiet and peaceful open spaces

St Julians does not deserve more urban sprawl especially within ODZ WIED GHOMOR.

I ask the PA keep me updated with the submissions to this application and that I be informed of the date and time of the hearing for decision.



Friday, May 22, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (48) - Magħtab - Jinħtieġu studji u konsultazzjoni qabel deċiżżjonijiet politiċi

Il-Gvern donnu diġa' ddeċieda x'ser isir mil-Magħtab f'dak li għandu x'jaqsam ma' l-immaniġjar ta' l-iskart. Filwaqt li huwa tajjeb li pajjiżna jipprova jtejjeb is-sitwazzjoni preżenti, huwa imperattiv li d-deċiżżjonijiet li jittieħdu jkunu trasparenti, ibbażati fuq evidenza, ikunu konformi mal-liġijiet Maltin u regoli Ewropej, u jkunu karatteriżżati minn konsultazzjoni wiesgħa. Din ta' l-aħħar m'għandiex issir biss mal-grupp selettiv ta' esperti maħtura mill-Gvern, iżda ukoll ma' l-Oppożizzjoni, kunsilli lokali, sħab soċjali, għaqdiet non-governattivi u esperti minn oqsma varji. M'għandiex tkun konsultazzjoni ta' darba, iżda waħda kontinwa u deliberattiva.  

L-Oppożizzjoni Nazzjonalista illum fakkret lill-Gvern li skont ir-regoli Ewropej, il-politika tal-immiġġjar tal-iskart teħtieġ Valutazzjoni Strateġika Ambjentali (SEA) u Stima tal-Impatt Ambjentali (EIS) qabel ma jsiru deċiżżjonijiet bħal dik tal-Magħtab. Fost affarijiet oħra, dawn jinkludu studji indipendenti u kunsiderazzjoni ta' siti alternattiva. 

Nittama li l-Gvern jilqa' dan il-parir kostruttiv u jagħti widen lill-bdiewa, residenti u stakeholders oħrajn li esprimew tħassib f'dan ir-rigward.  Ikun tajjeb ukoll li jsiru social impact assessments f'proċessi bħal dawn. 



Thursday, May 21, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (47) #PattSoċjali

L-Oppożizzjoni Nazzjonalista ippreżentat pjan għal Malta sabiex l-ekonomija tal-pajjiż tirkupra fid-dawl tal-kriżi tal-Coronavirus.  Saret konsultazzjoni wiesa’ ma' setturi ekonomiċi u soċjali u qed tipproponi politika tal-ġid komuni permezz ta’ kontribut dirett fit-tfassil tar-recovery plan mill-kriżi ekonomika li ninsabu fiha. L-Oppożizzjoni qed tipproponi li din il-ħidma ma’ tkunx ristretta biss għall-partiti politiċi iżda li ġġib flimkien ukoll lill-imsieħba ewlenin kollha nkluż korpi kostitwiti, unjins u s-soċjeta’ ċivili.

Kif spjegajt f'artiklu f'The Malta Independent bl-isem ta' 'A Social Pact for Workers Day' u fil-blog tiegħi, huwa imperattiv li f'dan il-mument diffiċli pajjiżna jaddotta b'mod konsistenti politika ta' deliberazzjoni u konsultazzjoni wiesgħa, ibbażata fuq l-evidenza f'oqsma varji.  Għal darb'oħra l-Opożizzjoni qed toffri l-id tal-ħbiberija lill-Gvern. 

Hekk kif il-poplu Malti qed jerġa jara żieda inkwetanti ta' persuni infettati bil-Coronavirus kif ukoll sfidi ekonomiċi, soċjali u ambjentali, il-Gvern għandu jilqa' l-istedina biex naffrontaw il-kriżi bħala poplu magħqud. Nittama ukoll li r-riforma kostituzzjonali tkun waħda inklussiva u deliberattiva. 

Links: 









Wednesday, May 20, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (46) Għoli tal-Ħajja

Skont il-Eurostat, Malta kellha t-tmien l-iktar rata għolja (1.1%) ta' inflazzjoni annwali fl-Unjoni Ewropea, li hi iktar għolja anke mill-medja Ewropea ta' 0.7%. Filwaqt li din hi marġinalment iktar baxxa mir-rata ta' Marzu (1.2%), fuq medda ta' sena, il-'moving average rate' ta' Malta hi ta' 1.5%, li skont l-Uffiċju Nazzjonali ta' l-Istatistika tofri kejl li hu inqas sensittiv għal tibdil temporanju fil-prezzijiet.

Ta' min jinnota li fuq medda ta' sena, Malta kellha l-ikbar żidiet fil-prezzijiet fl-ikel u xorb non-alkoħoliku, u l-akbar tnaqqis fil-prezzijiet ta' l-edukazzjoni. Fuq medda ta' xahar, il-prezzjijiet f'Malta għolew l-iktar fir-restoranti u lukandi u naqsu l-iktar fl-edukazzjoni.

Sa dan it-tant, qabel tfaċċat il-pandemija tal-Coronavirus, kien hemm bosta appelli lill-Gvern minn sħab soċjali, esperti u għaqdiet non-governattivi sabiex ikun hemm reviżjonijiet fil-mod kif jiġi kkalkulat il-kumpens għall-għoli tal-ħajja u d-dħul tal-ħaddiema u anzjani. Waqt il-pandemija, apparti l-politika tal-Gvern, ġew varati numru ta' proposti mill-Oppożizzjoni, Sħab Soċjali u għaqdiet non-governattivi.  

Nifhem li bosta prezzijiet għoljin qed jiġu impurtati minn barra, iżda tajjeb li jkun hemm assessjar soċjali u ekonomiku ta' l-impatt ta' l-għoli tal-ħajja fuq persuni minn gruppi u kategoriji soċjali differenti. Dan jista' jiġi kkumisjonat mill-MCESD. Ftit ġimgħat ilu l-Anti Poverty Forum irrakomanda li jitwaqqaf Istitut ta’ Riċerka kompetenti biex jimmonitorja kwistjonijiet relatati mal-faqar u jagħti rakkomandazzjonijiet bikrija biex jinbidlu l-policies sabiex l-impatt tal-pandemija fuq il-vulnerabbli ikun imnaqqas kemm jista’ jkun malajr.  Sa llum ma kien hemm l-ebda feedback pubbliku mill-Gvern dwar dan.


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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (45)

A poisoned chalice?

A move towards epidemiological neoliberalism, survival of the fittest, each to one's own, responsible for one's own corona-choices-situations, juggling freedom with responsibility in the context of a retreating sense of communitarian policy making?

Or a tough balancing act between health-economy-society in the management of opportunities and risks?

In either case, public consultation, deliberation and transparency would be most welcome.

Friday, May 15, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (44) Rilaxxar tar-Restrizzjonijiet #Coronavirus - Il-Gvern għandu jippubblika l-evidenza u l-konsultazzjoni

Nifhem li fil-kriżi tal-Coronavirus hemm aspetti mediċi, soċjali u ekonomiċi fost oħrajn. Nifhem li ma jeżstux bakketti maġiċi u li kull deċizzjoni tista' ġġib riskji magħħa. Iżda jeħtieġ li l-poplu Malti jkollu serħan tal-moħħ li r-rilaxxar ta' restrizzjonijiet qed isir bl-iktar mod għaqli u meqjus. 

Għalhekk nappella lill-Gvern biex jippubblika l-evidenza li qed juża u l-konsultazzjoni li qed jagħmel sabiex jasal għad-deċiżżjonijiet relatati mal-Coronavirus.

Insaqsi lill-Gvern:

- Kif qed isiru d-deċiżjonijiet  dwar il-miżuri relatati mar-rilaxxar ta' restrizzjonijiet?
- Min qed jiġi kkonsultat? Jeżistu minuti tal-laqgħat?
- Fuq liema bażi qed jittieħdu d-deċiżjonijiet? X'metodoloġiji qed jintużaw? 
- X'qed iżomm lill-Gvern milli jiddelibera b'mod miftuh mal-Oppożizzjoni, Sħab Soċjali, Soċjeta Ċivili u Esperti f'oqsma varji?
F'dan iż-żmien diffiċli, pajjiżna jeħtieġ trasparenza, deliberazzjoni u kunsens kemm jista' jkun wiesgħa.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (43): #Coronavirus - Kriżi globali ta' saħħa mentali

Il-Ġnus Maqgħuda wissiet li d-dinja qed tistenna kriżi ta' saħħa mentali hekk kif miljuni ta' nies qed jesperjenzaw imwiet, mard, iżolament, faqar u anzjeta' kawża tal-COVI019. 

F'dan ir-rigward, nerġa nappella lill-Gvern ta' Malta biex iwettaq politika olistika ibbażata fuq il-konsultazzjoni, l-evidenza u d-deliberazzjoni, mhux biss fil-qasam tas-saħħa, iżda ukoll fl-oqsma ekonomiċi u soċjali fost oħrajn. 

Kemm l-Opożizzjoni kif ukoll sħab soċjali offrew l-id tal-ħbiberija f'dan ir-rigward. Il-Gvern għandu jikkonsulta ukoll ma' l-esperti ta' dixxiplini differenti u ma' għaqdiet attivi fil-komunitajiet varji. 

Jeħtieġ li naffrontaw din il-kriżi bħala poplu magħqud, lil'hinn mill-pika partiġġjana. 




Reclaiming Space: Michael Briguglio

In my fortnightly op-ed in the Malta Independent I discuss different claims being made by Government and civil society regarding open spaces in Malta.

You can read the article here:


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (42) Enerġija: Malta tinżel 6 postijiet u żżid l-emissjonijiet CO2

Skont il-Energy Transition Index tal-World Economic Forum, Malta niżlet 6 postijiet bejn l-2019 u 2020, u issa tokkupa l-34 post minn 115 pajjiż u fost l-aħħar postijiet tal-ekonomiji avvanzati. 

Fi kliem il-World Economic Forum

"An effective energy transition is a timely transition towards a more inclusive, sustainable, affordable and secure energy system that provides solutions to global energy‑related challenges, while creating value for business and society, without compromising the balance of the energy triangle.  While a long‑term vision and objectives are necessary".

Skont il-World Economic Forum, il-kriżi tal-Coronavirus tista' tikkanċella l-progress madwar id-dinja fit-tranżizzjoni għall-enerġija nafida, minħabba tnaqqis fid-domanda, volatilita' fil-prezzijiet u pressjonijet soċjo-ekonomiċi. Il-World Economic Forum appellat biex ikun hemm azzjoni urġenti  b' kollaborazzjoni ta' l-istakeholders,  permezz ta' srateġiji li jħarsu fit-tul u li jwasslu għall-użu ta' enerġija f'ekonomija globali li tkun sostenibbli u ekwa.

Sa dan it-tant, skont stimi tal-Eurostat, Malta hija waħda mill-uniċi 4 pajjiżi fl-Unjoni Ewropea li kellhom żieda fit-tniġġiz permezz ta' emissjonijiet CO2. Dan apparti n-nuqqas ta' governanza tajba u trasparenza fil-politika ta' l-enerġija ta' Malta. 

Riċerka soċjoloġika li kont involut fiha turi l-importanza ta' konsultazzjoni wiesgħa u involviment tas-soċjeta' ċivili, sħab soċjali u esperti fil-politika ta' l-enerġija sostenibbli. 

F'dan iż-żmien ta' Coronavirus, ikun tajjeb li l-Gvern jaddotta strateġija ta' deliberazzjoni u konsultazzjoni wiesgħa fil-politika tiegħu. Kemm l-Oppożizzjoni kif ukoll is-Sħab Soċjali ħarġu b'numru ta' proposti u offrew l-id tal-ħbiberija f'dan ir-rigward. 


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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (41): #Coronavirus u Xogħol Prekarju

Skont il-Eurostat, is-sitwazzjoni tal-Coronavirus tista' twassal għal tibidil fl-istatistika tax-xogħol prekarju madwar l-Unjoni Ewropea. 

Skont l-istess Eurostat, Malta għandha fost l-iktar persentaġġi baxxi ta' xogħol prekarju fl-UE. Iżda qabel ma nibdew niċċelebraw għandna naraw il-kjarifikazzjoni li tagħmel il-Eurostat dwar Malta u Ċipru, li ukoll għandha persentaġġ baxx: Il-kjarifikazzjoni tgħid li l-persentaġġi ta' dawn iż-żewġ pajjiżi ma tistax toqgħod fuqhom.

Għalhekk wieħed isaqsi: X'qed isir f'pajjiżna biex ikollna statistika ta' min joqgħod fuqha dwar ix-xogħol prekarju? U x'qed isir biex il-prekarjat jonqos f'kull settur, u mhux biss f'ċerti setturi? 

Tajjeb inżommu f'moħħna li skont studju tal-Fond Monetarju Internazzjonali li ġie ppublikat fl-2018, l-ekonomija sewda f'Malta tammonta għal bejn 15.3% u 23.6% tal-Prodott Gross Domestiku.

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#Ħsibijiet (40): #Coronavirus: Noqogħdu attenti mit-tieni mewġa

Il-Malta Independent, f'intervista ma' l-Istatisktu Vince Marmara, tirraporta li din il-ġimgħa hija estremament importanti biex Malta tkun tista' tkejjel l-impatt tal-miżuri li ħabbar il-gvern ftit tal-ġranet ilu, li inkludew il-ftuħ ta' bosta ħwienet. 

Nittamaw li l-evidenza tkun waħda ta' kuraġġ. 

Sa dan it-tant, Time Magazine jirraporta li pajjiżi bħall-Korea t'Isfel u l-Ġermanja qed jesperjenzaw żidiet ta' każijiet tal-Coronavirus wara li rrilassaw numru ta' miżuri. Dan jindika kemm hi diffiċli s-sitwazzjoni, fejn Gvernijiet qed għandhom quddiemhom sfidi ta' saħħa kif ukoll dawk ekonomiċi u soċjali. 

Għalhekk għandna noqogħdu attenti mit-tieni mewġa. Kemm fuq livell personali kif ukoll fuq livell ta' policy-making. Tajjeb infakkru li l-Oppożizzjoni qed toffri l-id tal-ħbiberija lill-Gvern biex ikollna l-ikbar kunsens u għaqal possibli fil-politika nazzjonali f'dan ir-rigward. 

Links: 







Monday, May 11, 2020

#SaveGħadir ODZ - Send your objection to PA from here.

The proposal to build on ODZ agricultural land at l-Għadir which connects Ħal-Safi, Ħal-Kirkop and Żurrieq is resulting in objections by local councils, non-governmental organisations, residents and concerned citizens.

You can add your name to the petition objection which is being submitted by the Zurrieq Local Council and is endorsed by Save l-Għadir ODZ. Link:

In the meantime, I sent the objection below, which you can use for your own objection:


To: representations@pa.org.mt
Re: PA 02813/20

Attention Planning Authority

I am hereby objecting to development proposal PA 02813/20 on ODZ land at l-Għadir, Żurrieq.

This proposal should be refused outright as it is situated on a large stretch of ODZ rural land. 

SPED makes it clear that social and community facilities will only be considered after evaluation which clearly shows that there is no other alternative. Various alternatives exist, and Zurrieq Local Council had carried out a study in this regard. It is also recommended to have proper Government consultation with Local Councils and to commission a Social Impact Assessment to provide data for evidence-based policymaking, thus enabling deliberation, social wellbeing and sustainability.

Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist

Friday, May 08, 2020

Ħsibijiet (38) Spazji miftuħa

Il-Gvern ħabbar proġett ta' spazji miftuħa temporanji f'toroq u pjazez madwar Malta. Din it-tip ta' miżura tista tnaqqas it-tniġġiż, twassal għal iktar aċċessibilita' u ssaħħaħ il-komunitajiet madwar Malta u Għawdex.

Nemmen li l-Kunsilli Lokali kollha għandhom ikunu proattivi f'din il-kwistjoni permezz ta' konsultazzjoni ma' residenti u stakeholders f'kull lokalita' biex jiġu identifikati s-siti proposti. B'hekk il-proċess jista' jkun demokratiku, infurmat u bbażat fuq l-evidenza. 

Sfortunatament, jidher li l-Gvern hu nieqes minn dawn il-metodi f'oqsma ekonomiċi u soċjali relatati mal-Coronavirus, minkejja l-appelli mill-Oppożizzjoni u s-Sħab Soċjali. 

Tajjeb ukoll jekk il-Gvern jagħti titlu lill-Kunsilli Lokali għal art pubblika bħal parkeġġi: Bħal ma jaf kulħadd, bosta parkers jiċċarġjaw il-flus minkejja li hemm sinjali li jgħidu bil-kontra.  Għalhekk, qed ikun hemm qliegħ privat għal servizz pubbliku. 

Il-Gvern m'għandux ikun selettiv dwar spazji miftuħa. Għandu juża l-metodu konsultattiv u demokratiku dwar aċċess pubbliku f'spazji miftuħa oħra - bħal każ tal-Miżieb. Il-konsultazzjoni għandha tkun wiesgħa u trasparenti u mhux ma' settur wieħed biss. Kull ftehim għandu jkun ippublikat, hekk kif qed titlob il-koalizzjoni Spazji Miftuħa. 

L-għodda soċjoloġika ta' Social Impact Assessment għandha valur kbir għall-ippjanar ibbażat fuq l-evidenza u deliberazzjoni. Pajjiżna għad m'għandux politika strutturata dwar din l-għodda tant neċessarja. 





Tuesday, May 05, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (37) 31 sular minflok bini storiku: Joġġezzjonaw il-Kunsill Lokali Sliema, Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, Futur Ambjent Wieħed u Moviment Graffitti


Ftit tal-ġranet ilu ippublikajt l-oġġezzjoni li għamilt għall-iżvilupp ta' Torri ta' 31 sular minflok bini storiku fis-sit ta' Fort Cambridge f'Tas-Sliema. L-oġġezzjoni u informazzjoni dwar dan l-iżvilupp jinstab f'dan il-link: 

https://mikes-beat.blogspot.com/2020/04/31-storey-highrise-proposed-in-sliema.html

Il-Kunsill Lokali ta' tas-Sliema, Flimkien Għall-Ambjent Aħjar, Futur Ambjent Wieħed u Moviment Graffitti issottomettew oġġezzjonijiet, li qed jiġu ppublikati fuq din il-paġna.


Nixtieq nappellalek biex tibgħat email lill-Awtorita' ta' l-Ippjanar biex iżżid il-vuċi tiegħek sabiex dan l-iżvilupp ma jiġix approvat. Ir-residenti ta' Tas-Sliema jixirqilna aħjar. Malta ma jistħoqqiliex iktar soffokazzjoni. 


Inti tista' tibgħat l-oġġezzjoni tiegħek lill-Awtorita' ta' l-Ippjanar sal-Ġimgħa 8 ta' Mejju, permezz ta' email lil representations@pa.org.mt u b' 𝗣𝗔 𝟮𝟵𝟬𝟲/𝟭𝟲 fis-suġġett. Tista tuża kliem minn dawn l-oġġgezzjonijiet: 


1. Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar

2. Futur Ambjent Wieħed
3. Moviment Graffitti
4. Kunsill Lokali tas-Sliema



1. Astrid Vella ta' Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar ippublikat oġġezzjoni li jista' jinstab minn dan il-Link: 

https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10220366841894523&set=a.1275473000305

To: representations@pa.org.mt
Subject: 𝗥𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗿𝗲 𝗣𝗔 𝟮𝟵𝟬𝟲/𝟭𝟲

I wish to object to this application on the following grounds:
- 𝗡𝗲𝗴𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘃𝗶𝘀𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁: The highrise building is incongruous and disproportionate, overshadowing the barracks and impacting the Valletta UNESCO World Heritage Site. This project is in breach of the Hotels Height Adjustment Limitation Policy which states that, "Proposals should be sited where visual impact within their context and on sensitive historic environments and their settings such as World Heritage Sites, conservation areas and scheduled buildings is minimised”
The photomontages all lack contrast, no sunrise/sunset and no photomontages have been provided for the narrow streets near this major development.
- 𝗕𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗟𝗼𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻: The tower will dwarf the surrounding buildings and adversely affect views from all points, particularly of Valletta's UNESCO WHS skyline. This contravenes North Harbour Local Pan Policy NHSJ15 – sections ii, iii and v a. “The proposed development is not likely to create significant adverse impacts on the local amenity”. b. The scale of the proposed development is [to be] consistent with the building height limitation and the character of the area c. The proposal will not compromise existing and future proposals for traffic management in the area as established in Policies NHSJ01 and NHSJ05 4.
- 𝗕𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗗 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗲𝘀: a. 3.4.2.6 the second Urban Objective of the SPED requires a commitment “To improve the townscape and environment in historic cores and their setting with a presumption against demolition of property worthy of conservation…” the Grand and Marsamxett Harbours are designated Areas of High Landscape Value (AHLV). Third subsequent Urban Objective refers to: 1. protection and enhancement of the character and amenity of distinct urban areas.
Proposal is in breach of SPED Thematic Objective 7 as it envisages the excavation of 28,000 cubic metres of material. This is a wasteful process, especially at the present time when landfills are reaching capacity. It is also in breach of SPED Thematic Objective 7.9 which states: Thematic Objective 7: To promote the efficient use of resources including local stone, water and soil, and manage waste in a manner that safeguards natural processes, and minimises impacts on cultural heritage, landscape and human health by 9. Controlling demolition of buildings and structures and excavation of sites.
- 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗔𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 carried out in 2015 is obsolete and there aren't sufficient mitigation measures for the traffic to be generated by the project and the loss of onstreet parking. Censu Scerri and Tigne Streets will be gridlocked by traffic for this project and TownSquare.
- 𝗟𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗼𝗳 𝗦𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗔𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁, essential to analyse, monitor and manage the social consequences of such a major development.
- 𝗕𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗟𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗹 𝗡𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝟮𝟮𝟳/𝟭𝟲 as the road height to width ratio is being violated and there is no justification for this. The maximum permissible height is 45m, and the proposal is for a 136m high block.
- 𝗘𝘅𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴: Microclimate Impact of Overshadowing; The over-shading analysis shows that Triq Tigne will be in permanent deep shade as a result of this development, becoming an urban canyon. The grave implications of this warrant a case study on this street.
- 𝗡𝗲𝗴𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁𝘀: The proposal envisages the near total demolition of the barracks with a facade being retained. This extremely damaging example of facadism completely disregards the site and context and lacks an assessment of the internal features. The Superintendent of Cultural Heritage has stated that this is a major adverse impact. This also disregards the requests for Scheduling of the barracks. the Environment Impact Assessment had recommended Grade 2 scheduling for the buildings, a status which normally precludes substantial changes.
- 𝗘𝗻𝘃𝗶𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁: Actual possible wind velocities are not being provided in the study and do not take into account other high-rise projects in the area, inc the forthcoming Fortina project. Air pollution study based on 2015 Traffic Impact Assessment is obsolete as that study did not take into account traffic to be generated by other major developments.
- 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘁𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗖𝗮𝗺𝗯𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗴𝗲 𝗗𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗳 regarding Building Heights and residential amenity. The 2007 development brief for the land on which Fort Cambridge was, had excluded development on the historical barracks.
𝘐𝘯 𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘷𝘦, 𝘐 𝘢𝘴𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥. 𝘐 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘧𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘮𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵



2. Claire Bonello f'isem Futur Ambjent Wieħed, issottomettiet din l-oġġezzjoni:



PA 2906/16

I am filing this objection to this application on behalf of FUTUR AMBJENT WIEHED and on my own behalf on the following grounds
- Negative visual impact and aesthetic impact - breach of the  Hotels Height Adjustment Limitation Policy
The highrise building is incongruous, it overshadows the barracks, has a negative visual effect from the Valletta side. It is large and out of context. Exaggerated size does not make it iconic - simply another bulky building.
This is in breach of the Hotels Height Adjustment Limitation Policy which states that," Proposals should be sited where visual impact within their context and on sensitive historic environments and their settings such as World Heritage Sites, conservation areas and scheduled buildings is minimised, and should retain and enhance key strategic, long distant views and important vistas at a national and at the local level. An acceptance of a particular height of one hotel does not imply that all other hotels in the locality or elsewhere should be at least as high as the one granted consent."
- Breach of Local Plan
The tower will dwarf the surrounding buildings. The building adversely affects views from all points, particularly from Valletta, breaking and intruding into the skyline. This contravenes North Harbour Local Pan Policy NHSJ15 – 
sections ii, iii and v 
a. The proposed development is not likely to create significant adverse impacts on the local amenity.
 b. The scale of the proposed development is consistent with the building height limitation and the character of the area 
c. The proposal will not compromise existing and future proposals for traffic management in the area as established in Policies NHSJ01 and NHSJ05 4. 

- Breach of  SPED policies namely: a. 3.4.2.6 In addition to this, the second Urban Objective of the SPED submits a commitment “To improve the townscape and environment in historic cores and their setting with a presumption against demolition of property worthy of conservation…” Third subsequent third Urban Objective then refers to the 1 protection and enhancement of the character and amenity of distinct urban areas . c. Reference is also made to the excerpt from GN133/2001 which refers to the designation of the fortifications of the Grand and Marsamxett harbours, an Area of High Landscape Value (AHLV)
- The Transport Impact Assessment carried out is obsolete and there aren't sufficent mitigation measures for the traffic generated by the scheme and the loss of onsite parking.
- The proposed development is in breach of Legal Notice 227 of 2016 insofar as the road height to width ratio is not being observed and there is no justification for this.
- Excessive shadowing - Microclimate
  Impact of Overshadowing; The extracts of the over-shading analysis show that Triq Tigne will have ZERO direct sunlight as a result of this development. A case study on this street should be included to confirm what has been noted due to its grave implications. Furthermore, the case studies provided show a loss of sunlight as a result of the project as a value in itself, for example 40mins for case study B. What is not mentioned is how much the 40mins is of, that is whether it is 40mins of 2hrs of 40mins of 45mins. The over-shadowing caused by the development should be assessed as a fraction of how much sunlight the site over which a shadow is being cast actually gets. Without this information the values provided cannot be interpreted to fully assess the extent of impact the development will have on the surrounding properties' accessibility to adequate natural light.   
If the height has been reduced from the date of compilation of the shadowing studies, an updated report has to be made available
- Negative Heritage Impacts
The proposal envisages the near total demolition of the barracks with a facade being retained. There is no study or assessment of the internal features. This is an example of facadism which completely disregards the site and context. The Superintendent of Cultural Heritage has stated that this is a major adverse impact. This also disregards the requests for Scheduling of the barracks.
- Disregard of the Fort Cambridge Development Brief
The proposed development is in breach of the Fort Cambridge Development Brief regarding Building Heights (below) and residential amenity.

Proposal is in breach of SPED Thematic Objective 7
The proposal envisages the excavation of 28,000 cubic metres of material. This is a wasteful process, especially at the present time when landfills are reaching capacity. It is also in breach of SPED Thematic Objective 7.9 which states the following:

Thematic Objective 7: To promote the efficient use of resources including local
stone, water and soil, and manage waste in a manner that safeguards natural
processes, and minimises impacts on cultural heritage, landscape and human
health by
9. Controlling demolition of buildings and structures and excavation of sites

In view of the above, I ask that this development is refused.
I reserve the right to make further submissions and to be informed of all meetings and to be present thereat.

3. Moviment Graffitti issottometa din l-oġġezzjoni: 


Moviment Graffitti would like to object to PA/02906/16 for the following reasons:
Retention of Historic Facades: The 31-storey tower will obliterate a sizeable part of the historic barracks in the area. The application is still awaiting a decision by the Planning Authority as to whether these barracks should be granted protection or not. The application should then not continue to go through until the barracks are granted protection.
High-Rise Policy: While the proposed development has been shaved down from 40-storeys to 31-storeys, the policy permitting high-rise hotels specifically bans such developments on scheduled historical buildings. The Fort Cambridge officers’ mess was built between 1903 and 1905 and in 1915 the building was used as a military hospital. Therefore, the building has historical value which will be destroyed by this proposed development. Photomontages for the new development suggest that most of the original barracks will be demolished with only parts of the façade being retained.
Floor Area Ratio policy: In addition, because the site of the proposed tower hotel amounts to 2,508 sq.m, 1,770 sq.m of which will be built up, the development cannot be approved under the Floor Area Ratio policy, a framework to allow higher buildings only on 4,000 sq.m sites surrounded by streets on all sides; half of which must be retained as an open space.
Scheduling of Historic Buildings: The PA still has to decide on a request to schedule the building by the Sliema Local council. The building’s historical importance was recognised in studies included in the Environment Impact Assessment which recommended Grade 2 scheduling for the buildings, a status which normally precludes substantial changes. Therefore, the application cannot be approved before the scheduling has taken place.
Development Brief: The 2007 development brief for the land on which Fort Cambridge was leased to GAP Ltd for €54 million, had excluded development on the historical barracks. But the brief itself is legally not mentioned in the deed signed with Gap Holdings in 2007. In 2016 former parliamentary secretary for lands Deborah Schembri confirmed with MaltaToday that since the 2007 deed does not take into account the development brief that guided Gap Holdings, the Government Property Division “has to honour the original deed” – that would imply that no renegotiation of the lease price or any changes are being considered. Thus, we can see that there is a discrepancy here and that no development should be able to take place that would affect the historic buildings.

4. Il-Kunsill Lokali ta' Tas-Sliema issottometta din l-oġġezzjoni (ikklikja fuq kull paġna biex taraha ikbar):











Monday, May 04, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (36) Maskri u Visors: Il-Gvern reġa' ma kkonsultax

Il-Kamra ta' l-Ispiżjara qalet li ma ġietx ikkonsultata dwar li-avviż legali dwar il-maskri u l-visors meta huma stakeholders importanti. Il-poplu Malti ġie avżat l-ewwel darba dwar id-deċiżżjoni tal-Gvern permezz ta' post fuq il-Facebook tal-Ministru Silvio Schembri. 
Tajjeb inżommu f'moħħna li spiżjara u ħaddiema fl-ispiżeriji qed joffru servizz importanti lill-pubbliku, u bħall ħaddiema f'setturi oħra bħas-saħħa, sigurta', tindif u ikel, qegħdin fuq il-fruntiera tal-gwerra kontra l-Coronavirus.  
Kif diġa spjegajt f'numru ta' blogs, artikli f'The Malta Independent u interventi fuq Net FM, huwa ċar li filwaqt li jidher l-Gvern għandu strateġija ta' saħħa ibbażata fuq l-evidenza, l-istess ma jistax jingħad dwar l-istrateġiji tal-Gvern fl-oqsma ekonomiċi u soċjali. Il-Gvern mhux qed jispjega kif qed jasal għad-deċiżżjonijiet tiegħu f'dawn is-setturi. Qed ikun reattiv, u nieqes mill-konsultazzjoni ma' l-Oppożizzjoni, mas-sħab soċjali, mas-soċjeta' ċivili fis-sens wiesgħa tagħha u ma' l-esperti.


Nerġa nappella għal politika ta' deliberazzjoni ibbażata fuq il-konsultazzjoni, evidenza u djalogu, u mhux politika għaġġelija u supperva. 

Sunday, May 03, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (35) 95c

Illum il-Gvern ħabbar li l-prezz massimu għal bejgħ ta' Surgical Masks ser ikun  95c u li l-prezz massimu għall-visors protettivi ser ikun ta’ €5. 
Filwaqt li hu tajjeb li l-Gvern intervjena fuq din il-materija f'din l-emerġenza medika, ikun tajjeb ukoll li l-istess Gvern jispjega għalfejn il-prezz massimu tal-maskri f'Malta huwa kważi d-doppju tal-prezz fil-pajjiż ġar tagħna l-Italja, fejn il-prezz massimu hu 50c. 
Ikun tajjeb ukoll jekk il-Gvern jiżgura li  jkun hemm sistema li permezz tagħha kemm l-awtoritajiet kif ukoll il-konsumatur ikunu jistgħu jivverifikaw jekk il-maskri varji li qed jinbiegħu, anke fuq il-media soċjali, ikunu konformi ma' standards rispettivi. 
Sa dan it-tant, l-Awtoritajiet tas-Saħħa ħarġu d-dokument dwar kif għandhom jintużaw il-maskri. Dan jista' jinqara minn dak il-link: https://deputyprimeminister.gov.mt/en/health-promotion/Documents/Guidance%20on%20the%20Use%20of%20Face%20Masks%20for%20decreasing%20COVID-19%20Transmission_May2020_LV.pdf