The Malta Independent 20 October 2017, Friday

PN says government ‘dismantling’ local councils by making new agency responsible for all roads

Thursday, 12 October 2017, 15:32 Last update: about 8 days ago

The Nationalist Party is insisting that the decision by the government to make a new roads agency responsible for all roads in Malta was weakening the powers of local councils.

The PN was reacting to a report in the Times today, which said that the new Roads Agency, which will be set up next year, will be responsible for all roads.

Addressing a press conference this afternoon, PN MPs Marthese Portelli and Robert Cutajar insisted that, while road works should be administered by the agency, local councils should still have the power to decide which roads should be resurfaced.

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Portelli said Transport Malta employees who already have experience in the sector should be given opportunities within the agency.  All Maltese contractors should be given equal opportunities to participate in the project and, should the government engage foreign experts, these should work hand in hand with Maltese experts.

Local councils should not just be consulted; they should be the ones who decide where roadworks are carried out.

Portelli said these works should be carried out as part of a strategic long-term plan to tackle the traffic problem.  The decision to spend €700 million on roads would improve the quality of the roads in Malta but would not decrease traffic, she said.

Robert Cutajar said the government had decided, behind closed doors, to “dismantle” local councils by taking away their powers. The PN, he said, would not allow the government to steamroll over local councils.

He insisted that certain decisions should be taken by the councils because these entities are closest to residents.

 

PL reaction

Reacting, the PL said the PN was attacking the biggest infrastructural project the country has ever seen.

The government would, through this project, give great support to local councils, it said.

Because the agency would take care of road maintenance, local councils will have more money to spend on other projects, it said. 

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