The Malta Independent 4 October 2022, Tuesday
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TMID Editorial - Loud music in Valletta: Repealing the legal notice is the solution

Saturday, 13 August 2022, 16:37 Last update: about 3 months ago

Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said that more enforcement is the solution to complaints about loud music being played until late at night in Valletta.

No, minister, the solution would be to repeal the legal notice which the government decided to introduce in the first place.

Valletta is not Paceville. Valletta should never be allowed to once again become the overlyquiet city it once was, effectively becoming deserted by 8pm, but at the same time we must keep in mind that many people do live in the city.

Complaints by hoteliers are the latest in a saga over the legal notice which had been introduced at the beginning of summer, allowing establishments in certain streets to play music until 1am rather than 11pm.

There have been many articles about residents complaining about this situation.

Answering questions by this newsroom, Clayton Bartolo said: “there needs to be stronger enforcement in order for the legal notice to be enacted as it is supposed to. Between 11pm and 1am music levels need to be moderate in order to accommodate everyone.”

But herein lies the problem. Former Minister Evarist Bartolo had written that while between Monday to Thursday music played was reportedly moderate, the situation sometimes changed on the weekend. He also wrote that when residents contacted the police about it, the police told them that they don’t know what ‘moderate levels’ means.

The legal notice gives no exact definition as to what constitutes “moderate” music levels.

This is not only a failure on the part of the police, but a failure on the part of the government that introduced this legal notice in the first place.

But Clayton Bartolo, when asked, also said that there are no plans to revoke the legal notice anytime in the near future.

Realistically speaking, Valletta is not a place where music should be played till 1am. It is completely unfair on those who are trying to get a good night’s sleep.

This legal notice should be repealed immediately, no ifs or buts. The city is a World Heritage Site and should be treated as such.

Through the legal notice the minister responsible has surely appeased bar owners in those streets, but angered hoteliers in the area.

It’s about time we start to think of the wider picture rather than implement things just to appease a few. Respect the residents first and foremost – that should be the top priority in government policies.

Yet, realistically speaking, is the government doing that? The answer is clear.

The argument about noise pollution is not limited to Valletta. Elsewhere around the island some clubs in the past have, on occasion, taken the noise levels too far, with noise being heard from neighbouring towns. Now one-off situations are acceptable, but it should not be regular.

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