The Malta Independent 17 July 2024, Wednesday
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Local councils

Owen Bonnici Friday, 21 June 2024, 08:38 Last update: about 26 days ago

As the vote-counting sessions of the local elections came to an end, we were able to observe the final results. The Labour Party once again emerged victorious in the local elections, securing a lead of over 20,000 votes against the Nationalist Party.

The Labour Party achieved an absolute majority with 52% of the votes. There had been predictions suggesting that the Labour Party might lose these elections. Contrary to these forecasts, not only did the Labour Party win, but it did so with more than double the margin it had achieved in the European Parliament elections. This substantial victory reflects the party’s strong and consistent support among the electorate. 

Since the level of support is down from that registered five years ago, it is evident  that there are valuable lessons to be learned from these elections, particularly in those localities where the Labour Party has lost seats. 

Understanding the dynamics in these regions will be crucial for addressing the concerns of our constituents more effectively.

A notable aspect of this election was the participation of numerous young candidates, many of whom achieved significant successes. This influx of young talent is a promising sign for the future, indicating that we are cultivating a new generation of capable and dedicated individuals who are ready to contribute to our political landscape.

Their involvement and achievements underscore the importance of engaging youth in politics and ensuring that their voices are heard. This new generation brings fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that will be crucial in addressing the challenges of the future.

I am not referring only to young freshly appointed Mayors or Deputy Mayors but to each and every young man or woman who has made it to the Council. 

A heartfelt expression of gratitude is due to Parliamentary Secretary Alison Zerafa Civelli. Her relentless dedication and hard work played a pivotal role. The historic result of a five to zero victory in her home town of Bormla stands as a testament to her unwavering commitment and effective commitment. Her efforts have set a benchmark for hard work and have significantly contributed to the Labour Party’s overall performance in these elections.

The results of the local elections have reaffirmed the Labour Party's position and its ability to mobilize support across various demographics. Moving forward, it is imperative to analyze the outcomes thoroughly, celebrate the victories, but more importamtly address the areas needing improvement. By doing so, we can continue to build on this and strive for even greater achievements in the future for a better country overall. 

The journey of our local councils is a journey spanning three decades of collaboration, dedication, and hard work. This significant moment allows us to reflect on the important strides we have made together in building and strengthening our communities.

Three decades ago, under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami, Malra embarked on a mission to create stronger, more vibrant local communities. It is clear that the efforts, with all the ups and downs, have borne fruit, resulting in progress that benefits all our residents. Our Local Councils have been the bedrock of this positive change, ensuring that the voices of residents are heard and their needs addressed. 

They serve as a shining example of how local governance can act as a force for good, bringing tangible improvements to the lives of the people.  My hometown of Żejtun is a crystal-clear case in point and there are others. 

We must continue to work hand in hand, fostering a strong and inclusive community. We should take pride in our past achievements, recognize the ongoing efforts in the present, and look forward to the promising future of our Local Councils. I am confident that the years ahead will bring even greater accomplishments, deeper connections, and communities that continue to grow and thrive.

As a Government, we have always had a clear and unwavering belief in the crucial role our Local Councils play for better communities. That is why, for instance, the financial allocation has more than doubled in a matter of a single generation. 

We are committed to keep nurturing the talents and capabilities of our local leaders, irrespective of their age. Let us move forward together, united in the pursuit of a brighter and more inclusive future. Our commitment to subsidiarity—the principle that decisions should be made as closely as possible to the community—has guided our journey. This principle recognizes that the people living within the community are best suited to govern it, ensuring that their unique needs and perspectives are considered in decision-making processes.

Local Councils have become the cornerstone of local governance, ensuring that the people's voice resonates at every decision-making level. However, we must acknowledge that challenges remain. There is a need for greater public awareness about the central role of entities such as Regional Councils in our governance. In this rapidly changing world, technological advancements continue to shape how we connect and interact with our communities. We must leverage these developments to enhance our local governance, making it more efficient, transparent, and responsive to the needs of our residents.

As we look forward, I urge the new Majors, Vice Mayors and Councillors to proudly carry the duty of responsibility towards the communities. Local councils are the heartbeat of democracy, where the pulse of the community spirit is felt, and the march of progress is driven by the hands of its people. It is within these councils that the essence of community life is captured and nurtured, fostering an environment where every resident can thrive.

Our journey over the past three decades has been marked by significant milestones and achievements. We have done a lot together, improved infrastructure; and implemented programs that enhance the quality of life for all residents. These accomplishments are a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in local governance.

As we celebrate these achievements, we must also look to the future with a sense of optimism and determination. The challenges we face today, from environmental sustainability to social equity, require innovative solutions and a collaborative approach. Our Local Councils will continue to play a crucial role in addressing these challenges, working closely with residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to create resilient and vibrant communities.

Let us continue to work together for a future that is bright and inclusive. Let us build on the solid foundation we have established, drawing on our collective strengths and shared vision. With dedication, collaboration, and a commitment to the principles of subsidiarity and community engagement, we can achieve even greater success in the years to come. 

Thank you, and let us celebrate the journey of our Local Councils with pride and hope for the future.

 

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