Challenges faced by Gozitan local councils discussed at LESA meeting
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A meeting organised by the Local Enforcement System Agency (LESA) for all Gozo mayors, was attend by Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana and Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis.
During the meeting various issues were discussed, including traffic management, damage to the environment, supervision near schools, as well as enforcement during the months summer.
Minister Caruana explained that Gozitan local councils face major challenges because the funding allocation is linked to the population size and not to the size of the territory.
“This means that often the local councils in Gozo are not able to perform tasks without government assistance,” Dr Caruana said. She stressed the importance of maintaining dialogue and communication, and to continue to focus on the common challenges through coordinated work.
Minister Caruana added that the Ministry for Gozo is assisting local councils in various ways and in recent weeks a number of meetings were held, where each local council identified their priorities, and discussed how to address them.
Dr Caruana said that common features in each locality is maintaining cleanliness and traffic management where more monitoring is needed, more enforcement, and above all more education.
She added that the Ministry for Gozo is helping to tackle cleanliness problems with the recent introduction of intervention teams for rapid response, also second waste collections in Xlendi and Marsalforn.
Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis praised the work carried out by the LESA and said that it is important to pinpoint the difficulties inherent in the system and improve its services. “It is crucial to consult those most affected by these difficulties,” he added.
The Parliamentary Secretary said that education is the best weapon against ignorance – which leads to violations of the law and creates difficult situations, resulting in negative consequences for the daily lives of citizens and tourists that visit our country.
Silvio Parnis also announced that there are to be reforms of the local enforcement system and said that he had noted the suggestions and recommendations made by the mayors present during the meeting.
Photographs: MGOZ/Terry Camilleri