Wednesday, July 12, 2017

LifeLong Learning Applications 2017/8

Lifelong learning courses applications will be open from Wednesday 12th July to Friday 4th August.

The information booklet will be distributed in your local council in the coming days.

Courses can be viewed online on

One can apply through various channels:

one can apply online
one can apply at the Directorate's office in Floriana - guidance services will be offered to provide necessary information on level and type of courses - payment is accepted either as card payment or by cheque - opening hours are from 8:30am till 12:00pm
one can apply at the one stop shops in local communities found in;
i. Vittoriosa (Birgu): Leap Center for the Southeastern Region, St Edward Str Vittoriosa
ii. Qormi: Oratory Str, Qormi
iii. Paola: Paola Local Council, Gnein Pawlu Boffa, Triq il-Knisja, Paola
iv. Birkirkara: Birkirkara Social Security District Office, Civic Centre, Floor 1, Triq Tumas Fenech, Birkirkara
v. Qawra Social Security District Office, Leap Centre, Triq il-Frejgatina, Qawra

Payment in the one stop shops is accepted either by card or by cash.

4. one can apply through the local councils - payment can only be accepted by card, if the person only has cash available kindly direct them to the closest one stop shop in the local community.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Localise not centralise

Are local councils equipped to meet the needs of their respective localities? Do they have enough funds and authority to govern? I believe these are key questions which need thorough debate, especially when local councils are so close to citizens’ everyday needs.
Government funding of local councils has increased in the past years. Indeed, in 2017, Malta’s 68 local councils received a total of €35.5 million from government, an increase of €3.5 million from 2015. High earners include St Paul’s Bay (€1,684,906), Birkirkara (€1,283,056), Mosta (€1,185,524) and Sliema (€1,110,593).
The government will also engage in a road-building programme in the next seven years. It recently announced that it would take over this responsibility from local councils, which are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with hefty demands in this sector.
One expects that in the near future government elaborates on its intentions and consults accordingly. For example, will the road building programme covered by the government include pavements? Will the  government’s plans affect local council funding? Will local councils be responsible just for patching of roads, or would councils still be expected to budget for full-road asphalting? And who will decide on which roads will be prioritised?
Going back to the original question of this article, let us keep in mind that local councils have very limited options for the generation of other revenue. Sure, local councils may apply for EU funds and for discretionary government schemes. They may also generate some revenue through permit fees, adverts and the like.
But it is more than evident that something has to be done to ensure that local councils may adequately cover their growing demands and needs. These include not only infrastructure and waste management, but also educational, cultural and social initiatives which are very important for social cohesion, integration and community building.
Ideally, Malta’s local agenda should emphasise decentralisation to ensure that no government, entity or sector has excessive power. This should be accompanied by subsidiarity, where decisions are taken at the lowest level possible, meaning that decisions which can easily be taken by local councils needn’t be taken by ministers or authorities.
In addition, more state-owned land should be devolved to local councils. This may include public car parks, public buildings and heritage sites. Local councils can then manage such areas in the best interest of the locality, possibly generating funds in the process. Such funds can then be used to help finance local programmes and initiatives.
Unfortunately, Malta’s government is progressively moving towards the other direction. Apart from discretionary schemes referred to earlier in this article, we are witnessing increased centralisation of power.
One key example of this is enforcement. Local councils are frequently at the receiving end of complaints related to illegal street vendors, abusive parking, careless construction practices, noise pollution, illegal littering and so forth. Given that wardens are now under central government control, there is not much that local councils can do to ensure that enforcement takes place. The same applies with regard to other enforcing agencies such as the police, the Building Regulations Office and the Planning Authority.
Centralisation of power gives excessive strength to ministers, who in turn are omnipresent at macro and micro levels in Maltese society. Thus, a local council may require enforcement against abusive practices which affect residents’ quality of life, but this may be prohibited from taking place due to partisan political reasons and patronage.
The centralisation of powers makes citizens and local councils increasingly dependent on ministers, and this can erode the dynamics of local governance. It can also result in increased apathy and lack of initiative.
On the other hand, decentralisation, subsidiarity and devolution can incentivise both local councils and citizens to be more creative and innovative in the governance of localities. It would also help diversify power. In a politically-charged society like Malta, this could enrich democracy, giving more value and legitimacy to local council elections and other similar appointments.

Monday, June 26, 2017

How to petition the PA on Development & Construction

Claire Bonello has prepared a basic guide on how to petition the Planning Authority on development applications and construction practices. You may access it through the following link at Loving  Malta:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sliema waste collection summer schedule

From this coming Sunday all black garbage bags will be collected from 10am around the locality. 

Please make sure NOT to take your garbage out after that time or else it will litter the pavements until Monday evening. 

#BeConsiderate #LoveSliema

(click on images for larger versions)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Reply to Ralph Cassar regarding resignation from AD

Copy of letter to Ralph Cassar, Secretary General Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party. Today he replied to my resignation letter dated 4th May, by asking me to step down from Sliema Local Council.

Dear Ralph,

Thanks for accepting my resignation. It was a pleasure to represent AD at the Sliema Local Council.
I am pleased to inform you that I will keep representing my Sliema local council constituents who have been electing me since 2003, and that I will responsibly work in the interest of all Sliema residents.
All the best,
Ghaziz Ralph,

Grazzi talli lqajtu r-rizenja tieghi. Kien ta' pjacir nirraprezenta lill-AD fil-Kunsill ta' Tas-Sliema.
Bi pjacir u b'sens ta' responsabilita' ser nibqa nirraprezenta lill-kostitwenti tieghi li ilhom jelleguni mill-2003 fil-Kunsill Lokali ta' Tas-Sliema, u ser nibqa nahdem fl-interess tas-Slimizi kollha.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Lessons in Maltese & English for Primary Level Students - Sliema Local Council

 Lessons in Maltese and English Reading and Writing for Primary Level Students (both Maltese and foreigners).

  • Each course is made up of 5 two hour lessons.
  • Emphasis will be given to both reading and writing in both languages.
  • Pupils will be put in groups according to their age.
  • The lessons will be held every Friday at 8.30 am at Sliema Local Council or Sliema Primary School.
  • Qualified and experienced teachers.
  • Handouts will be provided for free.
  • Children who attend Summer School will be taken from their classes by the teachers and taken back to class by said teachers.
  • The lessons will be held on  14th, 21st, 28th July ,4th, 11th August
  • The course fee is €20 per child                                                                                                                                       
Anyone interested in sending his child is kindly requested to fill in the form below and submit it together with the payment at the Sliema Local Council by not later than Friday 30th June.

Name of Student _______________________
School __________________________
Academic year the student has just finished _________________

Mobile number of a parent or guardian of the student ___________