Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Basic Computer/Internet Course at Sliema Local Council

Sliema Local Council is offering the LEARN IT computer course. The course teaches basic skills, including how to use the internet and is ideal for adults. More details, including dates/times of lessons, can be obtained from Sliema Local Council ( 21337633 and sliema.lc@gov.mt ).

Course commences in March 2015. Registration is free and places are limited. Upon application one should pay 10 Euro for course book which is given after registration.


Lesson 1- What is a computer? Main parts of a computer

Lesson 2 – Windows: Files and Folders

Lesson 3 – Basic MS Word / Basic MS Excel

Lesson 4 – What is Internet? What is a web browser?

Lesson 5- Internet Downloading

Lesson 6 – Emails – Gmail

Monday, December 22, 2014

Townsquare Development Proposal in Sliema

Sliema Local Council is looking into the proposed development of Townsquare, at the Union Club grounds between Tower Road and Qui-si-sana. Over the past years, this proposal has undergone changes and has also been subject to much debate among residents and councillors.

We have now learned that the proposed development will include various buildings including a 33-storey tower, the rehabilitation of Villa Drago and its gardens, a shopping hall, 181 apartments, almost 5,000 square metres of office space, more than 9,000 square metres of retail area, and an underground carpark for about 700-800 cars.

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority’s (MEPA) Environment Protection Directorate (EPD) has assessed the plans and concluded that the development will have an impact on air quality in an area which is already congested with traffic, and noted that the annual average daily traffic from the project would be over 27,000 vehicles.

MEPA’s assessment also notes that excavation would have an impact of major significance in terms of vibrating disturbance, but that the restoration of Villa Drago will have positive impacts.

MEPA’s study also states that the development will extend the existing shadowing of Qui-si-sana. Indeed, shadowing will impact further over the sea and will also affect additional areas of the rocky shore which would be deprived of sunshine even during midday.

Finally, the EPD report adds that the social impact on the area will be negative.

It is therefore no surprise that Sliema Local Council is registering as an objector to proposed plans. The council will be looking further into the proposed plans and speak up accordingly. We believe that improvements can be made which give more consideration to social and environmental considerations.

Here one should note that development should be sustainable, meaning that social and environmental factors should not be sidelined for short-term economic gains. To the contrary, social, environmental and economic considerations can be reconciled through holistic planning and comprehensive consultation.

Unfortunately residents in the area do not have positive experiences of the impact of some other development projects in the vicinity. Areas close to some development projects remain shabby, and at times resemble rubbish dumps, with debris being scattered in various places, and with infrastructure, fencing and other features which are reminiscent of shanty towns. Such practices are also of disservice to those developers who do engage in good practice and professional workmanship.

In the case of Fort Cambridge, it is disappointing to note that embellishment and restoration of historical sites is taking place at a snail’s pace, thus raising legitimate concern by many residents.

Adherence to development conditions requires improvement in Malta. Local Councils do not have legal power in this regard, but can act as legitimate voices on residents’ concerns. We urge authorities to ensure that development always respects the social fabric and environmental characteristics of localities.

Note (1): This article features in Sliema Local Council magazine, December 2014

Note (2): MEPA's public consultation on the project will commence in January 2015. Details will be available at www.mepa.org.mt

Educational Courses by Sliema Local Council - A brief overview of 2014/5 scholastic year

As the new scholastic year is progressing, Sliema Local Council is once again providing a wide range of courses at different levels and for different age groups. As an inclusive council, we strongly believe that courses should be accessible to everyone, including foreign residents, who are most welcome to participate.

Storytelling sessions for kids aged 5-7 are being held for the third consecutive year in the Council Library in Blanche Huber Street. The sessions are held on Saturday mornings between 900 and 1000 and are proving to be popular with participants.

Kids up to 3 years old are now being offered a new scheme called ‘Read With Me – Aqra Mieghi’ , which involves stories and rhymes in English every Tuesday between 4pm and 5pm at Sliema Local Council, and stories and rhymes in Maltese every Thursday between 4pm and 5pm at Sliema Local Council. This initiative is being organized under the auspices of the Ministry for Education.

As regards the national lifelong learning scheme for adults, Sliema Local Council is hosting the following courses: Literacy – Maltese; Literacy – English; Literacy – Science; Literacy – Maths; English as a foreign language; Maltese as a foreign language; Spanish Language and Culture; Zumba; Yoga; Understanding Child Development; Lace Making and Maltese Cultural and Natural Heritage. More information about this scheme may be obtained from https://lifelonglearning.gov.mt/

Sliema Local Council has also offered its popular course in beading, and will be once again organizing a course in basic computer skills for adults. More information can be obtained from the council.

In the coming weeks, the Committee for Education, which I chair, will be proposing a range of courses for the coming year, also taking into account the results obtained from courses offered in previous years. Sliema residents are most welcome to send any suggestions and feedback to mbrig@hotmail.com.

Note: This article features in Sliema Local Council magazine, December 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Lifelong Learning Courses commencing next February

Applications for Lifelong Learning Courses commencing next February are available at this link:


Deadline to apply: Friday 12 December.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sliema play area awarded for Accessibility

The Sliema Local Council has been awarded third place under the A+ Accessibility Scheme out of 26 participating Local Councils, for our latest project of new and accessible swings at Independence Garden.

We are proud that our efforts to ensure that the new play area is as accessible as possible have been fruitful. The design of the project was carried out by experts and we conducted comprehensive consultation to ensure best practice.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Storytelling for Kids at Sliema Public Library

Storytelling for Kids will take place at Sliema Public Library, Blanche Huber Street for the third consecutive year.

Sessions will be in English and Maltese and will take place every Saturday morning (excluding public holidays) as from 1st November between 9am and 10am.

Children aged between 5 and 7 may participate.

To apply, parents/carers are to send names of children and parents/carers as well as landline phone number (not mobile) to sliema.lc@gov.mt , writing ‘Storytelling for Children’ in subject line.

In the meantime, please note that the Library will be closed between 1 and 7 October due to works related to computer software.

Also check out:
Aqra Mieghi - Read with Me: Stories and Rhymes for Kids aged 0-3 at Sliema Library
Link here: http://sliemanews.blogspot.com/2014/10/aqra-mieghi-read-with-me-stories-and.html

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lifelong Learning Courses at Sliema Local Council 2014/5

In the next scholastic year, Sliema Local Council will once again be offering a number of courses within the very popular Lifelong Learning scheme offered by the Ministry of Education.

The applications will be open between 18th August and 6th September, applicants can either apply online or go to the Council premises at Depiro Street – Council can apply online for applicants through their bank card.

This year, Sliema Local Council will be offering the following courses in fully accessible premises:

Literacy – Maltese

Literacy – English

Literacy – Science

Literacy - Maths

English as a foreign language

Maltese as a foreign language

Spanish Language and Culture



Understanding Child Development

Lace Making

Maltese Cultural and Natural Heritage.

One can apply through:


The website, which is available in Maltese and English, also provides information on courses held at other localities.

Apart from the courses within the Lifelong Learning scheme, Sliema Local Council also intends to offer additional courses during the coming months.

Beading Course at Sliema Local Council

Sliema Local Council will once again offer its popular beading course.

10 x 2 hour lessons, starting on 1 October
Wednesday mornings

Lessons will be held between 830-1030 and 1030-1230

Apply at Sliema Local Council offices
Participation is Free. Places reserved for first 20 applicants.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

New Play Area inaugurated at Independence Gardens

The Sliema Local Council has inaugurated a new play area at Independence Gardens. The Local Council has strived to ensure that the area is as accessible as possible, and consulted with experts in the field, including NGO Breaking Limits.

The garden is already proving to be a success.

SLC would like to appeal to parents to ensure that only children with wheelchairs should use the swing which is designed precisely for this purpose. Unfortunately at times the swing is being used by lots of children at the same time - as can be seen in picture below. This is potentially dangerous for users.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sliema Street Art Festival this coming weekend!

The 2nd edition of the Sliema Street Art Festival, organised by Add More Colours in collaboration with the Sliema Local Council, will be held between Friday 18 and Sunday 20 July.

It will include of artists, musicians and entertainers from Malta and many countries around the world.



Accessible Play Area to be inaugurated this Thursday

This Thursday 17 July at 7pm Sliema Local Council will be inaugurating the new play area at Independence Garden.

The top priority of the project is accessibility for children with disability. Sliema Local Council carried consulted with experts and activists for the rights of persons with disability so as to ensure the implementation of this goal.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Education and Accessibility

Michael Briguglio

Sliema Local Council magazine - Summer 2014

Education courses within Sliema Local Council are as popular as ever, and this inspires us to organize more courses.

Indeed, this Summer we will be organising language courses for primary school children – Maltese and foreign - as well as courses for adults in leading a healthy lifestyle through the food we eat.

In addition, Sliema will also benefit from Government initiatives namely a comprehensive summer school scheme (Skola Sajf), childcare facilities (Klabb 3-16), and a catch-up literacy programme for children benefitting from Complementary Education (Klabb Sajf)

In mid-August, Sliema will launch its proposals for Life Long Learning courses for the upcoming scholastic year, and applications will be accepted until 5th September. These courses are very popular, and Sliema is frequently cited as a success story due to the high participation rate of adult students. For the upcoming year, the Local Council has applied for a number of courses in Literacy (Maltese, English, Science; Maths); English and Maltese as foreign languages; Spanish Language and Culture; Zumba; Yoga; Understanding Child Development; Lace Making and Maltese Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Following summer we also plan to hold other courses including the ever-popular beading course and computer skills course for adults. Story-telling for children at the Council library will also take place for the third successive year.

Accessibility is a major priority in all courses and schemes. More details on both courses can be obtained by contacting the local council, through the respective Gov.mt websites or through the local council’s facebook page and noticeboards. One can also ask Sliema Local Council to add one’s address in the council email list, so as to receive such information.

On another note, in the first weeks of summer, the Local Council will inaugurate the new children’s play area in Independence Garden, which is going to be a flagship of accessibility. In this regard, Sliema Local Council carried out consultation with professionals and with experts in disability issues representing the Breaking Limits NGO so as to ensure that the swings are truly accessible.

Accessibility is also being given priority with respect to beaches in Sliema. We acknowledge that more needs to be done, yet a hands-on proactive approach is being adopted by Local Council.

I invite residents to contact me with suggestions and feedback especially on issues under my responsibility, namely education, disability and maritime affairs.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Reading and Writing Courses - English and Maltese - for Primary Level Pupils

Lessons in English and Maltese Reading and Writing for Primary Level pupils

Intensive Course in the Maltese Language for Foreign Primary Level pupils.

• Each course is made up of 10 one hour lessons.
• Emphasis will be given to both reading and writing in both languages.
• Pupils will be put into groups according to their age.
• The lessons will be held every Friday at 8.30am. from 11th July to 12th September at the Sliema Local Council.
• Qualified and experienced teachers.
• The course fee is €15 per child

Anyone interested in sending his/her child to one of these courses is kindly requested to send the following details together with the payment to the Sliema Local Council by Monday 30th June 2014

Name of Student _______________________

School __________________________

Academic year the student has just finished _________________

Mob. Number of a parent or guardian of the student ___________

Monday, June 2, 2014

Course on leading a healthy lifestyle through the food we eat‏

Course on leading a healthy lifestyle through the food we eat

Organized by Sliema Local Council.

15 sessions of 1 hour per week, Thursdays from 3 July 10am-11am

Contact Sliema Local Council for further details sliema.lc@gov.mt

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Persons with Disability - Sheltered Employment Training

The following was received by Sliema Local Council, which is of interest for persons with disability

The ETC is committed to help and support persons with disability to find and stay in employment. Together with our project partner, sector NGO Inspire, we have the experience to help these people become more independent and succeed in life.

We have embarked on a new project through which we will provide free sheltered employment training to persons with different disabilities with the aim of improving their employability.

Our job coaches will assist jobseekers throughout the whole training programme. The programme will include practical employment training in various sectors of the labour market.

Free transport will be provided by ETC.

Applicants must be registered as disabled persons with the ETC or the National Commission for Persons with Disability. Legal guardians may also apply on behalf of persons with disability.

Application forms may be obtained from the ETC website www.etc.gov.mt (‘Latest News’ section on the homepage) or by sending an email on set.etc@gov.mt. Applications may also be obtained from the Supported Employment Services Unit at the ETC complex at Ħal Far.

Applications should be sent either on the email address shown above or by post or by hand to:

Sheltered Employment Training (ESF 3.113)
Supported Employment Services Unit
Employment and Training Corporation
Ħal Far

This call for application will close when the maximum number of participants has been registered.

Sliema Street Art Festival 2014

The Sliema Street Art Festival will take place between 18-20 July 2014.

More information here:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Talk on 3 Master Paintings by Gabriella Micallef Trigona

Gabriella Micallef Trigona will be giving a talk on Jan Van Eyck's "Arnolfini Portrait"; Piero della Francesca's "Montefeltro Altarplace" and Tiziano Vercelli's "Sacred and Profane Love" at the Sliema Local Council, Depiro Street Sliema

Date: Saturday 3 May
Time: 10am-11am

Attendance is free of charge.

Collection of old clothes in aid of Inspire

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Initiatives in education, disability and maritime affairs

In this article - which also appears in the Sliema Local Council magazine (April 2014) - I would like to speak about some current initiatives undertaken by the Sliema Local Council in areas related to maritime affairs, education and disability.

As regards Maritime Affairs the Council is doing its utmost to keep increasing accessibility, safety and cleanliness of beaches. In addition to the recent construction of ramps and installation of railings, as well as improved signage, we aim to have more accessible steps, handrails and ladders in areas which were highlighted to us by residents and swimmers. Next Summer we will also have a beach fully accessible for dogs at the Fortina Area.

The Council also commissioned an underwater study and clean-up in the Exiles area, which is frequently littered with different types of material. We are also planning to have better waste management in all our beaches.

One should appreciate that whilst the Local Council has full authority of in certain aspects related to accessibility and cleanliness, we depend on co-operation and approval of Government Authorities for others.

In this regard, Sliema Local Council recently presented various proposals to the Central Government related to tourism, some of which were related to beach management.

As regards disability, Sliema Local Council acknowledges that there is a long way to go to increase accessibility and social justice, especially when one recognizes that disability has plural dimensions. Yet we are involved in both small and large initiatives in this area, as this is a Council priority. One current initiative we are undertaking is the new playing field at Independence Gardens, which will hopefully be in place by Summer. Professional consultation was carried out by the Council to ensure that persons with disability have access to the swings.

As regards education, once again our courses – including those which form part of the Lifelong Learning initiative - are proving to be a success, especially since they cover different areas ranging from languages to life-skills and health. In the coming weeks we will be planning for new courses for the coming months. Suggestions and feedback from residents are more than welcome

Our library is as popular as ever, and I once again encourage parents to send their children (aged 4-7) to storytelling sessions on Saturday mornings between 9am and 10am.

Some other interesting Local Council initiatives currently in place include the preparation for the Summer Sliema Arts Festival, as well as the upgrading of various services – ranging from waste management to upkeep of public conveniences – to ensure the best service possible. We are also giving priority to sustainability and fairness as regards expenditure programmes and management of public spaces and services.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New Playing field in Independence Garden

Sliema Local Council is proud to announce that works on the new playing field at Independence Garden are to start in the coming weeks. The top priority of the project is accessibility for persons with disability.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sliema strand earmarked for superyachts marina

James Debono
Malta Today 6th April 2014


The outer part of Sliema’s creek is being earmarked for a land reclamation project and the development of a superyacht hub, Malta Today has learnt.

The project, modelled on similar projects as in San Tropez and Dubai, will create more space for commercial outlets, parking facilities and embellishment features.

It will also drastically change the social fabric of the Sliema Strand, frequented by pedestrians who can walk along the sea, enjoying the unobstructed view of Manoel Island and Valletta in an unbroken walk from St Julian’s Bay right into Gzira.

The permanent berthing of gigantic yachts, which can be over 100 metres long, could block traditional sea views.

On Thursday, economy minister Chris Cardona said that Malta should strive to become the “obvious choice” in the superyacht industry. He was speaking at the second annual conference for stakeholders, aptly entitled ‘Opportunities for Superyachts’, at the Westin Dragonara resort and sponsored in part by Fenech and Fenech Advocates and Transport Malta. Cardona said that Malta must continue to evolve in the sector and not risk becoming complacent.

The project may include a breakwater to render the area a safe harbour all year round, as well as land reclamation opposite St Anne Square.

Malta already offers superyacht berths at the Grand Harbour Marina and at the Manoel Island Marina.

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority is presently considering a smaller land reclamation project proposed by a number of hotels on the Gzira side of the Strand.

The project envisions the development of a swimming pool and other facilities on reclaimed land, adjacent to the present promenade, which will remain public.

But while presently people can walk along the coast, looking directly at the sea between Gzira and Manoel Island, the proposed area, immediately adjacent to the sea, will be occupied by private facilities.

According to MEPA’s Environment Protection Directorate, this negative impact can be offset by providing adequate pedestrian access along the seaward edge of the proposed reclaimed coast.

There are an estimated 5,000 superyachts around the world. Eclipse, the world’s largest megayacht and reportedly owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, is 162 metres long. They bring wealthy owners to picturesque harbour cities, but they can be a source of discontent for residents.

Plans for a superyacht marina in Port Vell in Barcelona were met by angry protests by residents, but the marina was ultimately approved by local authorities. The Salamanca Group intends to make the marina home to yachts up to 180 metres long, bringing the planet’s growing club of mega-rich to a marina that it says “dominates the heart of Barcelona”.

But Barcelona residents say the boats will dwarf the neighbourhood’s famously narrow, four- or five-storey blocks of flats. The plans include the establishment of a privatised high security zone, surrounded by a fence, as well as the construction of a car park and new buildings.

Note: In reaction to the news item above, I believe that the privatization and commodification of such public space should be opposed. Michael Briguglio, Local Councillor

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Drafting of Villa Bonici development brief still unclear

It is not clear whether the development brief for the Villa Bonici development in Sliema will be conducted by the developers or by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority.

James Debono - Malta Today 12th March 2014

Last month the MEPA board turned down an application for residential development in the Villa Bonici gardens because the local plan stipulates that a development brief should be presented before any development is approved.

Normally it is MEPA that drafts development briefs before the private sector submits proposals based on the parameters set up by MEPA.

But asked whether the brief will be prepared by the developer or by MEPA, a spokesperson for the authority replied that “discussions between Mepa and the land owner are still underway” and “no decision has yet been taken”.

The proposed development consists of 188 apartments in four residential blocks ranging in height between two and 12 floors. The application attracted controversy for its radical redevelopment of the green space, a garden belonging to the stately Villa Bonici, and a unique house in the over-developed Sliema and Gzira area.

But the future of this area could still be in the balance as discussions have already started with the owners to devise a new development brief.

In fact before last month’s refusal, developers had been asked by the Planning Directorate to withdraw the present application.

But the owners have pressed on with the application, which is most likely going to be rejected as it is in breach of a local plan.

The main reason given in the case officer’s report for refusing the development was that no development brief, as stipulated by the North Harbour Local Plan, has been devised for this zone. That means the proposed development falls outside the parameters of acceptable development in the area.

The development refused by MEPA included an eight-storey block would also have an adverse impact on the scheduled villa, due to the short distance between the two buildings.

Villa Bonici was built before 1872 as a country residence for Emmanuele Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq. Parts of Villa Bonici in Sliema were scheduled as a Grade 2 property in 2010.

Its present owner, Alfred Gera de Petri, has insisted that Villa Bonici is his family’s private property and that the villa’s location in the middle of urban development gave its owners rights to its monetary value. “Some people, in their unbridled enthusiasm, seem to forget that owners do have rights and that these are also protected by the Constitution and the European Court,” Gera de Petri had told the Times.

The Sliema Residents Association had insisted that the area should be developed for community purposes.

During the public meeting, architect Edwin Mintoff claimed that the applicant had remained in contact with the Directorate and is still awaiting its direction. During the public hearing, Sliema Councillor Michael Briguglio who was accompanied by the Sliema mayor Anthony Chircop, said the council, which is a registered objector, does not object to a Development Brief as long as there is adequate public consultation.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Waste Collection in Sliema

The Sliema Local Council is proud to present new waste collection trucks, which are of Euro 5 standard - the cleanest available technology for such trucks. A big thanks to the workers who are doing their best for a cleaner Sliema.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Villa Bonici application turned down pending a development Brief

Noel Grima
The Malta Independent 7th February 2014


The Mepa board yesterday unanimously rejected an application to demolish an existing building and develop a residential area in the gardens of historic Villa Bonici in Sliema.

Villa Bonici is one of the many villas that used to be found in Sliema, with a frontage on the marina and a huge garden with features and with the main door in what used to be Prince of Wales Street and now Manwel Dimech Street.

The application has always been marked as a controversial one and no less than 600 representation letters were received by Mepa objecting to the proposal.

The Mepa board had already considered the proposal some time ago and had postponed a decision so that the applicant could present a different plan.

But Architect Edwin Mintoff, questioned by the Mepa chairman at the beginning of the sitting, admitted there has been no real change in the application. The applicant had remained in contact with the Directorate and is awaiting its direction.

The problem, in short, is that the application requires a Development Brief to go forward but it was not at all clear, up till yesterday, who should be the one to carry out the Development Brief. Previously, it was only Mepa that could carry out a Development Brief but now they can also be done by the applicant.

All parties then agreed there was no point in proceeding with the application that was being discussed before the Development Brief is carried out.

Sliema Councillor Michael Briguglio who was accompanied by the Sliema mayor, said the council, which is a registered objector, does not object to a Development Brief as long as there is adequate public consultation.

One must ensure that things are not carried out as they did at Fort Cambridge where the Development Brief was not followed.

Adrian Gatt, a resident and an objector, said the top part of the gardens was within the UCA up till 2006 but this was changed when the local plan was approved without public consultation. It was also scheduled but now even the building height limit has been removed.

Dr Mintoff replied that his plans had kept to the building heights of the buildings there. It is not true that the entire area was scheduled: only some elements have been scheduled and the application will respect them. The applicant has also discovered other elements that were not scheduled and will be restoring them.

When the application was thus put to vote, it received a unanimous vote of rejection.

Once the meeting was formally over, Astrid Vella from Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar stood up and invited Mepa to investigate how such an important part of Sliema had been erased out of the UCA.

The board members quickly showed they resented this intrusion after the meeting was formally over and some told the chairman he did not have to reply to her.

Ms Vella reiterated the change was made before the local plan was approved in 2006 with no consultation whatsoever.

Timmy Gambin, a Mepa board member, said it was not right that Ms Vella arrived late to the meeting and then hijacked it.

Dr Mintoff commented Ms Vella should have protested when the local plan was being approved (in Parliament).

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Villa Bonici decision expected on Thursday

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority Board will be meeting in a public meeting tomorrow - Thursday 6th February, 2pm - to determine the fate of an application to develop the Villa Bonici site in Sliema.

James Debono

The local plan approved in 2006 makes it clear that development can only be permitted on the site following the formulation of a development brief for the whole site.

The case officer's report reveals that discussions have already started with the owners to devise a new development brief. In fact the developers have been asked by the Planning Directorate to withdraw the present application until MEPA finalises the brief. But the owners have pressed on with the application.

The decision was deferred by a month during a board meeting held on 9 January.

This was done to allow "the applicant to consider his position and for the Directorate to confirm its intentions regarding the Development Brief".

On the eve of the last meeting the developers presented four different proposals for development in the area.

The proposed development consists of 188 apartments in four residential blocks ranging in height between two and 12 floors.

The main reason given in the case officer's report for refusing the development is that no development brief, as stipulated by the North Harbour Local Plan, has been devised for this zone.

According to the case officer's report the project, will result in the complete destruction of the gardens.

A proposed eight-storey block would also have an adverse impact on the scheduled villa, due to the short distance between the two buildings.

In a statement, NGO Zminijietna urged MEPA to ensure that the proposed development is subject to a development brief which includes comprehensive public consultation, before pursuing it any further, and that any development should be subject to an environment impact assessment, social impact assessment and traffic impact assessment.

The Sliema Residents Association had insisted that the area should be developed for community purposes.

The Sliema Local council had also objected to development in the absence of a comprehensive development brief.

Its present owner, Alfred Gera de Petri, has insisted that Villa Bonici is his family's private property and that the villa's location in the middle of urban development gave its owners rights to its monetary value.

"Some people, in their unbridled enthusiasm, seem to forget that owners do have rights and that these are also protected by the Constitution and the European Court," Gera de Petri had told the Times.


Sliema Local Council's official statement to MEPA:

PA/06239/08 – Site at, Triq il-Kurunell Savona, Sliema

The Sliema Local Council, following it’s initial objections to the afore mentioned permit application, insists that this proposed development requires a development brief, including, an Environmental Impact Assessment, a Traffic Impact Assessment and a Social Impact Assessment before the processing of the application continues.

Together with this, the Sliema Local Council demands that a full consultation process accompanies the processing of this development application.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sliema top locality for recycling

James Debono
Malta Today 2/2/14

Residents in Sliema are separating the greatest amount of waste, with each resident separating an average 49kg in the first eleven months of 2013.

The amount of waste separated in Sliema was twice the national average of 25kg per resident.

This emerges from an analysis of statistics presented to parliament showing the total amount of waste deposited in grey bags in each locality. The amount of waste for each locality was than divided by the number of residents.

The analysis shows that localities in the south of Malta and the inner harbour area, are the least likely to separate their waste. This seems to tally with other social indicators showing inner harbour localities having the lowest levels of educational achievement.

Surprisingly, Marsaskala residents are among the least civic-minded. Despite hosting the Sant' Antnin recycling plant, and therefore having a direct interest in reducing the amount of mixed waste entering the plant, each resident only separates 16kg of waste.

The lowest level of separation is registered in Malta's capital city Valletta, where only 42 tonnes of separated waste was collected between January and November 2013. This amounts to just 7kg per resident.

Waste separation rates are also low in Gozo, where on average each resident separates 20kg of waste, 5kg less than the Maltese average.

Presently people are expected to put out the grey bag for recyclable packaging waste on Tuesdays.

Under the new waste plan, by 2015 the collection of mixed waste will take place only once a week, while the collection of organic waste will take place three times a week. Presently no separate collection exists for organic waste, while the collection of black bags - containing mixed and organic waste - takes place on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Only 23% of waste is currently being separated. The target for 2020 is to increase the rate of separation to 50%.

The low rate of separation creates a dependency on landfills.

"Basically by putting all kinds of waste in a mixed bag we would occupy more space in a landfill. It is only be minimizing the amount of waste that we can minimize the need for facilities. In this way we also minimize the impact on resources like energy and land use," waste policy coordinator Kevin Gatt warned in an interview published on MaltaToday back in November 2013.