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.