Sliema residents swimming at Tigné have been flooding the local council with complaints, claiming the size of the swimming zone there has been reduced drastically.
According to a spokesman for Transport Malta, the swimming zone’s size has not decreased. In light of the complaints, however, the authority would be “verifying that all zones were implemented according to the coordinates laid down in the agreement”, he said.
Yet despite complaints streaming in daily, the council cannot do much to refute the claims by the transport authority, an issue that has long hindered the work that can be carried out by the council, according to Sliema councillor Michael Briguglio.
“There’s no way to disprove what Transport Malta are saying. Swimmers complain to us on a daily basis, but there is not much we can do to verify.
Unfortunately this is not the first time that our hands are tied and we are left with no other option but to wait for the competent authorities to take action
“This is one of many examples where the council must rely on a government authority that may be detached from the local situation,” Dr Briguglio told this newspaper yesterday.
A similar situation was reported at Exiles earlier this summer, with the authority informing the council the issue would be addressed and the zone would be extended once again, the councillor said.
According to Dr Briguglio, the council has to deal with such situations on a regular basis, insisting that while residents often turn to the council for assistance on such matters, there is often not much councillors can do.
“We work with residents, we know them, but unfortunately this is not the first time that our hands are tied and we are left with no other option but to wait for the competent authorities to take action,” he said.
Calling the situation a “bureaucratic mess”, Dr Briguglio said that in such cases, the council would take all the necessary steps to try and resolve the issue, but in the majority of cases, all it could do was wait for the authorities to take action.
He added that there were other problems in the locality that the council wanted to address but could not, because it relied on another authority to take action.
According to Dr Briguglio, the locality was presently dealing with parkers and street vendors who blatantly abuse the system, for instance, and while the council monitored each case closely, it could not do much to stop the abuse.
“There is a whole range of issues, and all we can do is send photos and ask authorities to take action,” Dr Briguglio said.