Ghts need to pro­vide nforce­ment agen­cies

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

it is a restau­rant or a cof­fee shop, imag­ine wait­ers com­ing out car­ry­ing loaded trays and a run­ning child crash­ing into them. It can be dan­ger­ous in ev­ery sense.

On top of this, there is the noise caused by th­ese es­tab­lish­ments. It was ini­tially in­tended that they would close at a cer­tain time, but ob­vi­ously to­day’s high rents make it nec­es­sary for an op­er­a­tor to ex­tend the open­ing hours to make the busi­ness fea­si­ble, so they carry on into the night. It seems that all the reg­u­la­tions in place are be­ing thrown out of the win­dow and then you have to call the po­lice.

In some parts of Sliema, res­i­dents are not able to use their garage be­cause there will be so many cars parked il­le­gally that a per­son com­ing home would have to get out of the car and find the owner of the ve­hi­cle block­ing the en­trance to the garage.

Then there are the late-night cruises, with peo­ple re­turn­ing from them show­ing with no con­sid­er­a­tion for the dis­tur­bance they cause to the neigh­bours.

Do you think there is suf­fi­cient en­force­ment ac­tion on the part of the po­lice when it comes to noise pol­lu­tion or ir­reg­u­lar park­ing, or is it just not enough?

I don’t want to sound too neg­a­tive, but it is very sel­dom that you see im­promptu ac­tion. When you get com­plaints, they need to be in­ves­ti­gated. The po­lice are stretched. When there have been cases and the po­lice have re­sponded, as soon as they leave, ev­ery­thing goes back to how it was. So you have the po­lice draw­ing the at­ten­tion of the bar owner to stop peo­ple be­ing too noisy, to turn the vol­ume down, and then when the po­lice leave, the sit­u­a­tion re­turns to nor­mal in the sense that the noise level will just go up again.

There have also been com­plaints about the num­ber of kiosks on the prom­e­nade. Have you also re­ceived sim­i­lar com­plaints?

Yes we have and we’ve been in dis­cus­sions with those who is­sue the per­mits for th­ese sort of struc­tures. I must point out that we, as the Coun­cil, are not re­spon­si­ble for is­su­ing any of th­ese per­mits and un­for­tu­nately, and not­with­stand­ing the many years of dis­cus­sions and prom­ises that this is­sue will be bet­ter or­gan­ised, we have seen very lit­tle ac­tion on the mat­ter.

We have now ended up with a sit­u­a­tion where we have a lovely sea­side prom­e­nade that has been taken over by all th­ese dif­fer­ent struc­tures and the peo­ple in them try­ing to sell tick­ets for cruises, etc., which is very an­noy­ing. And then on the op­po­site side of the road there are the cafés and res­tau­rants tak­ing up the space there. We are now not only be­ing faced with the prob­lem of cars but we are even hav­ing prob­lems with re­gard to pedes­trian ac­cess.

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