Ghts need to provide nforcement agencies
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.