ODZ home for the elderly should not be built in Birgu

The Vittoriosa Historcal & Cultural Society encourages the developers to find a better location in the area to implement their project

It is apparent to us that there is no valid reason why this ODZ land should be violated for purely commercial reasons by the private developers
It is apparent to us that there is no valid reason why this ODZ land should be violated for purely commercial reasons by the private developers

The Vittoriosa Historical & Cultural Society, which has been established since 1954, aims to protect historical patronage and cultural inheritance in Birgu. For this reason, the Society has considered the proposal of a private developer to build a home for the elderly in Wied tal-Hawli, Birgu, which is recognised as ODZ.

The society has written to the Planning Authority to object against the development proposal because it is apparent to us that there is no valid reason why this ODZ land should be violated for purely commercial reasons by the private developers. This valley already has a history of suffering several intrusions when development was not regulated. Wied tal-Hawli is the only open area in Birgu and serves as a refuge for residents. The proposed development and the infrastructure it will require will ruin this unique area forever. Moreover, it is the society’s view that the bottom of the valley where the development is proposed is not adequate for a home for the elderly.

The society encourages the developers to find a better location in the area to implement their project, for example in the vicinity of the Sports Complex, or by coming to an agreement with the tenants of Fort San Salvatore, which is currently abandoned, and restore and rehabilitate this historic fort according to their needs. In this case, they would also be eligible for EU funds for restoration.

A copy of the objection is being sent to the Birgu Local Council.

Lorenzo Zahra, Birgu

Right of reply: FTS investigation

I am writing on behalf of A

architects Carmelo Borg and Cornelia Tabone with reference to the article entitled ‘FTS suppliers gave Bartolo aide ‘compensation’ for timely payments’ (MaltaToday.com.mt, 21 December, 2016).

Reference is made to my clients: “In another twist, police are also investigating the role played by Cornelia Tabone, an architect who signed off works in Gozo which are alleged not to have taken place.  Tabone works from the office of Carmelo Borg a former Labour MP.”

First and foremost, my clients are formally informing you that these allegations are totally unfounded and that these allegations have no legal or factual basis whatsoever. My clients have always conducted their work according to the best of standards and such assertions as contained in your article are intended only to damage their reputation.

Furthermore, my clients request that they are given information as to what role is referred with regards to Architect Cornelia Tabone in order to be in a position to present full information to your good self with regards to the work done by her. It should be noted that my client Tabone has been engaged with the Ministry for Gozo (Education Section) since 2009 and since 2012 with the Ministry for Education, during which time my client has been entrusted numerous works in lieu of her position held.  

However, there has never ever been any doubt as to the accountability and efficiency of work done by Architect Tabone, and contrary to what is being stated in your article, my client is not involved in any manner in any investigation with the Police.

Architect Tabone’s terms of reference totally excluded any connection with Bills of Quantities and Tenders and Quotations which were entrusted to the FTS and to John Chetcuti (employed with FTS) respectively.  

Furthermore with regards to Architect Borg, it is true that he is a former Labour MP, however there are no political connections relative to his work. 

Moreover, Architect Tabone works within the same offices but both architects have their separate professional practice from one another as opposed to the article which implies that both architects work together.

Dr Joshua Grech, Kercem

No lesson learnt by Fenech Adami

Dr Beppe Fenech Adami has quickly forgotten what Her Excellency the President had said about political “mud-slinging” just a few days earlier, when, in parliament, the PN deputy leader was asked by minister Owen Bonnici, what the PN intended to do about the Auditor General’s “damning report” on Dr Jason Azzopardi’s political responsibility on the transfer of 20,000 square metres of government land, which the NAO valued at €7.8 million, for the paltry sum of €706,000.

Instead of replying to the question posed by Dr Bonnici, Fenech Adami resorted to a hysterical harangue of mud-slinging towards different government ministers! One could easily notice that the PN deputy leader knew that this story is far worse than any story inflated by the PN opposition these last three and a half years. Hence, Fenech Adami tried his utmost to turn the sitting into a “mud-slinging” match –precisely what President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca had appealed to our politicians to avoid in her Republic Day speech!

Eddy Privitera, Mosta

After-sales racket

It is an after-sales racket with new-car dealers, and the consumer who buys his car has no protection – the Malta Consumer and Competition Affairs Authority has no teeth.

My main complaint refers to the five-year ‘guarantee’ the importers give. It looks generous, five years are not to be laughed off.

But in fact, the conditions which apply are a rip off. For the duration of those five years, you have to service the new car at the dealer where it was bought from. And their charges are not a pittance. It is like paying for a second insurance premium.

When I booked my new car for its first service, the girl taking my booking said the charge would be €45, which is reasonable. I took the car and when I called back for it, the cashier demanded €88. It was useless pointing out that it should be €45. The garage employee who had dealt with the car had touched some wiring, and the charge went up. I had not been told any wiring needed to be touched. They just touched it.

I contacted the MCCAA, and their reply was that seeing that the dealers were giving a five year service guarantee, they would expect the car to be serviced by their own staff. That’s some authority, for you.

Why don’t the dealers have some authorized agents, so the consumer would have a choice.

John Borg, Msida