Carabott urges local councils empowerment through 'more resources and responsability'

The Nationalist MP, Darren carabot, says that critism, from both PN and PL local councils, is being disregarded by the central government

The Nationalist Party wants to equip local councils with more responsibility and decision-making power, Darren Carabott said on Monday.

“Criticism, from both PN and PL local councils, is being disregarded by the central government, much like a digger passing over them,” Carabott said.

During his appearance on TVM's Xtra, he criticised the central government for ignoring the concerns raised by local councils.

“Currently, there is a considerable amount of discontent regarding planning, including areas such as the island of Gozo, Sliema, and Gzira. Councillors and mayors have united in expressing a unified stance on these planning issues,” Carabott explained.

Filmed before thousands protested in Valletta against environmental rape, demanding planning reform, during Xtra, Carabott reteriated the message of mayors who feel powerless when safeguarding their locality for the common good.

He insisted that the PN does not assert the Local Council has a veto over the Planning Authority since the “PA's function is what it is.” 

However, Carabott pointed out that local councils lack the necessary resources and tools to adequately review every planning application and engage professionals in cases of permit disputes.

In response, Alison Zerafa Civelli, the Local Government Parliamentary Secretary, agreed on the importance of considering the tools through which power is exercised.

She noted that although the PN often discusses autonomy, decentralization, and the need to shift power to local councils, these promises were not fulfilled during their time in government.

“Under the nationalist government, power was delegated to the councils to facilitate changes in road infrastructure. However, the necessary tools were not provided; they were merely given the concept of power without practical means,” Zerafa Civelli said.

She further contrasted this with how the PN compelled councils to incur debt for road construction, while the PL offered assistance to the councils in this matter.