PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITIES: For the first time regional councils now get direct financial allocation

Regional committees were set up by SL 363.160, issued on 5th August 2011. These regulations established five regional committees, those of the South, South East, the Central, the North and Gozo. These regional committees were set up by the previous Government but were never given direct financial allocation or defined roles.

During a press conference, Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis announced that the regional committees, which now will start being called regional councils, will for the first time be allocated a fund of more than Euros 3 million. Furthermore, all the expenses related to local tribunals, which are a substantial part of the current regional councils’ expenditure, will be saved, since the said cost will be borne by LESA. Parliamentary Secretary Parnis also said that the regional councils were already given a substantial part of their allocation. In fact the 5 current regional councils were given the amount of Euros 1.3 million, which means an allocation of more than a quarter of a million euro for each region. The remaining amount, that of Euros 1.8 million, will be given to the regions in June.

Parliamentary Secretary Parnis also said that by means of the Local Government Reform we will see a radical change whithin the regional councils. The main changes are;

The number of regional committees will go up to 6;

the change in nomencluture from regional committees to regional councils;

the region will be another level of Local Government;

the candidature for regional president will be extended to registred voters in the region as well;

the call for the waste collection contract will be coordinated on a regional basis;

social responsibilities;

regional councils will offer professional support to local councils;

the regional councils will be geared to assist local councils in making use of EU funds;

regional council sponsorship of reasearch on matters relating to the region will be provided;

scientific research and feedback from the citizens will be sought;

there will be regional council and local council coordination of sport and physical activities to promote and incentivise a healthy lifestyle;

there will also be regional council and school administration coordination to ensure that school premises would be available for use by the community after school hours;

the collection and compilation of information about abandoned Government properties and sites in the localities;

More cooperation with the police and LESA.

Source: Government of Malta