While the Southeast region announced a project that, among others, will have a centre to cater for residents’ needs of 15 local councils, Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Parnis announced that the Government will propose that the region’s President and Mayors will start working on a full-time basis so that residents are provided with a better service. It will also propose that regions who coordinate the councils’ work are increased from five to six.
Parliamentary Secretary Parnis stated that when Parliament reconvenes he will present a bill on the reform of Local Council, saying that this will provide more funds to the regions to reach the residents’ expectations.
Mr Parnis added “the regions had neither responsibilities nor annual funding. With this reform of the local councils we want to see regions start working. People know little about the regions’ work, that they are there to coordinate a number of local councils. Currently there are five regions, which we propose to rise to six”.
He stated that the aim is that the President of a Region and Mayors will have a full-time function, while more resources will be dedicated to implement their work with more efficiency. The Parliamentary Secretary announced that the Southeast region, which embraces 15 councils, will have a community centre which will be built in Paola with an investment of €1.3 million.
The region’s President, Paul Farrugia, said the centre will mainly cater for the social needs of the community. “Workshops will be held for children who do not continue their education; we teach them trades. We will have common offices for small entities, a regional library, an elderly area, and a common hall to be used for exhibitions to enhance culture in the region”.
The centre is expected to be completed within two years, with Mr Farrugia adding that the Southeast region will also have a publication which will feature the cultural and historic heritage in the localities. The publication will be distributed in the region’s schools to raise awareness and appreciation on regional history and culture.
Dr Malcolm Borg said that the Southeast region consists of a number of historic sites with international recognition, and therefore funds for the projects are possible.