The government is stepping in to address issues concerning band clubs’ leased properties, Justice and Culture Minister Owen Bonnici has confirmed.
The Times of Malta sought the minister’s reaction after the GM Fra Ant. De Paule Band Club in Paola lost its premises earlier this week over unauthorised structural alterations.
On Tuesday, a court of appeal upheld a decision ordering the club to vacate the premises by September after it had been established works were carried out without the owners’ consent.
Dr Bonnici confirmed that the government would be intervening to ensure that the band club would not lose its premises.
“This matter was discussed in Cabinet last Tuesday, and I even had talks with a member of the Opposition about a possible solution that we are envisaging.
“It seems that the talks are quite positive, and we see that the government is in a position to provide a solution to this issue,” Dr Bonnici said.
Following the judgment, concern spread among the thousands of volunteers involved in running band clubs, especially those using leased premises.
It will ensure that the Paola club will not lose its premises
While at present the issue involves the Paola club, the minister pointed out that other band clubs in a similar situation would also benefit from the proposed changes, confirming that there were other organisations with problems with their facilities.
Dr Bonnici said that the government’s ideas went beyond mere funding of the leases, which he said might actually be the least of the clubs’ problems.
“We seek to find long-term solutions. There are two scenarios: one where band clubs are accused of doing structural alterations without the necessary permits, and the issue of the rent being allegedly too low compared to the current standards.
“We seek to try and remedy both of them,” Dr Bonnici said, without going into how he planned on doing this.
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