The Office of the Prime Minister has persisted in its use of billboard structures served with enforcement notices by Mepa.
The latest example is related to this week’s CHOGM summit.
Reminding people that this week Malta will be the place “Where the World meets”, the CHOGM task force has mounted a number of adverts on large, illegal iron and concrete structures used previously by the Labour Party for its last electoral campaign.
Adverts in Santa Venera, Naxxar, St Julian’s and Marsa have been placed on billboard structures owned by Aiken Services Ltd, which were all served with enforcement notices by Mepa in 2014.
Despite warnings to remove the structures, they were left in place and Mepa has not taken direct action to remove them.
In the meantime, the government and its entities continue to use them to mount their public relations campaigns, paid through taxpayer money. Previous campaigns have included billboards on the lowering of electricity tariffs, new online public services, national festivities and the Budget.
In the meantime, the same illegal structures were also used by the Labour Party for its MEP electoral campaign and are also used occasionally by the Office of the President to advertise its fundraising events.
The CHOGM task force has mounted adverts on illegal iron and concrete structures used by Labour in 2014
Asked to state how many illegal billboards are being used by CHOGM and how much money is being paid for the adverts, the CHOGM task force had not replied by the time of writing.
In April 2014, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat admitted that the government was making use of these illegal billboard structures and promised that the situation would be rectified.
In September 2014, the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Mepa, Michael Falzon, was questioned on the continued use of these illegal billboards by the government. He said that action would be taken.
According to Mepa, the CHOGM adverts themselves do not require a permit.
However, it avoided giving details on the pending enforcement action related to the structures on which the ads are mounted. Some have enforcement notices affixed to their concrete foundations.
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