Labour candidates vying for a seat on the Qormi local council are trying to draw political mileage after works were carried out with taxpayer money on private roads in their locality.
Qormi residents who contacted Times of Malta reported increased house visits during the past days from various Labour Party candidates, crediting themselves for their intervention with Transport Minister Ian Borg who ordered the roads to be asphalted.
“Almost every Labour candidate and councillor contesting the election came to tell us that it was thanks to them that the private garage compound was asphalted,” a 40-year-old Qormi resident said.
Another resident, a woman related to one of the owners of the private garages, said that one of the candidates had even sent them a personalised letter, taking credit for the initiative and mentioning (Minister) Ian Borg.
The letter, seen by Times of Malta, was posted in residences around the Qormi private garage complex in the name of Renald Falzon, a councillor in office hoping for re-election.
In his letter, complete with his personal business card and a picture of the private area asphalted by Infrastructure Malta, Mr Falzon said it was thanks to his pressure, “and in particular through Minister Ian Borg” that action was taken to tarmac the private roads.
The letter, which also flags his slogan “Dejjem Magħkom. Qormi Bħalkom,” ends with his promise that he will always keep committed to “deliver” to his constituents.
Earlier this week, the Times of Malta reported about an unprecedented use of taxpayer money when Infrastructure Malta, the roads agency under Dr Borg’s watch, decided to spend tens of thousands of euros to asphalt private streets, which form part of garage complexes in both Qormi and Żebbuġ.
Incidentally, the two towns form part of the Transport Minister’s electoral districts.
While confirming that public works were carried out on private roads, a spokesman for Infrastructure Malta justified this action saying the government agency carried the required repairs in view of the roads’ public utility, in line with applicable road works regulations.
However, the same regulations clearly state that works on such private roads have to be paid by their owners and not financed through taxpayer money.
According to the rules, while the government agency may perform the works, this has to be made “at the owner’s expense”.
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