The road ahead

 

Councillor Ralph Cassar

Thank you for the faith you showed in me and the political programme I presented for the Attard Local Council. There is a lot of work to be done. The improvement of our quality of life is a constant uphill stuggle, but it is an interesting challenge.I fell that there are three priorities: Road safety and better traffic management; the protection of open spaces; constant communication with residents.Traffic is a nightmare, it is a very difficult issue to tackle. We depend too much on cars. Some ideas I proposed, together with other councillors, is the need for a wholistic traffic management plan. An interesting idea, which at least helps in freeing some roads from cars at least on a few days during the year is ‘reclaim the streets’ events in different streets in Attard on Sunday mornings. If there are some of you who would like the council to help organize such an event in your street please come forward.  Just imagine one a Sunday morning where you and your neighbours can socialize and get together and maybe children can play safely in the street.

I feel that open spaces should be protected and kept as such. It would be a shame if we give in to vandals and turn gardens into parking spaces. It is certainly something I’ll continue to work against. Playing fields must remain playing fields and public gardens remain accessible to one and all. We cannot let cars take over these spaces too.

There are things which need improvement. Steet cleaning is one of them, especially in streets where there are shops. I already insisted that more litter bins are needed around Attard and soon the process for the enactment of a new bye-law which obliges the owners of commercial premises to keep the front of the premises clean. It is just simple common sense and civic responsibility. I also wish the Council to set a target for the planting of a number of trees, say 150 new indigenous trees, each year. Fortunately there is a group of volunteers who are working with us on this issue. Just imagine what a beautiful sight to the eyes! The historical railway embankment badly needs restoration, and should be a priority. I am also pushing for an educational campaign about energy saving. The Council should take a leadership role in this regard. My dream is that by the end of this Council’s term at least one public garden is powered by energy from the sun. It is possible.

There are also national issues affecting Attard. One of them is the extension of the building development zones, which in my opinion goes against the EU SEA directive. I cannot understand the reason why in a country choked by building we haven’t yet realized that we have to draw a line and stop destroying what; little is left of the countryside. Another issue is the planning policy which is allowing recently built houses to be pulled down and built into tiny apartments. Attard has become a building site once again.

I have much more to say. The easiest way to make contact with me is through email racas@waldonet.net.mt or my website www.ralphcassar.com. My mobile phone number is 99894962.

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