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Govt urged to backtrack on school parking scheme

Both the GSD and Together Gibraltar have criticised the Government’s plans to sell over 250 parking spaces under Notre Dame/St Anne’s and the new comprehensive schools.

For its part the GSD described the move as a “blatant grab for cash” and called on the Government to reconsider selling the parking space and instead offer them for rental.

The party explained that only the very wealthy could afford the asking prices whereas by offering spaces for rental, much can be done to alleviate the parking problems in the town area created by this Government’s “misguided” policies.

Together Gibraltar, on the other hand, highlighted child safety and environmental concerns.

In a statement the newly established party said: “Together Gibraltar questions the wisdom behind such a move and wonders if profit has trumped child safety.”

“Concerns expressed by worried parents revolve around the risk levels their children will be exposed to from potential terrorist threats, drug pushers and other individuals who might seek to prey on our youth and will have an opening to do so via the underground level parking lot.”

“As far back as March of this year, party leader Marlene Hassan Nahon asked questions in Parliament about the safety of the parking spots plans underneath these schools and was assured that “government is going to provide the most secure schools possible for our children.”

Together Gibraltar therefore called on the Government to explain its security plan and the cost of running it so that the public can be reassured that there will be a robust structure in place to keep children safe.

“And will the Government also confirm how they will police any unlawful subletting, as well as whether flipping the spots for speculators will be permitted, which would also give rise to further security concerns?” the party also asked.

Together Gibraltar said it also rejects the possibility of renting these parking spaces for the same reason.

“We believe there is no price tag that can justify jeopardising the security of the schools and we will continue to question the logic of exposing children to the risks mentioned until we are provided with a viable security plan that works for the entirety of both schools and from every opening of their respective underground parking.”

Additionally, the GSD MP Trevor Hammond took aim at the Government for ‘blatantly profiteering from the community’ adding that it is another indication of “just how desperate the public finances are.”

“The Government has first created a parking problem in town and is now seeking to make millions out of it at the expense of the people,” Mr Hammond said.

“First the Government failed to deliver the promised two stories of parking under Commonwealth Park, then they built the monstrous midtown parking which might have provided adequate facilities in the town area but instead Government sold half of the spaces off, in one instance, ten spaces to one entity.”

“Having denuded town of parking they went further and introduced zonal parking, creating a further shortage for those needing to access town from out of town and now they take advantage of this lack of supply in a most underhand way and again, only to help the wealthy.”

“After all, who has a spare £30,000 for a parking space?”

“The fact is that once these parking spaces are sold, they will severely curtail the opportunity for future Governments to expand the school in the future.”

“Government has lost its way entirely, ministers have become so arrogant that they are no longer interested in the fundamental needs of the community as a whole but only those of the rich.”

“The spaces should be rented at reasonable prices to reduce the current parking dilemma faced by so many.”

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