GSD and Govt table motions on cleaning standards
The GSD has called on the Gibraltar Government to tackle the “patent lack of cleanliness of some streets and public places” around the Rock and will take the issue to Parliament for debate in the form of a motion.
In a statement the Opposition also called on Government to review the situation regarding rubbish collection in the town area.
But the GSD’s parliamentary motion drew an immediate response from the Gibraltar Government, which tabled a motion of its own in response.
Last night, No.6 Convent Place acknowledged that cleanliness standards in parts of Gibraltar were not satisfactory but said the GSD had failed to recognise the hard work carried out by cleaning personnel.
The motion tabled by Environment Minister Dr John Cortes said the government would tender for a new municipal services contract that would offer better value for money and a high standard cleanliness.
The Opposition motion was tabled by GSD spokesman for the Environment Trevor Hammond, and states: “This House notes that the Environment in which we live has a direct impact on the wellbeing of people as well as affecting Gibraltar's reputation in the eyes of visitors and that the cleanliness of our streets and public places is an essential part of environmental management and our tourism product.”
“And therefore considers; the current state of our streets does not meet the standards our community would expect.”
Mr Hammond added: "It is clear that the public have had enough of the grimy, smelly streets of Gibraltar and the Government must act to address this immediately.”
“While doing so they need to review the way rubbish collection is managed in the town area. I am increasingly contacted by people concerned at the eyesore and the potential impact on public health and business of having rubbish strewn across our streets for hours every evening.”
He said: “It is an embarrassment and goodness knows what visitors to our Rock must think.”
“I have also tabled a motion in Parliament on this subject so that the concern can be recorded officially, debated and I hope action promoted.”
“With the general deterioration of the condition of our streets it is little wonder that our community is appalled and that Government continues to have problems attracting tourists.”
In its response, the Gibraltar Government said the GSD motion “…unfairly fails to recognise the efforts, hard work, and dedication of the staff of the current cleaning contractors in carrying out their duties.”
The motion also “notes and acknowledges the recent complaints by the public generally and by the Government specifically, the latter made directly to the directors of Master Service, of the state of cleanliness of parts of Gibraltar, which is not satisfactory and which does not, in the Government's view, arise from any inaction on the part of the employees of Master Service.
It further “considers that such an unsatisfactory state of cleanliness is neither in the interests of residents nor of visitors to Gibraltar.”
The motion also notes the end of the period of the contract between the Government and Master Service, “which contract was awarded by the former GSD administration without any competitive tender process having been followed.”
It “further acknowledges and welcomes the decision of the Government to comply with European and National legislation in going out to tender for a new contract for municipal cleaning services which will be designed to transparently ensure that Gibraltar is provided with better value for money for the tax payer, a consistent high standard of cleanliness throughout Gibraltar and, additionally, that will provide stability to the employees of Master Service Ltd.”