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GSD raises questions over St Mary’s school deal

The announcement of the property deal to relocate St Mary’s school raises questions that need answering, the GSD said yesterday.

This follows the Gibraltar Government’s announcement last Friday that it had agreed with private owners to use a building in Town Range for the purposes of the new St Mary’s school.

In a statement the GSD said the company that owns the building is called Town Range Developments Limited.

It said the ultimate beneficial owners are unknown as the shares are held by a licensed trustee that is part of the Line Group of entities that is associated with the law firm Hassans.

It added that some of the directors are common to the companies holding interests in the MidTown or Victoria Keys developments. But, it added, it is unclear who the beneficial owners of Town Range Developments are so the ultimate owning parties may be different.

The GSD therefore called on the Government to publish the terms of the agreement it has entered into.

“It needs to confirm whether the building has been bought and if so for what price. If other land or property has been exchanged, the Government should also confirm.”

“The public should also be told who the ultimate beneficial owners of Town Range Developments are. All this is information that should be made available in the public interest,” the party said.

“People will also want to know why a competitive tender process was not opened if the Government wished to go to the private sector market to acquire buildings for new schools or whether there is adequate value for money in this deal.”

What has been announced is “an opaque deal”, the GSD said, adding that no details have been shared with the public.

“All the details of the transaction should be known. When your money or your assets are used you should be entitled to know who is benefiting and whether the terms are fair and competitive.”

The GSD said that if elected to Government it would publish the full terms of this deal.

“As in the case of Victoria Keys we reserve the right to reopen the transaction if we judge it was not in the public interest,” it added.