Hassan Nahon MP call for Calpe House Trust investigation following restructure
Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon has renewed her call for an investigation into what she describes as a “growing list of discrepancies involving a matter of huge public interest and importance”.
This comes after the Calpe House Charitable Trust announced it has adopted a new legal structure in the form of a limited company.
In a statement, Mrs Hassan Nahon said it appears that all assets, liabilities and operations were transferred to Calpe House Ltd as far back as March 2016.
“When I last called for an investigation in Parliament in December last year, I was told in no uncertain terms by Mr [Joe] Bossano that the Government had no involvement in Calpe House,” she said.
“We now know that HM Government of Gibraltar owned 51% of Calpe House Ltd at the time that I was given that answer by Mr Bossano.”
At the time, Mrs Hassan Nahon said her concerns were based on a number of factors.
These include the true cost and value of the purchase and refurbishment of the new Calpe House premises, including professional fees and commissions paid.
She further flagged the “misguided” decision to purchase a Grade II listed building, subject to a myriad of restrictions and costs and the discovery of asbestos post-purchase.
“I was particularly concerned by the answers given by Mr Poggio when questioned by Panorama about the circumstances of the discovery of asbestos in the building, which were at odds with the Health and Safety Executive’s guidelines in relation to Grade II listed buildings.”
Mrs Hassan Nahon has further called on the Government to explain why an application was made months after the original planning application to amend the original planning permission for the refurbishment of the building.
The first planning application contained a clause which stated that the building was only to be used by Calpe House and its service users, she said.
“There was then a second planning application some months later requesting that this clause be removed.”
“If the sole purpose of Calpe House is not to provide a home from home for sick Gibraltarians and their families in London, then what is it for?” she asked.
Mrs Hassan Nahon said the concerns she expressed last December have only been magnified by this new information regarding the change of status from charity to limited company.
“I echo the sentiments of members of the public who have expressed misgivings about the motivations behind this move,” she stated.
“I therefore reiterate that, in the interest of transparency and respect towards the many members of our community who give so generously to this very worthy cause, Gibraltar Government get an external UK auditor to fully investigate all the circumstances and costs surrounding the purchase of the new Calpe House.”