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St John volunteers call for Council to resign

Johnny Bugeja

Volunteers at St John Gibraltar have called for the resignation of its Council with immediate effect, in the latest development in a controversy following the resignation of the charity’s long-standing Commissioner Joe Chiara.

The charity temporarily suspended its services following the departure of Mr Chiara, who claimed he had been pressured to step down.

The Council said it had no option but to temporarily suspend services after concerns were raised about training records and the way the charity was being managed.

The issues came to light in the wake of the Island Games and over the past weeks the charity has sought to grapple with the situation and refocus the organisation.

But the volunteers are clearly unhappy with the way events have unfolded and recently met with the charity’s Patron, Governor Lieutenant General Edward Davis, where they handed in their resignations in protest.

In a statement the volunteers said they have “lost all confidence” in the present Council and asked them to “resign from their posts with immediate effect”.

The volunteers insisted all their training is up to date and that these records are kept in-house.

“It beggars belief that the same Council who has questioned our qualifications has asked volunteers to regroup so as to be able to cover the fair and other public events,” the volunteers said in a statement.

The volunteers added: “In the short term, and whilst the investigation is carried out, we are willing to regroup and cover the upcoming events, but only under certain conditions, namely, that the Commissioner and his team are fully re-instated and that the Council stands back from all operational matters.”

The Council last night declined to comment.