News | Sunday, 31 January 2010

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Maltese councils disappoint in efficiency rankings

Pavements in Valletta and traffic signs in Sliema and St Paul’s Bay failed to get a pass-mark in the latest efficiency report published by the Department of Local Councils.
Just six out of 24 councils assessed by the department between April and July last year surpassed its 7-point benchmark out of a maximum of 10.
The report assessed the efficiency of local councils in delivering 18 basic services, ranging from the upkeep and sweeping of roads to the upkeep of public gardens and toilets.
Gozitan localities generally scored better than Maltese localities in the report. Four out of the eight Gozo councils assesses surpassed the 70% benchmark. Only two of 16 Maltese councils scrutinised got a pass-mark: Kalkara and Ta’ Xbiex.
At 7.4, San Lawrenz scored the best mark, with nine marks for the state of its pavements, urban roads and traffic signs.
Valletta only scored 4/10 marks for the state of its pavements and the sweeping of its roads and 5/10 the upkeep of public toilets. Valletta got its best mark for the upkeep of its public gardens.
Pembroke emerged as the least efficient locality, scoring an average of five marks – down from 5.5 in 2008 and six in 2007. The council has now fallen in the penultimate 67th place in the department’s league table.
The council was only awarded one mark out of 10 with regards to the state of its public toilets and the condition of its non-urban roads.
The second worst council among the 24 ranked was that of St Paul’s Bay, which now ranks in the 58th place among Malta’s total 68 councils.
“This is alarming considering that the St Paul’s Bay council receives the largest amount of government funds among Malta’s 69 councils and the locality also includes Bugibba and Qawra which are two important tourist zones,” says the report.
The report deemed 13 out of 18 services offered by the council to be “insufficient”. The council got its worst mark – 3/10 – for the state of its traffic signs.
Sliema is another locality rebuked for the “mediocrity” of its traffic signs, which are given a four out of 10. This is the third consecutive time that Sliema was rebuked for the state of its traffic signs. “Year after year the floor paint in Sliema is consistently in a bad state… this is surely not helping drivers and local enforcement in Sliema,” the report states.
The Sliema council is also rebuked for the lack of cleanliness in the summer months, as the council only scored four out of 10 on the sweeping of its urban roads.
The state of public toilets is described as “precarious” especially when considering that many bathers make use of these facilities in summer. The council scored six marks for the condition of its pavements and urban roads “which means that a 40% improvement is required”.


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