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Government headstrong on recklessly enforcing the upper rock ban for tourists in private vehicles

By | Tourism | No Comments

A month has elapsed since the Alliance Government underhandedly introduced the ban on foreign vehicles entering the Nature Reserve and the lack of planning, is proving chaotic at times, particularly evident last weekend when significant tail backs were experienced at Engineer Road. This could have been avoided or handled better if Government would have placed prominent signs around Gibraltar and/or had someone at the bottom of Engineer Road as they do at Windmill Hill. Instead the tailbacks meant that access to the Upper Rock was made difficult at times causing unnecessary delays (dare we say fumes) for tourists, locals and public service users.

Consequently, the argument given by Government that this fast tracked policy is part of the Upper Rock Management Plan is a nonsense. It smacks of a badly thought out “back room deal” with some public service vehicle operators.  The irony is that it is doubtful whether this policy is going to lead to more tourists using public service vehicles to visit the Upper Rock.  It will simply mean less visitors to one of our most important tourist attractions and less revenue for the Government.

LawrenceGSD MP Lawrence Llamas said: “Negative experiences like this will dominate the overall experience of a holiday which will then be taken back home to families and friends.  It can give Gibraltar a bad image.

It is also shocking that people with disabilities are still being turned away or forced out of their vehicles. I remind the Government of the draft Disability Bill which is yet to be brought to Parliament, in particular I quote: “in the development of such policy or programme, have regard to the rights of persons with disabilities” end quote.

With a little bit of imagination, Government could implement a park and ride from Lathbury Barracks and implement this policy in a far more logical manner”.

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May Day 2016: Danny Feetham’s message

By | Uncategorised | No Comments

On Sunday 1 May we commemorate International Workers’ Day and the historic struggle of working people throughout the world. In Gibraltar that struggle has been hard fought through the generations to get to where we are. Often the advancement of our rights as a people have gone hand in hand with that struggle. The struggle for parity, for example, was not just about equal pay with our UK counterparts. It was also part of our struggle for emancipation as a people. Today our workers enjoy conditions that our forefathers could only dream of. May Day is a day we gratefully celebrate their sacrifices.

That is not to mean that we must be complacent. There are still people without jobs; people are still discriminated in the workplace; the use of cheap labour in the public service through recruitment agencies is still a concern; bullying is still not being investigated in the way it should, particularly where it would be damaging to the Government. The Opposition will continue to address these issues as we have done over the last four years.

This year we face one of the biggest threats to jobs that we have faced in generations in the potential exit from the EU. Despite our struggles over the generations to get to where we are, we are blessed to live on this Rock of ours. We should not risk that Gibraltarian way of life and everything our forefathers have achieved by taking a leap into the dark and voting to exit the EU at the referendum. There is too much at stake for our workers, our families and our community as a whole.

Daniel Feetham Image

This year as I celebrate May Day on the 1st of the month as I have always done, I remind myself that it became a public holiday after the General Strike in 1972 and after the Transport and General Workers Union campaigned for it to become a public holiday. Even though this year it falls on a Sunday, it is right that it should be celebrated on its actual day with a public holiday on that day. It should also be celebrated by all the Unions and political parties together and without discrimination. I hope this year UNITE the Union invite the GGCA to their May Day Rally. It is also a matter of regret to me that since an invitation to speak at the 2013 May Day Rally was unilaterally withdrawn by UNITE, we have not been invited to it ourselves. Unity at times like this is important. It has been, after all, unity amongst workers of past generations that has achieved to so much for the present ones. We should celebrate together; united and not divided.

On behalf of the GSD I wish you and your families a happy May Day.

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Government ignores public’s planning concerns

By | Planning | No Comments

Government’s response to questions raised by the GSD on behalf of the concerned public over planning is dismissive of the hundreds of people who have signed online petitions or raised issues against the proposed developments being tabled.

It is a sad indictment of the Alliance Government that it sets out to belittle the public’s concerns, rather than address them. It is the job of an effective opposition to bring to Parliament the concerns of the public, and the feedback that we are receiving is that many of the proposed development projects are worrying too many people.

Reading their response you would imagine that they had not been in office for four years. Isn’t it time they changed their tune? Or are we to hear the blame the GSD chorus in defense of their poor policy and decision making for another four years? The Alliance Government seem determined to sell land off with unseemly haste and without a proper tender process. It is shortsighted and something that future generations will only regret. Is the Alliance Government so desperate for cash?

We call on them to accept that these planning decisions are being taken on their watch by a DPC on which two of its ministers sit. They have the responsibility to make decisions wisely and in accordance with the 2009 Development Plan. If they choose to ignore that guidance, then strong justification must be provided. Whether a new plan is to be produced, and this is the first we have heard about it, is irrelevant. A government should not ignore the work of previous administrations when it has no alternative, to do so would result in every plan having to be redrafted every time there is a change of administration, until the 2009 Development Plan is amended it should be adhered to.

The Government has had over four years to amend it and has still not done so.

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