Movement for Change

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Meet some of the new faces joining our campaign to get Gibraltar back on track. Together, we can #MakeTheChange!


Mr Pyle – Facts Not Lies

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Typical of Mr Picardo’s style of politics he accuses others of lying when they present facts. The presentation of issues by the Government is Orwellian.

It is a fact that Mr Picardo has given Mr Pyle a job. It is also a fact that Mr Pyle was the Governor in 2020, was central to what happened with Mr McGrail and was a core participant in those events. It is a fact that the Inquiry will look into those events. It is a fact that Mr Picardo is accused of wrongdoing by a party to that Inquiry. It is a fact that the evidence of Mr Pyle will be extremely relevant in the Inquiry. It is a fact that the Inquiry has not yet heard the case or investigated the issues. It is also a fact that despite the engagement of Mr Pyle to advise on civil service reform the Civil Service Union, the GGCA, were completely unaware of the appointment.

Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi, said: “All those things are facts. The engagement of Mr Pyle in the above circumstances is just weird and inappropriate. The problem is that Mr Picardo did not think through the implications of his actions, the perception he would create and whether that appointment was appropriate or inappropriate. He is blinded by a sense of political survival and not by a sense of what is right and proper. Is that the kind of leader for this community that we want?

We repeat that if the equivalent happened in the United Kingdom a serving Prime Minister would come under massive criticism for having given a job to someone who was central to events subject to an Inquiry in which the Prime Minister himself is accused of wrongdoing when the Inquiry had not yet heard the case.

If there is anyone who has a track record of spin, lies and half-truths it is Mr Picardo himself. The People will judge whether it is time to show him the door at the next election. What is ‘disgusting’ is his ‘anything goes’ type of politics, where truth does not matter and where he thinks he can get away with anything. We will continue to call things out as they are.”

Scandalous Job for Mr Pyle in Face of Inquiry Unanswerable

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Mr Picardo has no answer to the point raised by the GSD and resorts to lies and red herrings. The basic unanswerable point is that in the midst of an Inquiry into the events of 2020 in which Mr Picardo is accused of wrongdoing he has scandalously given a job to a main participant in the discussions with Mr McGrail. That is wholly inappropriate and smacks of keeping him sweet while difficult things are to be decided upon. That is undeniably the perception. The idea that Mr Pyle has been appointed for his expertise is farcical and simply a convenient narrative given the other surrounding circumstances. Indeed, when asked in Parliament about how this had come about Mr Picardo said that it was “simply…because Mr Pyle indicated that he was staying in the area and therefore he’s doing this and other jobs in the area.”
Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi said: “It would be unimaginable for a serving UK prime minister accused of wrongdoing to offer a job to another key figure in the middle of an Inquiry before the case has been heard. That would be roundly condemned as a wholly inappropriate move.
Mr Picardo is now desperately trying to say anything to survive and to divert from those undeniable perceptions. He has even gone as far as falsely saying that the GSD is smearing civil servants by talking about Mr Pyle. The thousands of Gibraltar civil servants won’t feel it is a smear campaign to name Mr Pyle, the former Deputy Governor, because he’s been offered a job by Mr Picardo. Many of those thousands of civil servants will think it is strange that Mr Pyle is being paid at a rate higher than the Chief Secretary when there are hundreds of civil service and public sector vacancies. If there is anyone devaluing our civil servants or undermining our public service and institutions it is Mr Picardo. There are former Chief Secretaries and other senior civil servants who will have a clearer grasp of the challenges of our public service who will also feel it is strange to see Mr Pyle’s appointment.
Of course, we understand that Mr Picardo should want to raise red herrings and smokescreens in a bid to save his skin. But after 12 years people are used to his tactics. He plays the man and not the ball and in an endless tirade of half- truths, twists, spin or downright lies. It’s time for him to leave and the sooner the better. If there are questions about fitness to govern these are now squarely about him. He sees nothing wrong with what he is doing, he is mired in conflicts and fighting desperately for political survival in the face of crisis after crisis.”

Job for ex-Deputy Governor Nick Pyle Inappropriate

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Job for ex-Deputy Governor Nick Pyle Inappropriate


The engagement by the Government of former Deputy Governor Nick Pyle is completely inappropriate while the McGrail inquiry is pending. The Chief Minister has revealed he is being paid £80/hour or in other words a rate that would amount to over £155,000 if he were to work full-time for a year. That would be on a higher scale than even the head of the Civil Service, the Chief Secretary, is paid.

Mr Pyle was Acting Governor in 2020 and like the Chief Minister is one of the core participants in the circumstances that led to the early retirement of the former Commissioner of Police, Mr McGrail. Extremely grave allegations have been fielded in that case about misconduct and that raise issues about the independence of the police. Those issues have yet to be considered or explored by the Inquiry Chairman.

Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi, said: “For Mr Pyle to be given a job to advise on civil service training & reform in the meantime is staggering. He is not a known expert on civil service training or reform. He is not a member of the Gibraltar civil service. He is not an expert on Gibraltar public services or public sector administration. Why is he being employed at all? This simply looks like the Chief Minister giving him a job to keep him sweet while difficult issues are being looked at. Imagine the scandal in the United Kingdom if a serving Prime Minister gave a job to someone who, together with him, was central to the facts of an Inquiry in which the Prime Minister was accused of wrongdoing before that case had even been heard. It would be inconceivable and would receive public condemnation if it did happen. It looks really bad. It appears from the answers Mr Picardo gave in Parliament that he is oblivious to those issues. He apparently thinks anything goes, however it looks.”


Government Admits Port Rules were Broken

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Government Admits Port Rules were Broken

In accusing the GSD of cherry picking the Principal Auditor’s report on the Gibraltar Port Authority for the financial year 31 March 2016, the Minister for the Port Vijay Daryanani has not only admitted the unauthorised scheme but goes on to display a shocking lack of understanding of the fact that the Principal Auditor has stated that the Port Authority had in effect partially failed in its financial duty.

Roy Clinton MP the GSD Shadow Minster for Public Finance stated the following:

“While I can understand Minister Daryanani’s knee jerk desire to defend his Ministry he seems to have completely missed the point raised by the Principal Auditor and the implications for public finance.

The point is simply that the scheme was ‘outside the provisions of the law’ and neither approved by Parliament nor thus in extension his Government. No individual within Government or any agency has the power to offer discounts not provided for in law, they are not running a private business.

If the Minister read the report further he would come across the following observation by the Principal Auditor:

‘I am gravely concerned at the loss of Government revenue resulting …particularly because the pilot scheme, although well intentioned, was ran over a protracted period of 30 months without there being any performance indicators or feedback from shipping agents to show that the initiative had generated additional economic activity in other sectors.’

Furthermore the then Deputy Captain of the Port ‘had always advised against the initiative’.
The role of the Principal Auditor is to ensure all matters relating to public finance are in accordance with the

law and in this case he has correctly brought this incident to the attention of Parliament.

The Government needs to take the Principal Auditor’s qualified report with the seriousness it deserves and accept the points raised. Furthermore the lateness of the tabling of the report before Parliament has not been addressed. If the Minister cannot understand any of this then he only reinforces my assertion that this Government does not know what the management of public finance is about. “

£1 million Revenue Loss at Gibraltar Port Authority

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£1 million Revenue Loss at Gibraltar Port Authority

The report of the Principal Auditor on the accounts of the Gibraltar Port Authority for the financial year ended 31 March 2016 were tabled in Parliament this week. The Principal Auditor in his certificate to Parliament has stated by way of exception that ‘the Gibraltar Port Authority did not fully discharge its financial duties and obligations in accordance with the provisions of the Gibraltar Port Authority Act 2005’. This resulted in an eventual loss of revenue of close to £1 million.

Roy Clinton MP the GSD Shadow Minster for Public Finance stated the following:

“The Principal Auditor’s certificate, which is dated 21 January 2021, includes a detailed report that indicates that over three financial years from 2015 to 2018 the Gibraltar Port Authority under collected revenue by an amount of £ 917,697. This was as a result of the discounting of rates on the Eastern Anchorage ‘without there being any legal provision under the Port Rules to award such a discounted fee’.

This loss of revenue, at which the Principal Auditor expresses grave concern, goes to the heart of the control of public finances in two ways, firstly this should not have been possible if strict financial controls were in place and secondly the late tabling of the Principal Auditor’s report for 31 March 2016 does not allow proper Parliamentary oversight and scrutiny of such an important issue that is now old.

I fear that this is just but one example of the malaise that has infected the management of Gibraltar’s public finances since the GSLP/Liberals took office in 2011. We need to manage and control our public finances better and this Government evidently does not consider it a priority to safe guard the public purse. “

Mental Health Awareness Week

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Mental Health Awareness Week is an important moment to reflect on how far we have come in removing the stigma around mental health and assessing mental health provision within health care.
Broadly speaking, we spend over £130M on health care and only £5M is dedicated to Mental Health provision. It is very much hoped that with the drive-in efficiencies we can change the balance and make sure that mental health along with physical health is properly funded and resourced. For that we need an open and frank conversation about the scope and impact of mental health within our community and acknowledge what needs to be done to ensure that we direct support to those most in need. Without a serious attempt at publishing accurate data, we cannot properly drive resources in the right direction. This week also presents us all with an opportunity to shout out loud about what needs to be done and to support our mental health charity warriors.
This week has a particular focus on anxiety. Anxiety is normal emotion and effects everyone single one of us, but for some people it is a cause of concern that requires clinical and counselling support as it can affect their daily lives. The GSD receives regular feedback from service users, members of the public and people working within the service, and that feedback is almost exclusively critical of the lack of support in counselling and therapy in mental health. In addition, the high incidence of prescribing medication in this area is of considerable concern given the very real possibility that medication is dispensed given inadequate counselling and support and alternative methods to deal with anxiety.
Shadow Minister for Health, Elliott Phillips MP said:
“Last year I discovered from my work in Parliament that Gibraltar’s sick leave rate in the public sector was higher than the UK and our European neighbours. As a result of our questioning, the Chief Minister agreed to publish monthly statistics. More data and more information needs to be forthcoming. The first step has got to be recognising the scale of the problem so that we can target our resources and helping those who really need our support. I know many people within community have a daily mountain to climb and often just getting out of bed seems like an impossible task. Remember you are not alone, thousands in our community are feeling the same way, your voice is heard and more must be done to support you. The GSD understand the critical need to improve mental health provision in an integrated way and we will continue to press this important issue not only on Mental Health Awareness Week, but in any outside parliament and support the excellent work being done by our mental health warriors who are increasing awareness and removing the stigma”

Provision of life saving adrenaline auto-injectors

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Provision of life saving adrenaline auto-injectors

The GSD have been made aware of the almost impossible task of obtaining from local pharmacies and the GHA Pharmacist. auto-injectors which can offer those with severe allergies access to self-administered instant emergency medical treatment.

Allergies to foods, such as some nuts, fish, eggs and fruit as well as bee stings and other medicines have been known to cause anaphylactic shock. It is understood that 1 in 100 people experience allergic reactions and a small number will go on to develop anaphylaxis.

EpiPens, as they are known, provide adults and children with severe allergies significant reassurance, that in circumstances where they are experiencing the initial signs of anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, they can avoid a serious and potentially life-threatening medical emergency. The GSD understands that the incidence of anaphylaxis is relatively low and can be dealt at Hospital and other first responders as a medical emergency with the administration of an injection of adrenaline. However, the advice from the NHS is that those at risk should carry EpiPens on their person at all times with no exceptions.

The Shadow Minister for Health and the Environment, Elliott Phillips MP said:

“ The GSD have been informed that local pharmacies are either not stocking or dispensing epi-pens and neither does the GHA Pharmacist have a ready stock to dispense to those at risk. We are unaware as to whether the decision to restrict or deny this treatment arises in the context of the internal audit and review on medicines and dispensing in Gibraltar or for other reasons. The GSD call on the Government to confirm the position given the unease that this is causing those with limited or no supply of EpiPens and the obvious risk that this present to those with severe allergies

Damon Bossino Parliamentary Questions May 2023

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🕰️ Parliament is scheduled to meet on Thursday 18th May 2023 at 3.00pm. Damon Bossino MP has tabled the questions listed below.
1️⃣ What is the cost of the Eastern beach promenade and storage facility project?
2️⃣ What plans does the Government have in respect of an alternative access to Glacis Estate?
3️⃣ Is the loss of parking spaces as a result of the cordoning off of the area on the reclaimed land by Catalan bay expected to be replaced in time for the busy summer period?
4️⃣ Does the Government plan to introduce any measures following the recent excursion to La Linea of cruise liner passengers on a vessel which had docked in Gibraltar?
5️⃣ What measures, if any, can be introduced by the Government to prevent a repeat closure of Gibraltar airport as a result of a MET office strike?
6️⃣ Does the Government have plans to purchase a new bus for use at the St Bernadette’s centre?
7️⃣ Will the Eastern beach parking facility be made available for users of the beach this summer?
8️⃣ What is the cost of the new Devil’s Tower roundabout?
9️⃣ When will it be expected that the new Gibraltar archivist will be appointed?
1️⃣0️⃣ Are there any plans to expose the dock at the former HMS Rooke site?
1️⃣1️⃣ In what way will Government provide financial support to projects in order to conserve and enhance heritage?
1️⃣2️⃣ Will the Government consider listing the recently vacated Social Security building under the Heritage and Antiquities Act?
1️⃣3️⃣ When will the Heritage and Antiquities Advisory Council submit its annual reports pursuant to the Heritage and Antiquities Act?
1️⃣4️⃣ Which new incentives will be provided for the repair and re-use of abandoned and neglected buildings?
1️⃣5️⃣ Please state what the amount of the fee payable by the Gibraltar Government to the MOD in respect of the agreement to cross the runway is.
1️⃣6️⃣ Please state how many hours of heat fire training has been received by each GFRS fire-fighter broken down on an annual basis since 2019.
1️⃣7️⃣Please provide details of the services which Knightsfield Holdings Ltd provide to the Government.
1️⃣8️⃣ Please state how much funding has been received by Knightsfield Holdings Ltd from the Government each year since 2012.
1️⃣9️⃣ Please state which sites Knightsfield Holdings Ltd is responsible for.
2️⃣0️⃣ Please state the locations used in each case of heat fire training for GFRS fire fighters provided since 2019.
2️⃣1️⃣ Has consideration been given to allowing special access for tourist transportation across the runway
2️⃣2️⃣ Please state when are the current, expected delivery dates for the apartments at Hassan Centenary Terraces, Bob Peliza Mews and Chatham Views?
2️⃣3️⃣ What plans does the Government have in respect of Hargraves Parade?
2️⃣4️⃣ Why were the celebrations in Gibraltar for the King’s Coronation so low key?
2️⃣5️⃣ What plans are there to remove the rubble piled up at the old incinerator site by Europa Point?
2️⃣6️⃣ Which company or other entity is responsible for the rubble pile at the old incinerator site by Europa Point?
2️⃣7️⃣ What plans are there to remove the rubble pile by the rock face to the west of Catalan Bay?
2️⃣8️⃣ Where is construction rubble currently being allowed to be deposited?
2️⃣9️⃣ What is the duration and cost of the contract for the running and maintenance of Campion Park?
3️⃣0️⃣ What progress has been made on the regeneration of the old town since the beautification of Castle Steps and Governor’s Parade?
3️⃣1️⃣ Please provide the following details relating to the recent visit to the Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami: (i) Who comprised the Government’s delegation; (ii) The total cost of the trip broken down into air travel costs, lodgings and entertainment; (iii) Who the Minister or any member of the delegation met at each event; (v) What new business has been secured as a result of the trip; and (vi) The duration of the trip?
3️⃣2️⃣ When will the toilets at the airport be fixed?
3️⃣3️⃣ Does the Government support the construction of a marina as part of the Eastside project?
3️⃣4️⃣ Have all the entities been reallocated from the eastside reclamation and if so where?
3️⃣5️⃣ Please provide details of the commencement and completion dates of the Eastside project broken down into each of its phases.
3️⃣6️⃣ What is the duration of the contract the Government has with Knightsfield Holdings Ltd?
3️⃣7️⃣Why has Government deleted its archive of press releases issued by it from before 2020?