The Chief Minister and the Financial Secretary (and two other individuals) have purchased double covered parking spaces, at Midtown car park. These purchases were made directly from the developer. The amount paid was £22,500 for each, £17,500 less than the standard comparable launch price for a similar space. The Midtown car park is owned now by the Government.
Investigations carried out by the GSD over the last 12 months, involving the inspection of documents at the land registry, have revealed these purchases.
The shadow Minister for Public Finance Roy Clinton said:
“At a time when standards of conduct in public office are under increasing public scrutiny everywhere, the Chief Minister and Financial Secretary should explain publicly how these double parking spaces were both purchased for only £22,500 in comparison with those single standard spaces bought generally at £20,000 each i.e. a total price of £40,000. An examination of the public parking on the upper floors of the Midtown car park in the comparable area clearly shows these are marked for the occupation of two cars not for one.
In answer to questions in Parliament last week floor plans of Midtown and pricing were provided showing that that four of those spaces were “Double”. I asked the Chief Minster if two cars could be parked in any spaces sold for £22,500. He replied evasively, “I don’t think so”, without disclosing that he not only owned such a space but could park two cars in it; his and the Financial Secretary’s parking spaces are each 5.8 m wide, which is more than twice that of a standard space at 2.4 m. It has been previously said, in answers to questions in Parliament, that: “the developer consulted with Government in arriving at the pricing structure for the sale of parking spaces at Midtown Coach and Car Parks”. Other spaces sold for £22,500 cannot accommodate two cars.
People will ask themselves why is it that the Chief Minister and the Financial Secretary did not pay £40,000 for the double spaces? In not doing so, they have reduced the revenue from car parking sales by £35,000 which would have in turn reduced the financing cost of the carpark to the public pursue by the Chief Minister’s own admission in Parliament. People may also ask how was the sale of parking spaces allocated? The Chief Minister has not disclosed that he purchased a carparking space in the Midtown carpark in his Parliamentary declaration of Members Interests, as at 10 April 2019.
Midtown Coach & Car Parks Limited, a private developer, and the construction by it of the carpark was financed by Government owned Gibraltar Car Parks Limited, who later acquired the development company for the amount of its share capital of £2,000 on 28 February 2018.
This was a Government Manifesto project and questions arise as to any conflict of interest and potential preferential treatment and thus the Chief Minister and the Financial Secretary need to provide an explanation.”