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Sixteen small localities to get mini-councils

Paceville is considered part of St Julians and Bubaqra is within Żurrieq but, as from March, these two areas will be among 16 to get mini-councils of their own.

These 16 localities will have administrative committees directly elected by the people and will use part of the budget of their respective local councils, said Parliamentary Secretary Chris Said.

The idea is that such localities, which are somewhat cut off from the towns or villages they fall under, will be better able to meet their own particular needs.

The initiative to set up these committees evolved from feedback received during consultation on the local council reform at the beginning of last year, Dr Said explained.

Several localities complained they would like to have a council of their own and felt unrepresented by the council they fell under.

So it was decided to set up administrative committees in 16 localities. The law, which came into force in November, was amended to include the setting up of the committees.

Consultation was then held with the Local Councils Association, the Electoral Commission and representatives of the political parties to determine an electoral method.

The idea was to keep elections simple so residents within the localities could vote using their identity card and would not require a voting document, Dr Said said, adding that the elections were expected to be held in March.

Each administrative committee would have five members, including a president, who would automatically be able to participate in local council meetings but would not have a vote.

The locality's mayor could also appoint someone to sit on committee meetings. The committee would operate within the same structure as the council and use the services of the same executive secretary.

Committees will determine the use of the funds assigned to them and the budget will be allocated according to the usual formula used in local councils that took into account several factors, such as the number of households.

Committees would also be able to apply for EU funds and special funds for projects.

The 16 localities are Fleur-de-Lys within the Birkirkara council, Santa Luċija in Kerċem, Guardamanġa in Pietà, Paceville in St Julians, Kappara in San Ġwann, Madliena in Swieqi, Marsalforn in Żebbuġ, Bubaqra in Żurrieq, Xlendi in Munxar;

Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq in Naxxar, Swatar in Msida, Burmarrad in St Paul's Bay, Baħrija in Rabat, Tal-Virtù in Rabat, Ħal Farruġ in Luqa and St Peters in Żabbar.

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