Improving one’s locality

Having contributed to my community as an Alternattiva Demokratika local councillor for nine years has taught me one important thing – to insist on my priorities and proposals but also to seek consensus and agreement and where this is not possible to agree to disagree and move on.

These past five years, my second term as councillor, did not start very well. There were proposals to turn open spaces and gardens into car parks, which, thankfully, after lots of pressure and discussion, were abandoned.

Irresponsible spending before the 2007 council election meant that the council was stuck with a deficit that conditioned what councillors could propose and achieve. I still managed to garner support for various proposals – from promoting a policy of planting local species of trees, installing play equipment in gardens, promoting and reminding residents of recycling schemes, working on educational courses and sports and cultural events and upgrading public spaces. I also kept up the pressure over overdevelopment after the government, in 2006, condemned whole areas that had just settled down to become construction zones once again.

Putting the issue of the uncontrolled activities in quarries back on the council’s agenda despite resistance and spokes in the wheels is one achievement of which I am very proud. I am also very proud of promoting close contacts and cooperation with local organisations, including our band club. The professionalism of their performances is something we Attard residents are very proud of.

Our community is constantly developing and there will always be issues which need tackling. My main priorities, should I be re-elected come March 10, will be to seek consensus and agreement on a mobility plan for Attard, with an emphasis on pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly streets and pressing for continous improvement in public transport. I will continue my attempts at sourcing funding for the restoration of the unique railway embankment, ensure that my recent proposals for a new public library are followed through and promote campaigns about recycling, energy efficiency and overdevelopment.


Ralph Cassar, local councillor, Alternattiva Demokratika, Attard