As if Malta didn’t have enough trees being chopped down, green areas around 38 villages are now in danger after the government’s landscaping contractor has refused to renew its commitments.
Councils are not in disarray over how to continue landscaping their villages using their limited budget available, Times of Malta reported today.
Naxxar mayor Anne Marie Muscat Fenech Adami said her council issued a call for quotations to help salvage the flowers and trees that had not yet dried up in the August heat.
“We got quotations from private operators as a short-term measure because many plants and patches in the locality dried up already. In the long term, we are awaiting direction on how to proceed to replace the ELC which was giving us a wonderful service at a very reasonable price,” she said, adding: “I’m not sure how the council will afford it in the future. We’ll have to wait and see.”
The ELC is a public-private partnership set up in 2003 to improve the landscaping and general maintenance of public areas and gardens in Malta. The partnership is due to come to expire at the end of the year.
“We are nearing the end of our term and we are re-thinking our strategy with regard to providing services to local councils for a number of reasons, which include personnel and the financial aspect of our operations. These contracts were never money-earners to us but we need to safeguard the consortium’s interests too, and we cannot continue operating certain contracts at a loss,” a spokesman for ELC told Times of Malta.
Mario Fava, president of the Local Councils’ Association, said the association was aware of the situation affecting the councils and intended to start talks with the Environment Ministry about the matter.
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