30 Jun 2015
The Ten Principles in Action in South-East Malta
The South-East Regional Committee of Malta (SERC) is committed to provide its citizens with a programme of sustainable regeneration through the application of a South-East Regional Action Plan. This plan is set to address ecological, economic, political and cultural dimensions. It will also harness resources and assets for the benefit of the region and its people.
The South East Malta Regional Action Plan is currently in the second phase of consultation. SERC is leading this process and launching an integrated approach for sustainable regeneration in the region. The “Action Plan: Harbours East; Liveable Sustainable Communities – 2015-2020” aims to gather all possible resources to direct actions for better governance through improved coordination, increased availability of information and communication.
SERC will also be seeking funds to sustain research and development to promote management tool development and capacity building. It will also generate alliances with other regions, councils and stakeholders to promote the implementation of the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles.
The vision for the South East Region, which is a first in the Maltese Islands, comprises the aspirations of the 15 local councils in the region. The councils will plan, design and develop projects in partnership to ensure that the communities within the region are more liveable.
A New System of Governance
SERC is a relatively young system of governance. It was established through the amendment of the Local Councils Act in 2009, which establishes the South-East Region as one of the five regions of the Maltese Islands (Article 37A(1) of the Local Council Act). The functions of the Regional Committees are established by the Minister responsible for Local Government (Home and Parliamentary Affairs) in the form of regulations following consultation with the Local Councils Association. The Regional Committee encompasses 15 Councils, extending from the Grand Harbour in the West to the Port of Marsaxlokk in the East.
This Action Plan was established to guide regeneration and development for the next five years and to implement the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact in accordance with the urban framework developed by the UN Global Compact’s Cities Programme (UNGC-CP). The South-East Region has been a signatory to the Global Compact since 2014 and is currently seeking to become a member of the Covenant of Mayors to bolster the sustainable communities policy, which is a cross-sectoral component of the Action Plan.
Focusing on Partnership
The development of the Action Plan was based on internal consultation with the 15 Local Councils of the South-East Maltese region through a survey that gauged the aspirations of the various councils. The survey also asked local councils to outline the nature of their current flagship projects and provide targets around their priority projects. Key focus areas for the local councils include heritage, restoration of monuments and projects related to tourism. Respondents also highlighted the need for new council offices or local service centres, the beautification of gardens and parks, developing PVP farms and improving sports facilities and street lighting as areas of priority.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government, Dr Stefan Buontempo, launched the Consultation Draft on 19 June 2015 in the presence of the mayors, councillors and representatives of SERC. The Minister praised the integrated action and single vision achieved through cooperation and partnership. He also referred to the Plan as being “a key to more efficient governance and management.”
During the presentation, the President of the SERC, Chev. Paul Farrugia, said that the SERC “was committed … to make our communities more sustainable and more liveable. We endeavour to succeed through ‘best practice’ in governance and management and in full cooperation with local businesses and entities.” He also highlighted the fact that SERC will be approaching citizens and community representatives to launch the urban local support group (ULSG) which will be spurring actions and priorities.
A copy of the First draft is available here.