The chief minister’s visits to government estates drew criticism from the GSD on Tuesday, which accused the government of clearing estates for a photo op.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo visited the Varyl Begg estate on Tuesday for clinics with residents.
He spoke with residents about maintenance and cleanliness issues at the estate, as well as problems caused by anti-social behavior.
“It is clear that there are problems that we must solve. As we have done before, we will. Our people deserve nothing less,” Picardo said.
But the GSD has challenged visits to government estates – Varyl Begg is just the latest – saying every visit is preceded by a clean-up campaign.
The GSD said it has also been running clinics with tenant associations around living quarters for some time, with the common theme being complaints about lack of cleanliness, lack of maintenance, noise and behavior antisocial.
The party noted that Mr. Picardo’s visits were accompanied by the government’s press team who filmed and photographed his visits.
They said they had received reports that Varyl Begg had been cleaned before Mr Picardo’s visit, as had Mid Harbors Estate.
“These are no coincidences and the residents of these areas are clear they are also not scheduled for regular cleaning,” the GSD said.
The party added that locals told them that when the cleanup was questioned, workers said it was because of Mr Picardo’s impending visit.
‘While the unscheduled cleaning is good news for residents of the estates, it should not happen just in anticipation of the Chief Minister’s visit and therefore enhances subsequent media images,’ the opposition leader said. , Keith Azopardi.
“These are not royal visits and people will not be so easily fooled. Audience engagement should be real and not subject to pre-cleanup to massage public opinion or subsequent imagery.
“People are fed up with the GSLP/liberal media spin and this is just another example of how they operate. What the government should be doing is focusing on addressing long-standing tenant complaints about cleaning and maintenance in a comprehensive and consistent way, not just the day before an official visit.
“The good news for the people of the Southern District and the Moorish Castle is that Mr. Picardo is due to be there in a few weeks so that their areas will be specially cleaned soon.”
Shadow Housing Minister Damon Bossino said elected politicians should have regular dialogue and interaction with the public and this should be encouraged.
But, he said, these visits must “reflect reality” and his visits were not preceded by a “whitewashing exercise”.
“As a result, we were able to witness the reality of people’s lives – the prestige and the media entourage can be left to others – others whose responsibility it has been to maintain the living conditions of these individuals for 11 years and have failed to do so,” Mr. Bossino said.
“One of the positive effects of our recent visits is that at least some of the areas are undergoing some much needed spring cleaning and this can only be to the benefit of the residents and is welcome.”