Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Opposition cannot understand why Govt is against a placard being erected to mark Queen's jubilee

The Opposition says it cannot understand why the Government, through its control over the planning process, has refused permission for the display of a temporary placard commemorating the jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen.

The Opposition understands that a private citizen applied to the Development and Planning Commission for permission to erect a placard outside a building that he owns in Convent Place. However, the applicant has made public that planning permission has been refused and that he intends to appeal that decision.

They add: "It is important to note that this would be an ideal location for such a banner given that it is opposite both the residence of the Governor of Gibraltar, who represents Her Majesty in Gibraltar, and the seat of the Gibraltar Government in 6 Convent Place.

"It is well known that the Development and Planning Commission (DPC) is a statutory body which is chaired by the Minister with responsibility for Development and Planning Joe Holliday and consists of nine voting members. It includes five persons nominated by the Chief Minister, one person nominated by the Ministry of Defence, one person nominated by the Gibraltar Heritage Trust and one person nominated by the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society.

"This result is that the views of the Government generally prevail when it comes to deciding on planning applications like the one in question."

The GSLP/Liberals go on to say that it is not clear why the Government would be against the erection of a placard of Her Majesty in Convent Place to commemorate her Jubilee year. She is, after all, the Queen of Gibraltar and our Head of State. Moreover, the banner was presumably intended to be of a temporary nature in the sense that it was only going to be in place during the jubilee year 2012. In addition to this the site was a private building where the consent of the landlord had obviously been obtained.

Commenting on the matter, Shadow Minister for Development and Planning Dr Joseph Garcia said:

“In Government our policy would be to support this application were it to be resubmitted and to allow the placard to go up. If the citizens of Gibraltar want to celebrate the Jubilee of their monarch it is something that we encourage. There is nothing to be embarrassed or apologetic about. There may be those who do not like to be reminded of Gibraltar’s historic link with the British Crown. This is a fact of history and a continuing reality. A GSLP/Liberal Government will support the commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee in this and in other ways.”

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