14th October 2021, 16:34
The sale of the sites of the old Bayside and St Anne's Schools raises questions that need answering, according to the GSD Opposition.
On Wednesday the Government announced that the TNG Global Foundation had purchased the site for development for just over £21 million, adding that works on the new Governor's Meadow and Bishop Fitzgerald Schools at Europort Avenue will begin immediately.
In a statement, the GSD points out the TNG Global Foundation is ultimately controlled by the same person who owns Trusted Novus Bank - the entity which, the Government announced earlier this year, made a donation of £3.7 million to fund the cost of the MidTown Park. Now, the opposition party says, the Government has announced a major land deal with the same individual behind both entities.
The GSD says the land deal may be unconnected, value for money, and unimpeachable - but that nonetheless, serious and legitimate questions arise.
It asks whether the Government was already in discussions over the site with the owner of the bank and TNG Global when the donation was made; how and when the donation was paid; and if there is any link between the two deals. It says there will also be questions as to how the land was allocated; the value for money of the deal; what value the developers will get from the site; and whether the Government was influenced by the donation in its financial calculations or decision-making on the schools site deal.
Opposition Leader, Keith Azopardi, says while the GSD wants affordably-built new schools and economic development, it will raise all these questions when Parliament next meets, in the interest of transparency and value for money. GSD spokesperson Damon Bossino added questions and concerns also arise from the lack of information over what the old schools site will be used for by the developer, especially for the people who live in the area.