The Government has said that the latest argument to discredit its car parking projects put forward by the Opposition is “complete nonsense.”
Number Six says that the notion that any Government should implement its policies in line with the views of the Opposition, just in case that future Opposition ever gets into Government, is “unheard of in parliamentary democracies and shows just how much the GSD have to learn.”
A spokesperson said: “It should be noted that this extraordinary proposition was, unsurprisingly, not put into practice by the GSD themselves when they were in Government. They simply ploughed ahead with their policies in different areas regardless of their impact or of the effect it would have on future Governments. In line with this, they ran down the reserves of the Community Care charity, they spent the reserves in the Gibraltar Savings Bank, they spent over £80 million on an air terminal and nearly £ 10 million on the hole where the Theatre Royal once stood. Another case of do as I say and not as I did!
“It was their sixteen years of neglect that have contributed to the issues that they are choosing to complain about now. The public will recall how the GSD traffic plan saw life as a booklet which was then simply kicked into the long grass. They lacked the vision, the ability and the conviction to put their proposals into effect. In sharp contrast, the STTPP consists of numerous pilot projects which cannot be tested merely as abstract theories and need to be rolled out in order to ascertain their potential. This is exactly what is being done. The Residential Parking Scheme is a pilot scheme that is being rolled out in stages and assessed regularly in detail. It is not set in stone.
“What is incomprehensible is the concept espoused by Mr Hammond that a future Government might want to expand the schools into a garage. This is the same misguided GSD theory that they put in practice when they moved St Bernard’s Hospital into an office block at Europort as opposed to constructing a purpose-built hospital. Everyone knows what a disaster that turned out to be. The notion that they might want in future to put a school in a basement car park which was not designed for this purpose is frightening and shows that they have learnt absolutely nothing.
“The truth is that the new schools and the new parking projects under those schools will be of huge benefit to the community. They will benefit our children and future generations of Gibraltarians to come. The parking projects will contain spaces for sale and spaces for rent. The move of vehicles into these car parks will release more parking spaces in the street where motorists will be able to park freely.
“The negative and destructive politics of the GSD Opposition will fool no one.”