A holiday from public funds? Mayor silent on Ayia Napa youth ‘delegation’

Trip raises eyebrows at Local Councils Department

The delegation of youths before leaving for Cyprus.

The delegation of youths before leaving for Cyprus.

Public funds used by the St Paul’s Bay local council to send a delegation of youths on a five-day ‘mission’ to the Cypriot resort of Ayia Napa is raising eyebrows at the Department of Local Councils.

Sources told Times of Malta that the delegation to the seaside resort, known for its extravagant night life, was organised without the knowledge of all members of the council but found the blessing of the mayor.

St Paul’s Bay mayor Anne Fenech.St Paul’s Bay mayor Anne Fenech.

Anne Fenech, the Nationalist Party mayor of St Paul’s Bay, along with another councillor, are accompanying the youths on the trip to Cyprus.

Asked to give details on the delegation and how participants were selected, the mayor did not reply.

When contacted, Ms Fenech declined to comment on the phone and asked for questions to be sent by e-mail. However, no replies were sent by the time of writing.

The Times of Malta asked Ms Fenech to explain how much public funds were used to pay for the delegation, to provide a copy of the programme of the visit and to state if this was a kind of paid holiday disguised as an official delegation.

The visit to Ayia Napa was approved by the local council only a few weeks ago shortly after the setting up of a youths sub-committee of the local council.

“During a meeting a few weeks ago, the council discussed a proposal and agreed to set up a youths’ sub-committee. This was approved,” sources said.

Local council did not issue any public call for youths wanting to join the trip

“However, just a few minutes after, during the same meeting, the local councillor proposing the youth committee asked the council to approve the sending of a youth delegation to Ayia Napa.

“When councillors raised questions over the venture and whether there was any sort of programme, nothing was presented. Still, the PN mayor together with the PL councillors voted to approve the visit,” the sources added.

St Paul’s Bay local council did not issue any public call for youths wanting to join the trip but participants were handpicked by some local councillors and the major.

It is estimated that the council will be forking out more than €3,000 in public funds to cover the expenses.

Ironically, Facebook posts carrying photos of the delegation before their departure from the airport included messages wishing the delegates and the mayor a happy holiday.

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