Working together for Gibraltar’s future

In the two months since the referendum, the Chamber has consulted many members across a variety of business sectors on the impact of possible Brexit.  The Chamber was encouraged by the Chief Minister’s words in his post referendum budget speech:

“Every interaction with our clients, investors and visitors is an opportunity and a responsibility. We can and must all make a difference. In that respect, the public service will be hugely important…. We have to be ready to do more, go further, work harder, be more efficient and wield greater influence than ever in building our common future.”

Feedback from our members suggests that this proposal has not been fully adopted by the community, be they government departments or other public service providers.  This is particularly the case when it comes to dealing with visitors to Gibraltar, whether they are businessmen or women arriving at the airport to find empty taxi ranks or tourists finding their car clamped in a car park or rejected at the last minute from the Upper Rock due to inadequate signage.

The car queues to get into Gibraltar are predominantly caused by a mixture of the Gibraltar based inspection regimes at the frontier and the physical blockages of the two lanes (be it mopeds randomly parked, the taxi stand or Customs vehicles) on our side of the border.  Can we not “do more, go further, work harder, and be more efficient” in making access easier for our citizens, workers, investors and tourists?

Secondly, we have received several comments by members and some visiting business people that parts of Gibraltar are looking decidedly shabby, with increased litter and deteriorating cleanliness.  Maintaining a clean environment requires all sections of the community to pull together, however, this must be orchestrated by government.

We were promised an E-government environment to improve the efficiency of how government services interact with the public, be they consumers or businesses.  It appears that the initial momentum has dissipated. For example, the MOT online appointment system has not been working for months.  To get an appointment now usually requires three separate visits to the test centre, one to obtain an extension, one to book the MOT test and one to attend the MOT test. It is hard to imagine a more inefficient system.  This is just one example.

Our point is that Government should accelerate the stated desire to “do more, go further, work harder and be more efficient” as our clients, investors and visitors who are indeed the future for our post-Brexit economic growth, are increasingly frustrated.

Now is the time for Government to lead all sections of the community to pull together, for the good of all of our tomorrows.