Roderick Galdes

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Roderick Galdes

Roderick Galdes is a Maltese politician elected in the Maltese Parliament, on behalf of the Labour Party, since 2004. He is currently a member of the Cabinet of Ministers serving as Parliamentary Secretary for Social Accommodation.[1]

He previously served as junior Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Animal Rights.[2]

He was first elected to Parliament in 2004, and re-elected in the 2008, 2013 and 2017 elections from the sixth district which comprises his hometown, Qormi, together with Luqa and Siggiewi.

Initial years: Qormi Local Council[edit]

Galdes was active in the Labour Party from a young age, forming part of Labour's Youth Forum National Executive together with Joseph Muscat, who years later became Party Leader and Prime Minister of Malta.

In 1994, Galdes successfully contested the first local council elections in Qormi, becoming the youngest councillor at the time.[3] In 2001, he became the first Labour mayor of the locality. In 2004 Galdes was re-elected with the highest number of votes polled by a Labour Party candidate nationwide in the 2004 Local Council elections, garnering 3,513 first-count votes.[4] Thanks to this performance, Labour won a seat from the Nationalist Party.

During his tenure as Qormi Mayor (2001–2004), Galdes is best remembered for the vast infrastructural projects undertaken throughout the locality, including resurfacing of the road network.

Member of Parliament[edit]

2004 General Election[edit]

At the age of 29, Galdes became a Member of Parliament, replacing long-serving MP John Attard Montalto who was elected to serve as an MEP in Brussels.[5] Upon taking the oath of office, then Labour leader Alfred Sant gave Galdes the responsibility to shadow the Environment and National Heritage ministry.[6]

2008 General Election[edit]

Galdes successfully contested the 2008 General Elections garnering 1,634 first count votes, reported by the Times of Malta as "a massive increase on the 359 votes of five years ago, when he was elected for the first time."[7] For the 2008-2013 legislature, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Planning, Housing, Urban Development and Construction in 2008. He was also the official Labour Representative on the Malta Environment and Planning Authority board.[8]

2013 General Election[edit]

Roderick Galdes continued to establish himself as a Labour figure in the sixth district in the 2013 general election when he increased his tally vote to more than 2,000 first count votes.[9] Consequently, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat appointed him as Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights under the Ministry of Environment.[10]

2017 General Election[edit]

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Accommodation Roderick Galdes

On 1 May, Prime Minister Muscat called a snap election for the following 3 June. In this election, Roderick Galdes contested the sixth district, comprising Qormi, Luqa and Siggiewi. He was elected for the fourth consecutive time, with 2,757 first count votes.[11] This also meant an increase of more than 700 votes when compared to the previous election.[12]

Prime Minister Muscat entrusted him with the portfolio of Social Accommodation, which Muscat had earlier described as “one of the most important priorities in the upcoming legislature”.[13]

Reforms in Agriculture, Fisheries & Animal Welfare (2013-2017)[edit]

Roderick Galdes, 2016

As the first Labour politician responsible for Agriculture in 15 years, Galdes set out to modernise the sector with today's reality. Under his watch, a new fish market was completed in line with the highest EU standards, replacing the old fisheries building which was built in 1911.[14] Ports and facilities used by fishermen were also upgraded through an investment of more than €5.5 million.[15] This included a 90-year old wharf at Tal-Veċċja in St Paul's Bay, after it was left deteriorating with no suitable maintenance for years.[16]

Galdes also managed to overturn Malta's abattoir fortunes. While in 2013 the abattoir was on the verge of closing, due to EU Commission's infringement procedures related to bad practices and infrastructural deficiencies,[17] in 2016 it was cleared by the European Commission following a reform overseen by Galdes.[18]

Under Galdes, Malta enacted its first National Agricultural Policy,[19] inaugurated a new botanic garden Ġnien il-Pjanti Maltin to safeguard and conserve Maltese trees and plants,[20] launched the first Animal Welfare Fund to assist NGOs and sanctuaries[21] and initiated upgrades at the Pitkalija market.[22] A new animal hospital was also inaugurated offering services and operations for the first time in Malta.[23]

Social Housing & Rent reform (2017-[edit]

Malta Parliamentary Secretary for Social Accommodation Roderick Galdes

Taking office as junior Minister for Social Housing, Galdes immediately launched a number of initiatives related to the sector. These included a rental scheme of private properties 'Nikru biex Nassistu',[24] a regeneration scheme of vacant properties,[25] the launching of an affordable loan scheme for low-income earners,[26] and an anti-housing fraud freephone.[27]

An ongoing project is the building of 680 housing units, in 16 sites, earmarked for affordable accommodation.[28]

On 15 October 2018, Galdes published a detailed White Paper on rent reform, encouraging longer leases, regulating rental increases, without imposing any fixed prices.[29] The proposed rent reform was lauded by Employers,[30] a coalition of 20 Social NGOs,[31] Caritas,[32] Developers,[33] Architects,[34] Trade-Unions, and CEOs of Gaming companies among others.[35] Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the rent reform piloted by Roderick Galdes 'aimed to protect the most vulnerable while allowing the market to operate as freely as possible'.[36]

Education and family[edit]

Roderick Galdes holds a master's degree in Small Islands States from the University of Malta, a bachelor's degree in Urban Planning from the same university, and a Diploma in Planning Studies.

He is married to Joanne Galdes (née Carabott), and is a father of three: Daniel, Andrew and Nathan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pace, Yannick (8 June 2017). "Prime Minister announces Cabinet of Ministers". MaltaToday. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Cabinet: full list of ministries, parliamentary secretaries and responsibilities". MaltaToday. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  3. ^ "The first local council of Qormi - 1994 local councillors and mayor". Qormi Local Council. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  4. ^ "MLP declares victory in Local Council Elections". MaltaMedia.
  5. ^ "Former mayor of Qormi elected to Parliament". Times of Malta. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  6. ^ Galdes, Roderick (25 September 2007). "MLP and the environment". The Times of Malta. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Roderick Galdes re-elected". Times of Malta. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Major changes to shadow cabinet". Times of Malta. 5 July 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Results of the sixth district". MaltaToday. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  10. ^ "The Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights". Environment.gov.mt. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Results of Malta General Election". electoral.gov.mt. Electoral Commission of Malta. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  12. ^ Grech, Helena (7 June 2017). "How candidates fared when compared to the 2013 election". the Malta Independent. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  13. ^ Micallef, Mario (3 May 2017). "Rents and housing will be first priority for new Labour Government". TVM news. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  14. ^ "€3.8 million Marsa fish market to replace 1911 Valletta facility". The Malta Independent. 25 November 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  15. ^ Mallia, Sergio (29 October 2015). "Seven fisheries projects with an investment of €5.5 million". Television Malta. TVM news. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  16. ^ Pisani, Brandon (12 February 2016). "New Tal-Veċċja Wharf with €1.3 million investment inaugurated at St Paul's Bay". Television Malta. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  17. ^ Debono, James (17 September 2013). "'Serious public health risk' persists at abattoir". MaltaToday. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  18. ^ Camilleri, Ivan (21 December 2016). "Slaughterhouse given clearance by EU". Times of Malta. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  19. ^ "National agriculture policy to be launched". The Malta Independent. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  20. ^ Dimech, Tony (20 May 2016). "Investment of €2.6million in Attard botanic garden". TVM news. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  21. ^ Borg, Martina (30 September 2015). "€40,000 animal welfare fund launched". MaltaToday. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  22. ^ Diacono, Tim (18 March 2017). "Major upgrade to Pitkalija market announced". MaltaToday. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  23. ^ "New animal hospital opens at Ta' Qali". MaltaToday. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Opening of scheme for rental to Government of private properties for housing". TVM news. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Here's How You Can Get €25,000 To Fix Up Your Vacant Property In Malta". Lovin Malta. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  26. ^ "Second affordable home loan scheme for home ownership launched". Malta Independent. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  27. ^ "New initiative allows public to anonymously report abuse of social housing". Malta Independent. 7 September 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  28. ^ Gauci Cunningham, Albert (28 February 2018). "Intervista - 'L-Akkomodazzjoni soċjali; l-obbligu tal-istat mhux tal-privat'" (in Maltese). MediaToday. ILLUM. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  29. ^ Leone Ganado, Philip (15 October 2018). "Rent reform announced: minimum lease periods, no fixed prices". Times of Malta. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  30. ^ Leone Ganado, Philip (17 October 2018). "Rent Reform: 'A step in the right direction', employers say". Times of Malta. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  31. ^ Schembri Orland, Kevin (26 November 2018). "Social NGOs propose minimum rent period should be three years". Malta Independent. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  32. ^ "Rent reform: Caritas welcomes White Paper". Malta Independent. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  33. ^ "MDA welcomes 'balanced' rental market white paper reforms". Malta Independent. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  34. ^ "Il-proposti għall-kera ma jfixklux is-suq – il-Periti". Newsbook. 1 December 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  35. ^ Borg, Jacob (26 November 2018). "Gaming sector warning: high rents are making Malta less competitive". Times of Malta. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  36. ^ "Rent reform will set parameters to protect the most vulnerable - Muscat". Times of Malta. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2019.