By Bejay Browne
A RECENT tender process to operate some of the island’s best beaches has revealed that millions of euros have been lost to vested interests over the years, according to a local official.
A meeting of the tender committee at Peyia municipality on Tuesday garnered eleven bids to operate the two kiosks at Coral Bay, which have previously been operated by the same company for the past decade, according to Peyia councillor Linda Leblanc.
“The tenders will be for five years and the highest was €1.6m, this is a huge increase in income for the municipality. This raises serious questions about the discounts of €1m granted to the company that ran the Coral Bay kiosks for the past ten years. I always voted against this, but the majority prevailed.”
She pointed out that these ‘lost millions’ are due to poor administration and vested interests, whereas substantial funds could have been made available for much needed development projects in Peyia. She noted that current problems in the area could have been solved. These include the creation of an ambulance station, cleaning up dirty streets and maintaining green areas.
The councillor noted that the company behind the highest bid is based in Nicosia and as required by all tenders, the bid was accompanied by a guarantee cheque. Yesterday, the technical services met with the Auditor-general to analyse each tender and check if they met with the specifications.
“There is no final decision yet, but we will know the outcome fairly soon as it’s already the beginning of April.”
It was also decided that from now on, the municipality would operate the beach in front of the Coral Bay hotel. Corallia Beach which has been operated by a local family for many years, will go to tender, said Leblanc.
Also, the majority, including the councillor, voted to give the municipality staff their 14th salaries. The move was approved in the municipal budget and Leblanc said that according to the accounts director, the funds are available.
“It’s wrong to give a €1m discount to the previous operators of Coral Bay beach and try and take €33,000 away from the staff.”
However, she noted that this will probably be the last time staff receive the bonus as contracts are due to be a renegotiated as part of a move towards the smooth running of all of the municipalities in Cyprus in the future.