Grassroots groups plan improvement projects for Workers' Party wards

GRASSROOTS organisations in Aljunied GRC, Hougang and Punggol East are planning to submit 17 upgrading projects to the Ministry of National Development (MND) for approval.

The projects, to be paid for by Community Improvement Projects Committee (CIPC) funds, include covered walkways, barrier-free access and fitness corners.

The Citizens Consultative Committees (CCCs) of the three Workers' Party-held constituencies said on Monday that in drawing up the list of 17 projects, they consulted opposition-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

The CIPC funds have long been a sticking point in opposition wards as they are given to town councils through the CCCs, which are grassroots bodies under the People's Association.

The division's grassroots adviser, usually the PAP candidate, has to apply for the grant. Opposition MPs have said in the past that their applications to use the funds have been rebuffed.

The CCCs said they will be calling a public tender for an implementing agent to study the proposed projects and put up detailed submissions to MND's CIPC.

The CCCs received 90 proposed projects after consulting residents, and "also consulted the AHPETC, which also proposed a list of projects". The statement did not say whether AHPETC's proposals were included in the final list of 17.

It also did not state how much the projects would cost.

But according to financial statements of the Aljunied Town Council under the PAP, the council received grants from the CCC of some $1.65 million in the financial year 2010/2011 and $909,000 in the financial year before that.

Monday's statement included a quote from Mr Ong Ye Kung, adviser to Kaki Bukit CCC and a PAP candidate for Aljunied GRC in the 2011 General Election, on shortlisting projects that would tangibly benefit residents.

Eunos CCC chairman Sim Wai Chin said that grassroots leaders work closely with residents to collate feedback on useful facilities to improve their daily life.