Town councils get top marks for cleanliness but corridor obstruction still an issue

Elderly sitting on benches along the pavement leading to the Aljunied - Hougang Town Council Office at Blk 701, Hougang Avenue 2. Town councils performed better than ever in the latest annual report card  by the Ministry of National Development,
Elderly sitting on benches along the pavement leading to the Aljunied - Hougang Town Council Office at Blk 701, Hougang Avenue 2. Town councils performed better than ever in the latest annual report card  by the Ministry of National Development, with all but one receiving top grades for estate cleanliness, lift performance and corporate governance. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

TOWN councils performed better than ever in the latest annual report card by the Ministry of National Development, with all but one receiving top grades for estate cleanliness, lift performance and corporate governance.

The results of the Town Council Management Report released yesterday are for the 12 months from April 2012 to March 2013.

The Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), the only opposition-run town council, did not receive a grade for corporate governance as MND said it had not submitted its financial reports and statements for the year.

Its grade is listed as "pending" in the report. The corporate governance indicator ensures compliance with the Town Councils Act and Financial Rules, for example in announcing and awarding tenders fairly.

The five indicators in the whole report are estate cleanliness, estate management, lift performance, service and conservancy charges (S&CC) arrears management, and corporate governance.

AHPETC also received the top grade of green for estate cleanliness and lift performance, but the worst grade of red in S&CC arrears management.

All the other town councils scored green in arrears management, except Potong Pasir, which got an amber - "medium" -grade.

In estate maintenance, six town councils received a green grade and nine received amber. The ministry said that obstructions of common corridors was the most regularly spotted offence.

"As we progress as a society, we can be more considerate of one another, and of how we use common spaces which we share with others," said Senior Minister of State for National Development Lee Yi Shyan. "The town councils need to do more to engage residents to educate and raise awareness. In the small number of cases where residents are persistently recalcitrant, they must be prepared to enforce, and not allow a slide in what are acceptable social norms."

rchang@sph.com.sg