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Contents

Long Title

Part I PRELIMINARY

Part II ESTABLISHMENT, INCORPORATION AND CONSTITUTION OF TOWN COUNCILS

Part III GENERAL PROVISIONS AS TO MEMBERS OF TOWN COUNCIL

Part IV FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF TOWN COUNCIL

Part IVA LIFT UPGRADING WORKS

Part V PROCEEDINGS OF TOWN COUNCIL

Part VI FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

Part VII MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

THE SCHEDULE

Legislative History

Comparative Table

 
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On 19/04/2014, you requested the version in force on 19/04/2014 incorporating all amendments published on or before 19/04/2014. The closest version currently available is that of 15/08/2005.
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PART VI
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
Constitution of Town Council Fund
33.
—(1)  For the purposes of improving, managing and maintaining the common property of the residential and commercial property in the housing estates of the Board, a Town Council shall establish and maintain separate funds for improvements to and the management and maintenance of residential property and of commercial property; and such funds shall together constitute the Town Council Fund and shall, with all property which is or may become vested in the Town Council, be under the direction and control of the Town Council subject to the provisions of this Act.
[18/92; 6/99]
(2)  All moneys received by a Town Council by virtue of this Act or any other Act shall be paid into the Town Council Fund and all liabilities falling to be discharged by a Town Council shall be discharged out of that Fund.
(3)  All moneys of the Town Council Fund that are not immediately required shall be paid into the appropriate fund established under subsection (1) to which the moneys relate and be applicable only to meet such expenses and liabilities as are properly attributable to that fund.
(4)  A Town Council shall establish and maintain, as part of the Town Council Fund, separate sinking funds for improvements to and the management and maintenance of residential property and of commercial property.
[18/92; 6/99]
(5)  The Minister may, from time to time, prescribe the minimum amount of —
(a)
the conservancy and service charges which are paid, or are due and payable, or both, to a Town Council under section 39; and
(b)
any grants-in-aid made to a Town Council under section 42,
to be paid or credited into the sinking funds established for residential property and for commercial property.
[6/99]
(6)  A Town Council shall not disburse any moneys —
(a)
from any sinking fund otherwise than for the purposes of meeting expenses or liabilities properly attributable to that sinking fund in respect of —
(i)
cyclical major repainting of any part of the common property of the residential property and commercial property in the housing estates of the Board within the Town;
(ii)
renewal or replacement of any roofing system, water tanks, pumps and water supply system, electrical supply system, lightning protection system and lifts existing for common use or purposes of residents of the residential or commercial property in the housing estates of the Board within the Town;
(iii)
lift upgrading works under Part IVA and major repairs and maintenance of the common property of the residential property and commercial property and boundary walls of the housing estates of the Board within the Town;
(iv)
improvement contributions due to the Board in respect of general upgrading works carried out under Part IVA of the Housing and Development Act (Cap. 129) on any part of the common property in the housing estates of the Board within the Town; or
(v)
any other works which may be prescribed from time to time; or
(b)
from the Town Council Fund except for the purpose of —
(i)
exercising its powers or carrying out its duties and functions under this Act or any other Act; or
(ii)
paying any fine imposed on the Town Council upon its conviction for any offence.
(6A)  Any Town Council which contravenes subsection (6)(a) or (b) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000.
(6B)  Where a Town Council is guilty of an offence under subsection (6A) and that offence is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of its chairman or secretary, or any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, he, as well as the Town Council, shall also be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
(7)  Notwithstanding anything in this section, a Town Council may, with the approval or on the direction of the Minister, disburse moneys from the Town Council Fund to repair and maintain any facility erected, installed or planted within the Town that is outside the common property of the residential and commercial property in the housing estates of the Board within the Town where the owner of the property on which the facility is erected consents.
[6/99]
(8)  All payments to and out of the Town Council Fund shall be made to and by the secretary who shall be responsible therefor to the Town Council.
(9)  Notwithstanding anything in this section, if at the end of any financial year of a Town Council there is shown a surplus of revenue over expenditure of any fund established by the Town Council under subsection (1), the Town Council may transfer from that fund an amount not exceeding the surplus to any other fund established by the Town Council under that subsection which is in deficit to make good the deficit in that fund.
(10)  Notwithstanding anything in this section, upon the registration of the strata title plan in respect of any designated land, the Town Council responsible for the common property of the designated land shall as soon as practicable transfer to the management corporation for the designated land moneys standing to the credit of such of the funds (including sinking funds) of the Town Council Fund which relate to the designated land.
[37/96]
(11)  Where an order is made under section 3(2) other than in consequence of any general election or by-election under the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218), and any residential or commercial property or any part of the common property thereof is transferred from the Town of one Town Council to the Town of another, the Town Councils may agree on the amount of the sinking fund relating to such property or such part to be transferred and paid to the Town Council to which the property or part is transferred; and in default of agreement the amount shall be determined by the Minister whose decision shall be final.
[37/96]
(12)  In this section —
“commercial property” means any commercial property which does not form part of any residential property and includes any market and food centre;
“designated land” means any land or housing estate vested in the Board which the Minister, by notification in the Gazette, designates as land to which section 126A of the Land Titles (Strata) Act (Cap. 158) applies.
[37/96; 6/99]
Transfer of surpluses after Parliamentary election
34.
—(1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, where —
(a)
a writ of election is issued in respect of any constituency the area of which forms wholly or partly the area of a Town or any constituency part of which forms the area of a Town; and
(b)
there is shown in the audited balance-sheet for the last completed financial year of the Town Council for that Town immediately before the issue of that writ any excess of revenue over expenditure in any fund (other than a sinking fund) established by the Town Council under section 33,
the Town Council shall, as soon as practicable after the relevant date specified in subsection (2), transfer in accordance with this section the excess in every such fund (referred to in this Act as its surpluses) to such sinking fund of that Town Council as may be prescribed.
(2)  The relevant date referred to in subsection (1) is —
(a)
the date on which the results of the election in the constituency are published in accordance with the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218); or
(b)
where a writ of election is issued in respect of more than one such constituency, the latest date among the dates on which the results of the election in each such constituency are published in accordance with that Act.
[37/96]
(3)  Where there is an election in any or every whole constituency within a Town without any prior alteration to the boundaries of such constituency, the Town Council for the Town shall, subject to subsection (7), transfer its surpluses in the following manner:
(a)
if the Member or Members elected and the previous Member or Members for the constituency stood in elections for the same political party — 80% of its surpluses relating to such area of the Town comprised in that constituency shall be transferred to the prescribed sinking funds of the Town Council relating to that area; or
(b)
if the Member or Members elected and the previous Member or Members for the constituency stood in elections for different political parties — all its surpluses relating to such area of the Town comprised in that constituency shall be transferred to the prescribed sinking funds of the Town Council relating to that area.
[37/96]
(4)  Where the boundaries of any constituency within a Town are altered under the Parliamentary Elections Act and there is an election in any or every new constituency so formed —
(a)
any order made under section 3 declaring the constituency to be or to form part of the Town, and any order made under section 4 establishing a Town Council for that Town, shall not be invalidated on account of such alteration in the boundaries but shall remain valid and of full force until expressly revoked or amended; and
(b)
except as otherwise provided in subsections (5), (6) and (7), the Town Council shall transfer 80% of its surpluses to the prescribed sinking funds of the Town Council.
[37/96]
(5)  Where all or any of the constituencies within a Town have been amalgamated under the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218) to form a new constituency the total area of which, either alone or together with the other constituencies, remains identical to that of the Town, and there is an election in the new constituency, the Town Council for that Town shall, subject to subsection (7), transfer its surpluses in the following manner:
(a)
if the Member or Members elected for the new constituency and the previous Members of the amalgamated former constituencies stood in elections for the same political party — 80% of its surpluses relating to such area of the Town comprised in that new constituency shall be transferred to the prescribed sinking funds of the Town Council relating to that area; or
(b)
if the Member or Members elected for the new constituency and the previous Members of the amalgamated former constituencies stood in elections for different political parties — all its surpluses relating to such area of the Town comprised in that new constituency shall be transferred to the prescribed sinking funds of the Town Council relating to that area.
[37/96]
(6)  Where all or any of the constituencies within a Town have been subdivided under the Parliamentary Elections Act to form new constituencies the total area of which, whether on their own or together with other constituencies, remains identical to that of the Town, and there is an election in any of the new constituencies, the Town Council shall, subject to subsection (7), transfer its surpluses in the following manner:
(a)
if the Member or Members elected for any such new constituency and the previous Member or Members of the subdivided former constituency stood in elections for the same political party — 80% of its surpluses relating to such area of the Town comprised in that new constituency shall be transferred to the prescribed sinking funds of the Town Council relating to that area; or
(b)
if the Member or Members elected for any such new constituency and the previous Member or Members of the subdivided former constituency stood in elections for different political parties — all its surpluses relating to such area of the Town comprised in that new constituency shall be transferred to the prescribed sinking funds of the Town Council relating to that area.
[37/96]
(7)  Nothing in this section shall require a Town Council for a Town to transfer to any of its sinking funds any part of its surpluses which —
(a)
are fixed assets owned by the Town Council on the day immediately before a writ of election is issued in respect of any constituency within the Town; or
(b)
are necessary to meet any capital commitments made or entered into by that Town Council on or before that same day.
[37/96]
(8)  For the purposes of this section —
(a)
an independent candidate shall be regarded as standing in an election for a political party comprising himself; and
(b)
independent candidates standing for election as a group shall be regarded as standing in an election for a political party comprising members of that group.
[37/96]
(9)  In this section —
“election” and “group” have the same respective meanings as in the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218);
“independent candidate” means a person who does not stand in an election for any political party, whether individually or in a group;
“Member” means an elected Member of Parliament;
“previous Member”, in relation to a constituency where an election is held, means the Member elected at an election immediately preceding the first-mentioned election for —
(a)
the constituency;
(b)
any former constituency of which the constituency was part; or
(c)
any former constituency forming part of the constituency;
“sinking fund”, in relation to a Town Council, means a sinking fund established by the Town Council under section 33(4);
“writ of election” means a writ of election issued under section 24 of the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218).
[33A
[37/96]
Accounts
35.  A Town Council shall —
(a)
keep proper accounts and records of its transactions and affairs;
(b)
keep proper and separate accounts for the funds established under section 33(1) and (4); and
(c)
do all things necessary to ensure that all payments out of its moneys are correctly made and properly authorised and that adequate control is maintained over the assets of, or in custody of, the Town Council and over the expenditure incurred by the Town Council.
[34
Annual accounts
36.
—(1)  A Town Council shall, within 3 months after the close of each financial year, prepare and submit financial statements in such form as the Auditor-General may direct in respect of that year to the auditor.
(2)  The financial year of a Town Council shall begin on 1st April of each year and end on 31st March of the succeeding year.
(3)  The first financial year of a Town Council shall begin on the date of its establishment and shall end on 31st March of the succeeding year.
[35
Estimates
37.
—(1)  Not later than one month before the end of each financial year, a Town Council shall prepare, and display for public inspection in such places within the Town as it may direct, estimates of its revenue and expenditure for the next financial year together with a list of works which the Town Council proposes to undertake during the next financial year.
(2)  The estimates shall set out, under separate headings, the sources of revenue and the distribution of expenditure.
(3)  Where several matters are dealt with under one heading, each such matter shall be itemised and shown in a separate sub-heading relating to similar items.
(4)  The estimates may provide for —
(a)
expenditure of such sums as may be necessary to defray the cost of official ceremonies of the Town Council; and
(b)
payment of allowances and salaries to members of the Town Council.
(5)  The list of works shall show in respect of each work —
(a)
the estimated total cost thereof;
(b)
the date on which the work is expected to be completed; and
(c)
the amount to be expended thereon during the next financial year.
(6)  A Town Council may from time to time revise the estimates and list of works prepared by it under subsection (1).
[36
Audit
38.
—(1)  The accounts of a Town Council shall be audited by the Auditor-General or such other auditor as may be appointed annually by the Minister in consultation with the Auditor-General.
(2)  A person shall not be qualified for appointment as an auditor under subsection (1) unless he is an approved company auditor under the Companies Act (Cap. 50).
(3)  The remuneration of the auditor shall be paid out of the Town Council Fund.
(4)  The auditor shall, as soon as practicable after the accounts have been submitted for audit by a Town Council, send a report of his audit to the Town Council.
(5)  The auditor shall in his report state —
(a)
whether the financial statements show fairly the financial transactions and the state of affairs of the Town Council;
(b)
whether proper accounting and other records have been kept, including records of all assets of the Town Council whether purchased, donated or otherwise;
(c)
whether the receipts, expenditure, investment of moneys, and the acquisition and disposal of assets by the Town Council during the financial year have been in accordance with this Act; and
(d)
such other matters arising from the audit as he considers should be reported.
(6)  The auditor may at any other time submit such periodical and special reports to the Minister and the Town Council upon any matter arising out of the performance of his audit as may appear to him to be necessary.
(7)  The auditor or any person authorised by him is entitled at all reasonable times to full and free access to all accounting and other records relating, directly or indirectly, to the financial transactions of a Town Council.
(8)  The auditor or a person authorised by him may make copies of or extracts from any such accounting and other records.
(9)  The auditor may require any person to furnish him with such information in the possession of that person or to which that person has access as the auditor considers necessary for the purposes of his functions under this Act.
(10)  Any person who fails, without any reasonable cause, to comply with any requirement of the auditor under subsection (9) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.
(11)  As soon as the accounts of a Town Council and the financial statements have been audited in accordance with the provisions of this Act, a copy of the audited financial statements signed by the chairman, together with a copy of any report made by the auditor, shall be submitted to the Minister and displayed for public inspection in such places within the Town as the Town Council may direct.
(12)  Where the Auditor-General is not the auditor of a Town Council, a copy of the audited financial statements and any report made by the auditor shall be forwarded to the Auditor-General at the same time they are submitted to the Town Council.
(13)  The Minister shall as soon as practicable cause a copy of the audited financial statements and the auditor’s report of a Town Council to be presented to Parliament.
(14)  A Town Council shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, submit to the Minister an annual report on the activities of the Town Council during that financial year and the Minister shall cause a copy of every such report to be presented to Parliament.
[37
Conservancy and service charges
39.
—(1)  For the purposes of carrying out its duties and functions under this Act or any other Act, a Town Council may in each month levy conservancy and service charges at such rates as it may determine in accordance with its by-laws in respect of every flat in any residential or commercial property and every stall in any market or food centre of the Board within the Town.
(2)  Charges levied by a Town Council under subsection (1) shall be payable, subject to this section, by the owner or tenant of every such flat or stall, as the case may be.
(3)  In respect of any charges levied under subsection (1) and the interest thereon, the owner of a flat shall be liable, jointly and severally with any person who was liable to pay the charges and interest when the charges become due and payable, to pay the charges and interest to the Town Council.
(4)  A person who has ceased to be the owner of the flat shall only be liable to pay the charges which were unpaid at the time he ceased to be the owner and the interest accruing on the unpaid charges until such time as they are paid.
(5)  Any charges levied under subsection (1) —
(a)
shall become due and payable to a Town Council in accordance with the by-laws of the Town Council; and
(b)
if not paid within the month when the charges become due and payable to a Town Council, shall bear interest at such rate as the Town Council thinks fit and such interest shall accrue from the expiry of the month after the date when the charges become due and payable unless the Town Council determines either generally or in a particular case that any unpaid charges shall bear no interest, and any interest so paid shall form part of the fund to which the charges belong.
[25/90]
(6)  Where any charges and interest thereon levied under this section are not paid within the month when they become due and payable, a Town Council may serve a written demand on an owner or a tenant of the flat or stall in respect of which the charges are levied.
[25/90]
(7)  Any owner or tenant of a flat or stall who fails to pay any charges or interest due and owing to a Town Council within 14 days from the date of service on him of the written demand referred to in subsection (6) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.
(8)  The court before which the conviction is had may, in addition to such fine, order the owner or tenant to pay to the Town Council the amount of any charges together with any interest due thereon or any interest certified by the Town Council to be due from the owner or tenant at the date of his conviction and such amount may be recovered according to the law for the time being in force for the recovery of fines.
(9)  Upon the expiry of the period provided under section 53(1) after the establishment of a Town Council for the Town and so long as a Town Council is established for the Town, any term in any lease made by the Board relating to the payment of conservancy and service charges by any owner or tenant of a flat in any residential or commercial property or by any tenant of a stall in any market or food centre of the Board within the Town shall have no effect and such charges shall thereupon be payable to the Town Council in accordance with this section.
(10)  Without limiting any particular power of a Town Council, any charges levied by the Town Council under this section may be —
(a)
varied by the Town Council from time to time; or
(b)
remitted or refunded in whole or in part.
(11)  A Town Council may under this section levy different rates of charges in respect of flats in any residential or commercial property or of stalls in any market or food centre of the Board in accordance with such criteria as it may determine.
[6/99]
(12)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (11), a Town Council may differentiate the rates of charges to take into account any grants-in-aid made under section 42 which are expressed to be for the benefit of any class of owners of flats.
[6/99]
(13)  Any written demand required by this section to be served on the owner or tenant of a flat or stall shall be deemed to be sufficiently served —
(a)
if the demand is delivered to the owner or tenant or is delivered at the flat or stall to some adult member or employee of his family;
(b)
if it is sent to the owner or tenant by registered post to his flat or his usual or last known place of abode or business; or
(c)
if it is affixed to some conspicuous part of his flat.
(14)  In this section, “owner”, in relation to a flat or stall, includes —
(a)
the person for the time being receiving the rent of the flat, whether as agent, trustee or receiver, or who would receive the rent if the flat were let to a tenant;
(aa)
the personal representative of the estate of an owner or a tenant who is deceased;
(b)
the Board in respect of any flat in any residential or commercial property or any stall in any market or food centre of the Board which is not leased out by the Board at the time the charges are levied; and
(c)
the person whose name is included in the Valuation List referred to in the Property Tax Act (Cap. 254) as the owner of the flat for the purposes of that Act.
[38
Power to borrow
40.  A Town Council may raise any loan, chargeable upon and payable out of the revenues and assets of the Town Council, of such sums of money as may be required for —
(a)
the purposes of meeting expenses or liabilities in respect of any works specified in section 33(6)(a);
(b)
the repayment of any loan previously raised for any such purposes; and
(c)
such other purposes as may be prescribed.
[39
Power of investment
41.  A Town Council may invest its funds in accordance with the standard investment power of statutory bodies as defined in section 33A of the Interpretation Act (Cap. 1).
Grants
42.  For the purposes of enabling a Town Council to carry out its functions under this Act or any other Act, the Minister may from time to time make grants-in-aid to the Town Council of such sums of money and subject to such conditions as the Minister may determine out of moneys to be provided by Parliament.
[41
Financial Rules
43.  The Minister may make rules to be called Financial Rules, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, for carrying out the provisions of this Act or any other Act by a Town Council and, in particular, such rules may provide for —
(a)
the collection, receipt, custody, issue, expenditure, due accounting for, care and management of all moneys of a Town Council and the guidance of all persons concerned therein;
(b)
the more effectual record, examination, inspection and check of all receipts and expenditure and the keeping of all necessary books and accounts;
(c)
the forms for all books and documents whatever required under the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder;
(d)
the purchase, safe custody, issue, sale or other disposal or writing-off of stores and other property of a Town Council, and the proper accounting for, and stocktaking of, such stores and property;
(e)
the preparation of estimates of revenue and expenditure; and
(f)
the making of advances to officers of a Town Council and other persons and the rates and limits of such advances and the rates of interest thereon.
[42