Town Councils Act
(Original Enactment: Act 12 of 1988)
REVISED EDITION 1997
(30th May 1997)
An Act to provide for the incorporation of Town Councils to control, manage, maintain and improve the common property of housing estates of the Housing and Development Board, their constitution, functions and for matters incidental thereto.
[5th August 1988]
—(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“appointed member”, in relation to a Town Council, means a person who has been appointed to be a member of the Town Council under section 8 or 9(6);
“Board” means the Housing and Development Board established under the Housing and Development Act;
“chairman”, in relation to a Town Council, means the chairman of the Town Council and includes an acting chairman of the Town Council;
“charges” means the conservancy and service charges levied by a Town Council under section 38;
“commercial property” means any building or premises vested in or belonging to the Board or any part of the building or premises which is permitted to be used pursuant to the Planning Act (Cap. 232) or any other written law wholly or partly as a shop, office, creche, public hall, a residential institution providing accommodation or care to persons in need of care, or an institution providing education or instruction or which is lawfully so used, and includes any market or food centre of the Board but does not include such property as may be prescribed;
“common property”, in relation to any residential or commercial property in a housing estate of the Board, means so much of the land and all parts of any building of the Board as are not being comprised in the flats in the building and includes —
the columns, beams, supports, external walls and windows, roofs and storage spaces, lobbies, corridors, stairs, stairways, fire escapes, entrances and exits;
fire-fighting and protection system;
the central and appurtenant installations for services such as power, light, sanitation and water;
the escalators, lifts, water-tanks, pumps, motors, fans, compressors, ducts and all other apparatus and installations existing for common use;
the common facilities in the housing estate built for the use or enjoyment of the residents;
all recreational or community facilities, and gardens;
all directional signs and sign boards;
the land appurtenant to the building and all other parts of the land intended for the use or enjoyment of the residents; and
such other property as may be prescribed,
but does not include —
bus terminals and interchanges;
drains, sewers and lightings maintained by the Government;
swimming pools and other sports complexes;
public roads and parking places; and
such other property as may be prescribed;
“constituency” means an electoral division under the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218) and includes a group representation constituency;
“elected member”, in relation to a Town Council, means a Member of Parliament for any constituency comprised within the Town for which the Town Council is established;
“Financial Rules” means the rules made under section 42;
“flat” means a horizontal stratum of any building or part thereof, whether the stratum is on one or more levels or is partially or wholly below the surface of the ground, which is used or intended to be used as a complete and separate unit for the purpose of human habitation or business;
“group representation constituency” means any electoral division declared to be a group representation constituency under the Parliamentary Elections Act;
“housing estate” means any housing estate built on any land vested in or held in trust for the Board;
“industrial property” means any building or premises vested in or belonging to the Board or any part of the buiding or premises which is permitted to be used pursuant to the Planning Act or any other written law for any industrial purposes;
“lease” includes an agreement for a lease or tenancy and “leased” shall be construed accordingly;
“member” means an elected member or an appointed member;
“owner”, in relation to any property sold by the Board, includes a person who has purchased a leasehold interest in the property and a purchaser under an agreement for a lease;
“residential property” means any building or other premises vested in or belonging to the Board or any part thereof which is permitted to be used pursuant to the Planning Act (Cap. 232) or any other written law wholly for the purpose of human habitation;
“secretary” means any person appointed by a Town Council under section 20 to be the secretary to the Town Council;
“Town” means any area declared to be a Town under section 3;
“Town Council”, in relation to a Town, means the Town Council established under section 4 for that Town;
“Town Council Fund” means the Town Council Fund constituted under section 33;
“vice-chairman”, in relation to a Town Council, means a vice-chairman of the Town Council.
(2) This Act shall not apply to —
the housing estates governed by the HUDC Housing Estates Act (Cap. 131);
any industrial property of the Board; and
such other property of the Board as the Minister may by order specify.
(3) Any order made under subsection (2)(c) may provide for this Act not to apply either indefinitely or a specified period and may contain such incidental, consequential or supplementary provisions as may appear to the Minister to be necessary or proper.
—(1) For the purposes of constituting a Town Council to control, manage, maintain and improve the common property of residential and commercial property in the housing estates of the Board in any area, the Minister may, from time to time, by order published in the Gazette, declare to be a Town by such name as the Minister may designate in the order an area comprising —
any constituency; or
any two or 3 constituencies where the Members of Parliament have agreed to their constituencies being declared to be a Town.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Minister may, on the expiration of 8 days after the date of publication of the results of any general election in the Gazette under section 51 of the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218), by order under subsection (1) declare each constituency to be a Town except those constituencies whose Members of Parliament have agreed to their constituencies being declared to be a Town.
(3) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, revoke or amend any order made under subsection (1).
(4) When an order is made under subsection (3) for the purpose of declaring an area comprising any constituency or former constituency within a Town or any part of a former constituency within a Town (referred to in this section as the relevant area) to constitute or to form part of another Town, the Town Council of the first-mentioned Town shall, unless earlier dissolved, continue, for such period not exceeding 90 days as the Minister may specify in the order, to be liable for the maintenance and management of the common property of the residential and commercial property in the housing estates of the Board within that area as if the order had not been made, and upon the expiry of that period, the Town Council of the other Town shall be liable for the maintenance and management of that common property.
(5) Nothing in subsection (4) shall authorise the Town Council of the Town first mentioned therein to draw on —
any surpluses of the Town Council which are required under section 33A to be transferred to its sinking funds; or
any balance of those surpluses,
to maintain and manage the common property of the residential and commercial property in the housing estates of the Board within the relevant area.
(6) The Minister may, in any order made under subsection (3), make such incidental, consequential or supplementary provisions as may be necessary or expedient.
(7) For the purposes of this Act, where any part of the common property of any residential or commercial property is situated partly in the Town of one Town Council and partly in the Town of another, the Town Councils may agree that such part shall be treated as situated in such one of the Towns as is specified in the agreement; and in default of agreement the situation of such part shall be determined by the Minister whose decision shall be final.