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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 VIA INSPECTION AND OFFICIAL MANAGEMENT OF TOWN COUNCILS

Part VII MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

THE SCHEDULE Repealed

Legislative History

Comparative Table

 
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Town Councils Act
(CHAPTER 329A)

(Original Enactment: Act 12 of 1988)

REVISED EDITION 2000
(1st July 2000)
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]
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Town Councils Act.
Interpretation
2.
—(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(8);
“Board” means the Housing and Development Board established under the Housing and Development Act (Cap. 129);
“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 39;
“commercial property” means any building or premises vested in or belonging to the Board (or part of such building or premises) which is permitted under the Planning Act (Cap. 232) to be used wholly or partly as —
(a)
a market, food centre, confectionery, bakery, restaurant or bar, or an eating house;
(b)
an office or a place of business and for conducting administrative work;
(c)
a shop or premises for the carrying on of any trade or business where the primary purpose is the sale of goods by retail or the provision of services;
Examples
     A furniture shop, department store, supermarket, dispensary, medical clinic, dental clinic, beauty salon, ticket agency, travel agency, laundry shop, dry cleaner’s shop, pet shop, video games arcade, computer gaming centre, billiard saloon, bowling alley, bank or multimedia kiosk, or an automated teller machine.
(d)
a place —
(i)
for the care or education, or care and education, of children below 7 years of age; or
(ii)
at which 5 or more school-going children who are 7 years of age or older but below 14 years of age are habitually received for the purposes of care and supervision before or after school hours;
(e)
premises —
(i)
for the reception, lodging and care of aged or disabled persons or persons suffering or convalescing from any sickness, injury or infirmity; or
(ii)
for any type of examination of the human body or of any matter derived from the human body for the purpose of providing information for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of any disease or for the assessment of the health of any person;
Examples
     A hospice, convalescent home or nursing home, or a dialysis centre, cancer screening centre or medical health centre.
(f)
a kindergarten registered under section 23 of the Education Act (Cap. 87) or an institution providing education or instruction;
Examples
     A tuition centre, language school, computer school, music school, dance school, speech and drama school, child development centre or play school, or an art school or acting school.
(g)
a sports club, community centre, community club, family service centre or residents’ committee centre, or premises for community-based activities, and includes an office of such a club, centre or committee; or
(h)
a police post, fire station or civil defence centre,
but excludes any property specified or described by the Minister, by order in the Gazette, as not to be a commercial property for the purposes of this Act;
“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, for any housing estate mentioned in section 54A(4), in respect of which a handover notice issued under section 54A is in effect, and includes —
(a)
the columns, beams, supports, external walls, roofs and storage spaces, lobbies, corridors, stairs, stairways, fire escapes, entrances and exits;
[47/2004 wef 01/04/2005]
(b)
fire-fighting and protection system;
(c)
the central and appurtenant installations for services such as power, light, sanitation and water;
(d)
the escalators, lifts, water-tanks, pumps, motors, fans, compressors, ducts and all other apparatus and installations existing for common use;
(e)
the common facilities in the housing estate built for the use or enjoyment of the residents;
(f)
all recreational or community facilities, and gardens;
(g)
all directional signs and signboards;
(h)
the land appurtenant to the building and all other parts of the land intended for the use or enjoyment of the residents; and
(i)
such other property as may be prescribed,
but does not include —
(i)
bus terminals and interchanges;
(ii)
drains, sewers and lightings maintained by the Government;
(iii)
swimming pools and other sports complexes;
(iv)
public roads and parking places; and
(v)
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;
“finance manager”, for a Town Council, means an individual (other than a member) who occupies a position in the Town Council and is primarily responsible to the Town Council for —
(a)
the supervision and administration of the accounting systems of the Town Council, including —
(i)
keeping proper accounts and records of the Town Council’s transactions and affairs;
(ii)
ensuring that all payments out of the Town Council’s moneys are correctly made and properly authorised; and
(iii)
ensuring that adequate control is maintained over the receipt, custody, investment, safekeeping and expenditure of moneys and other assets of, or in custody or control of, the Town Council;
(b)
the preparation and revision of estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the Town Council under section 37;
(c)
ensuring that the financial statements of the Town Council comply with this Act; and
(d)
generally all financial matters relating to the Town Council;
“Financial Rules” means the rules made under section 43;
“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;
“general manager”, for a Town Council, means an individual (other than a member) who occupies a position in the Town Council having the general control and management of the administration of the Town Council, and includes any individual, by whatever name called, who exercises such general control and management;
“group representation constituency” means any electoral division declared to be a group representation constituency under the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218);
“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 building or premises which is permitted to be used pursuant to the Planning Act (Cap. 232) or any other written law for any industrial purposes;
“inspector” means an inspector of Town Councils appointed under section 43E;
“key officer”, for a Town Council, means any of the following individuals, whether or not an employee of the Town Council:
(a)
the secretary to the Town Council;
(b)
the general manager of the Town Council, if there is one;
(c)
a finance manager of the Town Council (however designated);
(d)
an individual who is appointed a deputy to any officer in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) (however designated);
(e)
a chairperson of any committee of a Town Council where formed under section 31 for any of the following matters:
(i)
internal audit;
(ii)
finance;
(iii)
procurement of goods or services;
(iv)
publicity and public relations;
(v)
estate management;
“lease” includes an agreement for a lease or tenancy and “leased” shall be construed accordingly;
“managing agent”, for a Town Council, means a person (whether or not the person carries on any other business) who is engaged or appointed, for monetary or other reward, to exercise any power or perform any function or duty of the Town Council under this Act, such as (but not limited to) all of the following:
(a)
managing common property within the Town of the Town Council;
(b)
controlling the use of common property by residents of the housing estates within the Town or other persons;
(c)
maintaining and repairing common property or engaging appropriately qualified tradespersons to do so;
(d)
arranging building inspections and reports;
(e)
keeping and maintaining documents and records relating to any function, duty or power of the Town Council;
(f)
undertaking the financial management of the Town Council’s funds and books of account;
(g)
paying disbursements and expenses incurred in connection with the person’s management of the Town Council;
(h)
arranging for insurance for the Town Council;
(i)
paying accounts in relation to the Town Council, such as accounts for water and electricity charges,
but excludes the following individuals when performing any activity that is a function, duty or power of the Town Council under this Act:
(i)
a member of, the secretary to or other employee of the Town Council;
(ii)
an employee or similar officer of a managing agent of the Town Council;
“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 of the building or premises which is permitted to be used pursuant to the Planning Act 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;
“single Member constituency” means a constituency that is not a group representation constituency;
“statutory authority” means a body or an office that is established or constituted by or under a public Act to perform or discharge a public function, but does not include the Board or any Town Council;
“surplus”, for any fund established under section 33, means an excess of the assets over liabilities of the fund at the end of a financial year;
“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.
[25/90; 37/96]
(2)  This Act shall not apply to —
(a)
the housing estates governed by the HUDC Housing Estates Act (Cap. 131);
(b)
any industrial property of the Board; and
(c)
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 for a specified period and may contain such incidental, consequential or supplementary provisions as may appear to the Minister to be necessary or proper.
(4)  In this Act, a reference to the date on which any election results for a constituency are declared is a reference to the date the results of an election in that constituency are published in the Gazette under section 51 of the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218).
(5)  In this Act, a person is in a position to exercise a significant influence over or with respect to the management or operation of the business of the managing agent or auditor of a Town Council if the person —
(a)
holds (whether in the person’s own right or on behalf of any other person) the position of director, partner or other executive position (however designated) in the business of the managing agent or auditor;
(b)
is entitled to exercise, by voting or otherwise and whether exercisable alone or in association with others, and whether in the person’s own right or on behalf of any other person, any power to participate in any directorial, managerial or executive decision in the business of the managing agent or auditor; or
(c)
is a substantial shareholder (within the meaning of section 81 of the Companies Act (Cap. 50)) of the managing agent or auditor, which is a company.
Declaration of Towns
3.
—(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 —
(a)
a single constituency;
(b)
any 2 or 3 constituencies where the Members of Parliament agree to their constituencies being declared to be a Town.
(2)  An order under subsection (1) that declares a constituency to be, or to be comprised in, a Town —
(a)
is not invalidated by reason only of a change in the boundaries of the constituency pursuant to section 8 or 20A(1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act; but
(b)
is to continue to be in force until the order is revoked after the first general election after the change in those boundaries.
(3)  In the event of a general election following the dissolution of Parliament, an order under subsection (1) declaring all Towns must be made by the Minister —
(a)
on the 14th day after the last date the election results are declared for the respective constituencies; and
(b)
with effect from that day.
(3A)  An order under subsection (1) may be amended from time to time, and may contain supplementary provisions (not inconsistent with subsections (4), (5) and (6)) that may be desirable, necessary or expedient in consequence of any change to the boundaries of the area of a Town, such as but not limited to the following:
(a)
the dissolution of a Town Council;
(b)
the sale, transfer or disposition of any property or rights and liabilities of a Town Council for the affected area, including property, rights and liabilities that would not otherwise be capable of being transferred;
(c)
the apportionment or adjustment between Town Councils of property, income or expenditure, or rights and liabilities in connection with the affected area;
(d)
the continued operation of the by-laws made by a Town Council for the affected area and for the amendment or revocation by another Town Council of those by-laws, even if the by-laws were not originally made by that other Town Council;
(e)
the imposing of a duty on a Town Council to provide another Town Council with all such documents and information and other assistance as the other Town Council may reasonably require for the purposes of, or in connection with, the assumption of responsibility by that other Town Council for the affected area;
(f)
the change of name of any Town Council;
(g)
specifying for the purposes of subsection (4) the successor Town Council for a dissolved Town Council.
(4)  Where an order under subsection (1) provides for an area comprised within a Town (called in this section Town A) to constitute part of another Town (called in this section Town B) —
(a)
the Town Council for Town A (called in this section the transferring Town Council); or
(b)
if the Town Council for Town A is dissolved, the successor Town Council to that Town Council,
continues to be liable, for a period specified in the order (being not more than 90 days) or a shorter period agreed between the Town Council for Town B (called in this section the receiving Town Council) and the transferring Town Council or successor Town Council for Town A (as the case may be), 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.
(5)  Upon the expiry of the period referred to in subsection (4), the receiving Town Council shall be liable for the maintenance and management of that common property.
[18/92; 37/96]
(6)  Nothing in subsection (4) shall authorise the transferring Town Council or successor Town Council for Town A (as the case may be) to draw on —
(a)
any surpluses of the Town Council which are required under section 34 to be transferred to its sinking funds; or
(b)
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.
[37/96]
(8)  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.