District councillors set for 10pc pay rise

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2006, 12:00am

The Executive Council has endorsed the plan for expanding the role of district councils, with strict limits and a pay rise of 10 per cent for councillors.

A consultation paper on the subject will be released tomorrow.

At present, a councillor's monthly salary is $17,040, but under the proposal, each councillor will get an extra $1,704.

Under the proposal, the councils would manage libraries, community halls, swimming pools, leisure grounds and sports centres.

In a bid to decentralise limited management power, the government will set up a management committee - but not all district council members will be invited to participate. Also, committee members could only table their ideas or recommendations on policy and allocation of resources. These recommendations might not necessarily be adopted by departments.

Senior government officials would pay regular visits to district council offices.

'Officials are in senior level, and their jobs have close relationship with district councils,' the government sources said.

In last year's policy address, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said the government would strengthen and expand the role of district councillors to better respond to public demands.

Tuen Mun District Council chairman Lau Wong-fat, who is also a legislative councillor, believed there would be a 20 per cent increase in government expenditure on councillors pay and expenses.

But Sai Kung district councillor Gary Fan Kwok-wai said: 'It is meaningless to increase our salary or just let us manage some facilities without real executive and administrative powers.'