Residents come first for Guangzhou CPPCC delegates

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 January, 2007, 12:00am

Delegates to the Guangzhou People's Political Consultative Conference have increasingly focused their attention on issues affecting the lives of the city's residents and less on economic matters, according to a report to the advisory body.

The report, presented to the annual meeting of the conference, which opened yesterday, said the delegates submitted 527 questions to Guangzhou's lawmakers for action to be taken after they had studied problems arising in science, education, health, sports and culture.

These questions made up 30 per cent of those submitted to the Guangzhou People's Congress (GPC) since March 2003. The second area of concern was urban development and management. Economic problems made up only 21 per cent of questions submitted to the legislature during the period. In 2003, the figure was 28 per cent.

Delegate Chen Yuhuan said the government should not work only towards raising income levels but also quality of life.

'It's good that the party committee is paying attention to culture. Now it's up to the various departments to draw up plans,' Ms Chen said, adding that the city needed highbrow culture, but also had to think about making culture accessible to ordinary people.

'The opera house is good but it is not accessible to everyone. While we cannot do without highbrow culture, we have to bring basic culture into people's lives. We have to look beyond big projects to what affects people's lives,' she said.

Ms Chen suggested building cultural facilities, bringing libraries to suburbs and villages and hooking villagers up to the internet and cable television.

Another delegate, Xiao Zhifeng, said the concern over social issues would not deflect the government from economic issues. 'You will see at the people's congress meeting next week how the government intends to tackle both issues.'

Conference chairman Zhu Zhenzhong, in his report to the meeting, said the government had given priority to many of the issues raised by the advisers. He cited examples of congestion on Guangzhou Avenue and the inclusion of urban-village residents within the social security net.

Mr Zhu said the conference would continue to give priority to residents' problems and improve its efforts in helping resolve them.