Be imaginative, councillors urged
The Hong Kong Council of Social Service has called for district councillors to come up with more effective and imaginative ways to improve the lives of their constituents.
This follows a survey of councillors who signed a pact to promote 'seven livelihood concerns' shortly after they won their seats in 2003.
Issues the 272 councillors pledged to work on included helping families living in poverty, caring for vulnerable groups of people, establishing accessible and safe communities for the disabled and the elderly, creating jobs, building a healthy city, promoting community-building and advocating social cohesion.
The 154 responses to the survey revealed that 953 projects had been launched across the 18 districts.
Chua Hoi-wai, the council's business director of policy advocacy and international networks, said he was happy to see positive feedback from most of the district councillors but some of the projects displayed a lack of initiative.
'For example, the way that some district councillors helped poor families was simply to ask them to apply for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance,' he said. 'But in fact, there are many other things they can do.'
The director complimented Sham Shui Po council, which offered cleaning work training and financial assistance to 100 low-income people.
Ahead of the district council elections next month, the council has added two items to the list of concerns to be dealt with - building harmonious family communities to help prevent domestic violence, and promoting human-centred town planning schemes.
'We have seen stronger appeals in society about these two issues over the past few years. We hope district councils are able to play a more active role in dealing with them,' Mr Chua said.