Local Government in the United Kingdom

Council reform plan under fire

Appointed seats on district councils may become a thing of the past by 2016 under a government proposal, after one-third of the 102 seats were abolished last month.

Tuesday, 21 February, 2012, 12:00am

Young stars aim to empower district seats

Au Nok-hin, Lo Kin-hei and Ben Chung Kam-lun have a lot in common: they are pan-democrats in their twenties who won seats in this month's district council elections.

The trio also shares the same political vision of their district councillor posts as life-long, full-time careers, instead of as traditional stepping stones to the city's legislature.

21 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Appointees more likely to receive honours

Appointed district councillors are more likely to receive government honours than their elected peers despite a lower rate of participation in council work, a study has found.

The observation was made by New Forum, a government-friendly political group, which concluded that appointed seats on district councils should be phased out.

11 Jan 2010 - 12:00am

Give us more cash and a medical allowance, district councillors say

The government should pay district councillors more to help them in their efforts to fix neighbourhood problems, the chairmen of the 18 councils say.

Meeting Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing with their Legislative Council representative, Ip Kwok-him, they called for benefits on a par with those given to lawmakers.

29 Aug 2009 - 12:00am

Performance under increased scrutiny

The performance of district councillors is subject to closer public scrutiny now that attendance records at meetings from the past year have been released.

According to tallies posted on the councils' official websites, 430 of the city's 533 councillors - or about 81 per cent - had attended all council meetings in the session that ran from January to September.

29 Dec 2008 - 12:00am

Councillors call for better execution of public works

District councillors want more efficiency and flexibility in the construction of public facilities.

The call follows the expansion of district councils' functions in January to include the management of public facilities such as libraries, swimming pools and sports grounds.

29 Dec 2008 - 12:00am

Fast footwork on pedestrian bridge

It's democrat paranoia again, but they always insist we don't have 'one country, two systems'. The latest complaint is from lawmaker Kam Nai-wai about a footbridge being built by the foreign ministry in Mid-Levels across McDonnell Road to its staff quarters. Walking down about 100 metres to work is clearly too strenuous for our fine civil servants.

18 Oct 2008 - 12:00am

Critics hit out over vote on Queen's Pier

Government accused of swaying district councils on consultation

The government has been accused of having orchestrated the views of district councils on the future of Queen's Pier, after it emerged that a series of motions that backed shifting the pier to the new Central waterfront had very similar wording.

4 Aug 2008 - 12:00am

Districts lack guidance to check use of public space, councillors say

District councillors say a government scheme under which they would monitor the use of public spaces in private developments will not work because the councillors lack guidelines about how the different spaces should be used.

9 Jun 2008 - 12:00am

Councillor accused of fraud over allowances

A Wan Chai district councillor has been charged with falsely claiming allowances worth HK$35,500 over three years. Lee Kai-hung, 48, entered no plea yesterday in Eastern Court before Principal Magistrate Garry Tallentire. He faces one count of misconduct in public office and seven counts of fraud.

18 Apr 2008 - 12:00am

More transparency proposed for councils

A series of measures to streamline the operations of the 18 district councils and increase their transparency has been proposed by the government.

They include limiting the number of co-opted members and committees and mandating that councils make audio recordings of their meetings more accessible.

24 Jan 2008 - 12:00am

District councils may hire more help to cope with extra workload

District councils will be allowed to employ additional manpower to assist them with more work as the scheme to expand council power is fully implemented next month.

15 Dec 2007 - 12:00am

No democratic merit in appointing councillors

The appointment of 102 district councillors by the chief executive yesterday highlights how far our city still has to go before its political system becomes fully democratic. This practice, which has its roots in the colonial era, is inherently undemocratic and should be scrapped when reforms take place.

15 Dec 2007 - 12:00am

The big issue no councillor wants to discuss

Campaigning for the district council elections is in its final stages, as voters go to the polls this Sunday. Some people have complained that the elections have been overshadowed by the more glamorous Hong Kong Island Legislative Council by-election.

16 Nov 2007 - 12:00am

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.

2 Oct 2007 - 12:00am