The new arts and culture chief has pledged to provide better services after the abolition of the municipal councils. But Paul Leung Sai-wah gave a cautious reply when asked whether the Government would stop subsidising services and raise fees. 'We are absolutely confident that we can improve services on the basis of the two municipal councils. 'As for fees, we have to strike a balance,' Mr Leung said. 'The Government has subsidised some services. We have to carefully study the subsidy level. But the principle is the fees will be affordable to the public.' His department will oversee facilities for sport, arts performances, libraries and museums, including ticketing, admission fees and management. Mr Leung, formerly trade representative in Tokyo, will become the first Director of Leisure and Cultural Services on Saturday. Other appointments announced yesterday were Lily Yam Kwan Pui-ying as Secretary for Environment and Food, and Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan as Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene. 'My staff and I will be committed to serving the community by providing more diversified, user-friendly and quality services,' Mr Leung said. He also promised to maintain close contacts with lawmakers and district councillors. 'We will also be liaising closely with professional bodies with a view to projecting a more positive image for Hong Kong, in line with its status as an international city,' he said. The 9,500-strong department will be a new executive arm of the Home Affairs Bureau after the takeover on Saturday. A commission on heritage and culture will be formed to advise on cultural policy. Home Affairs Secretary David Lan Hong-tsung said Mr Leung's experience in Japan and his former posting of deputy secretary for recreation and culture in the early 1990s would benefit him in his new job. Matthias Woo Yan-wai, a member of arts group Zuni Icosahedron, called for structural reforms if Hong Kong was to become the New York of Asia, as envisaged by Tung Chee-hwa. 'The councils only provide very low-end services without any initiatives in developing arts and culture,' Mr Woo said. 'Mr Leung should take the bold steps to launch reforms.' Mr Woo also suggested trimming bureaucracy by moving to corporate-style museum management.