The Hong Kong government has suggested providing the city's deputies to the National People's Congress with premises to set up an office in Hong Kong. Local deputy Ip Kwok-him said Home Affairs Secretary Patrick Ho Chi-ping had raised the idea two or three months ago. Mr Ip said Dr Ho suggested providing unused public buildings for delegates to the NPC and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to set up offices in Hong Kong. Dr Ho's proposal represents a change in the Hong Kong government's attitude on the call from local delegates to the national legislature for offices to be provided. Since the handover, Hong Kong deputies to the NPC have called for the setting up of a local office to receive public complaints relating to their activities on the mainland. But the government has been reluctant to help the representatives. Mr Ip, who is vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, said 13 Hong Kong deputies to the NPC had supported his proposal for an office to be set up in the city for local delegates. Qiao Xiaoyang, deputy secretary-general of the NPC Standing Committee, told Hong Kong deputies last week that there was only a slim chance the committee would approve the plan. 'But Mr Qiao said the idea was worth exploring,' Mr Ip said. Hong Kong delegates to the CPPCC have also called for an office to be set up in Hong Kong to expand the united front network in the city. Local delegate to the nation's top advisory body, Tan Ciok-sie, said some delegates had called on the Hong Kong government to provide such an office in the city for CPPCC delegates to liaise among themselves. Fellow delegate Lau Nai-keung said the idea had won overwhelming support from Hong Kong delegates.