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8 town councils to increase service & conservancy charges

Eight town councils will increase their service and conservancy charges from April 1. The town councils are Ang Mo Kio, Jurong, Marine Parade, Moulmein-Kallang, Nee Soon, Pasir Ris-Punggol, Potong Pasir and Sembawang.

SINGAPORE: Eight town councils will increase their service and conservancy charges (S&CC) for flats, shops/offices and market/cooked food stalls, with effect from 1 April.

They are Ang Mo Kio, Jurong, Marine Parade, Moulmein-Kallang, Nee Soon, Pasir Ris-Punggol, Potong Pasir and Sembawang town councils.

Sembawang Town Council, which announced the increase in a statement, cited rising costs and inflation as reasons for the revision.

It said: "In order to keep S&CC charges as affordable as possible for residents, the town councils have been making a conscious effort to control costs to avoid increasing the S&CC rates, despite rising inflation every year.

"The town councils have succeeded in resisting S&CC increases for the last 10 years, even when the inflation rate hit a high of 6.6 per cent in 2008.

"However, with current cost increases, it is becoming increasingly difficult to continue operations at current S&CC rates, with several town councils running into operating deficits."

The statement cited electricity as one of the biggest contributors to cost increases for the town councils.

Maintenance costs have also gone up, due to most towns having successfully undergone the Lift Upgrading Programme.

It costs S$198 to service a lift that stops on every floor.

Before lifts were upgraded, the cost was S$170 monthly to service a lift that stops on three out of 12 floors in a residential block.

Cleaners' wage costs also have to be factored in.

The S&CC increase will be phased over two years.

The first-tier increase on 1 April this year ranges from S$0.50 per month for those living in HDB's one-room flats to S$8.50 per month for executive flat home owners.

Commercial property owners and tenants will see an increase ranging from S$0.10 to S$0.21 per psm/month while the increase for most cooked food stalls is between S$9.90 and S$15.83 per month.

The second-tier adjustment will be effected on 1 April 2015.

The S&CC increase will range from S$0.50 for HDB's one-room to S$6.50 per month for executive flat home owners, depending on the type of flat.

Commercial property owners and tenants will see an increase ranging from S$0.07 to S$0.11 per psm/month while the increase for most cooked food stalls is between S$9.50 and S$12.00 per month.

Out of the eight town councils that are raising S&CC, six had not increased the charges for a decade.

The town councils are Moulmein-Kallang, Ang Mo Kio, Marine Parade, Nee Soon, Pasir Ris-Punggol and Sembawang.

Charges by Jurong Town Council were raised in 2010. Charges for Potong Pasir Town Council went up in 2008 for residents.

Hawazi Daipi, chairman of Sembawang Town Council, said: "One good way for residents to also contribute to saving costs is by making sure the estate is well-maintained - that there's as little littering as possible. When there is not much cleaning to be done, then the maintenance costs would be, can be managed."

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