Some residents pay fees to wrong council

The Workers' Party (WP) town council has informed some of its residents who have been paying their service and conservancy fees to the wrong town council that they could incur penalties for non-payment.

These residents of Aljunied GRC's Kaki Bukit division have been paying their service and conservancy charges (S&CC) to Marine Parade Town Council instead of Aljunied- Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

They have been doing it even after the 2011 general election, when their homes were no longer part of Marine Parade GRC.

So each time, the Marine Parade Town Council would transfer their payments to AHPETC.

But in February this year, both sides agreed to end the arrangement "because this has been going on for too long", the chairman of Marine Parade Town Council, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, told The Straits Times yesterday.

Earlier this week, AHPETC informed its residents that Marine Parade Town Council would stop forwarding the money to AHPETC from Wednesday.

"As such, we would not be notified if you have made your S&CC payment. Your account would then be in arrears and penalty fee will be imposed," said AHPETC in its May 27 letter.

It advised the residents to immediately correct their Internet banking payment mistake. These residents live in areas of Kaki Bukit that used to be part of Marine Parade GRC. But in the 2011 general election, they came under Aljunied GRC, which the People's Action Party lost to the WP.

AHPETC could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mr Lim said his town council had given AHPETC the names and addresses of residents making the mistake, each time a wrong payment was made.

The situation has improved over the years and now, there are fewer than 50 of them, he added.

"Each time we received such payment, we would issue a cheque to AHPETC, with a reminder to ask its residents to pay their own town council directly," he said.

The payments range from about $10 to $200, as some would pay for every quarter.

But from Wednesday, Mr Lim said his town council would refund the money to the residents directly.

"We will return the money. It does not belong to us and we should not keep them. But there is an administrative cost to doing this," he said.

But the cost would not be passed to the residents, he added.

This article was first published on April 3, 2015.
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