Town councils are feeling the labour crunch


Cuts to the foreign worker quota and a resulting move to attract more Singaporeans to jobs once left to foreigners have resulted in some town councils shouldering a heftier cleaning bill. 

And at least one has had to ask for the residents' understanding for less-than sparkling surroundings. 

A check of seven town councils by the TODAY newspaper which have posted figures online showed that five have had to stump out more for cleaning contracts. 

The annual increases vary between about 5 percent and approximately 17 per cent. 

Just last month, Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council Chairman Hri Kumar Nair apologised to residents for any decline in standards they may have experienced in the short-term. 

This followed the renewal of conservancy contracts. 

A check with other town councils such as in Moulmein-Kallang found that several have also felt the crunch from time to time. 

Dr Teo Ho Pin, Coordinating Chairman for the 14 PAP town councils, said that, it has been challenging to get cleaners, especially good cleaners. 

He said the town councils have always had a quota where 70 per cent of the cleaners are Singaporeans. 

Dr Teo added that they have been looking into redesigning the job so that more locals will be encouraged to join the industry.