Singapore - Local government

Singapore, veritably a city-state, has no local government divisions. When the People's Action Party (PAP) came to power in 1959, the post-colonial City Council was abolished. The former city council and rural board were integrated into departments of the central government. The Town Councils Act enacted in June 1988 reintroduced a local organizational structure. Town councils were formed to take over the management and maintenance of the common properties of housing estates within towns. As of 1 March 1991, 27 town councils had been formed. After the general elections of August 1991, five town councils were dissolved and three new town councils were established, bringing the number of town councils to 25. In 1997, the number of town councils was reduced to 16.

Prime Minister Goh announced the concept of the creation of Community Development Councils (CDCs) in 1996. Set up after the 1997 general election as social parallels to the town councils, the CDCs were established to improve community bonding and to manage a spectrum of social services, from child-care centers to public welfare assistance. Originally 9 CDCs were established; in November 2001, their number was reduced to 5. They are South West, North West, Central Singapore, South East, and North East. They are managed by a council comprising a mayor and between 12 and 80 council members.

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