SINGAPORE: East Coast GRC MP Mr Tan Kiat How, the vice-chairman of East Coast Town Council, announced on Dec 12 over a Facebook post that he had asked the TC “to close the soccer court temporarily and to consider repurposing the space for other community uses that can benefit more residents living nearby, such as an exercise space for seniors.”

Residents had shared with Mr Tan that groups using the court were making noise until late at night. Many court users are not residents in the area and have become “a nuisance by damaging common property and hurling vulgarities at our residents.”

“Besides disrupting the rest of people living in the block, especially our seniors and those working shifts, such inconsiderate behaviour has also caused distress to residents,” he added.

However, the soccer court’s closure caused some backlash, especially after a flyer with Mr Tan’s picture announcing the closure was shared online.

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The East Coast Town Council has since announced Facebook to shed more light on the situation.

As Mr Tan had said, the TC requested police assistance for additional patrols in the area. This, apparently, is useful because “disagreements between users and residents have significantly worsened in recent few years – vulgarities hurled at residents, users of the court peeing in the void deck and damaging common properties, etc,” the TC said.

It added that Mr Tan, who represents Kampong Chai Chee in Parliament, has been “actively mediating” the issues and has put certain measures in place, which include enlisting volunteers to talk to the users, shortening the court’s operating hours, and locking the gates after stipulated hours.

It also reminded residents that other courts nearby are still open for use. These include street soccer courts near Blk 403, Blk 138, and Heartbeat@Bedok.

In the meantime, Mr Tan and the volunteers working with him will talk to the different groups living in Kampong Chai Chee to discuss how the space may be used to the advantage of more residents.

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“With (the) changing profile of residents living in this 40+ year old estate, it is also timely to review the purpose and use of various community facilities. For instance, Mr Tan is championing the repurposing of the former Kampong Chai Chee CC as a youth hub. Community spaces closer to the blocks can then be repurposed for senior-friendly, inter-generational use.

The town council reminds all users of community facilities to be considerate when using them. Being a kampong means that everyone would need to play their part in fostering an inclusive and caring neighbourhood,” it said. /TISG

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