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13 building plans approved in Nov

The Buildings Department approved 13 building plans in November - two on Hong Kong Island, six in Kowloon and five in the New Territories.   Of the approved plans, eight were for apartment and apartment-commercial developments, two for commercial developments, one for factory and industrial developments, and two for community services developments.   Consent was given for works to start on 11 building projects which will provide 210,471 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 2,595 units and 83,060 sq m for non-domestic use.   Additionally, the department received notification of commencement of superstructure works for nine building projects.   The department also issued 16 occupation permits - three on Hong Kong Island, five in Kowloon and eight in the New Territories.   Buildings certified for occupation have 53,034 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 1,355 units and 168,627 sq m for non-domestic use.

SWD notes report completion

The Social Welfare Department today said it noted that the independent review committee commissioned by Po Leung Kuk has completed the first-phase report on reviewing its residential child care service.   The department said it also recognised that the report has raised a series of improvement proposals and measures with a view to improving Po Leung Kuk’s relevant service as well as providing a safe and protected environment for children receiving such services.   It pointed out that apart from attaching great importance to children’s well-being all along, the Government also understands the sector’s concern on residential child care services’ long-term development and manpower arrangement.   A review committee chaired by the Director of Social Welfare has started a comprehensive review on the residential child care and related services, the interface among services and service monitoring since April this year.   The first phase of the review, which covered residential child care centres (RCCCs) and residential special child care centres (RSCCCs), was completed earlier.   The department stressed that it is actively taking forward the 31 recommendations made by the government review committee on service regulation and monitoring, service quality and service planning.   It has strengthened the inspection of RCCCs and RSCCCs through manpower redeployment and increased the frequency of unannounced inspections based on the principle of risk management.   Furthermore, all RCCCs and RSCCCs are now required to install a closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance system and formulate policies and mechanisms for monitoring and viewing CCTV footage.   The inspection checklist has also been updated and six service quality groups have been set up to conduct such unannounced visits.   The department emphasised that it has also set a surveillance period for non-compliant operators and required operators to establish an internal service audit mechanism.   The second phase of the review, which will cover other related residential child care services, is now in progress and is targeted to be completed by March 2023, it added.

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