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Wenzhou’s Completing Voting on VCSOA, Half the Battle
【Fonts: Large Medium Small 【Source: Wenzhou·China 【Date: 2019.05.13】

Around 5 on the afternoon of May 5, at the Beibaixiang Town Villagers’ Meeting, Yueqing city (county-level), with the votes counting under supervision finished, two villages’ villagers completed voting on “the village and community scale optimizationand adjustment”(VCSOA), a major task assigned by the Wenzhou’s Municipal Government. This is the last voting of the same kind in this city, which signals the first half of the VCSOA work, covering Wenzhou’s 11 counties (county-level cities and districts ), has been accomplished.

The VCSOA, expected by the people and demanded by the social and economic development, is a major project geared to the general trend. In only one month from March 11 when it was launched to May 5, the voting on the VCSOA was completed in a steady, orderly and efficient manner. The average votes in favour of the move are 96.3%.

With Foresighted Plan and Solid Work, a Critical Battle for VCSOA Launched

The VCSOA is the first “battle” of the action of the “Grassroots Organization Upgrading Year (2019)”, and has been the most extensive and strongest adjustment of the village and urban community organizations in Wenzhou in recent decades. According to reports, since Wenzhou’s prefecture-level administrations were canceled and its municipal level ones left in 1981, no VCSOA has been carried out in the whole city except three counties. Before the VCSOA this time, there were 5,405 administrative villages, each having a registered population of only about 1,200, and 382 urban communities in the city, accounting for more than one-fifth of Zhejiang Province's total; the grassroots organization form in the 1980s remained unchanged. It is noticeable that Wenzhou’s village and urban community organizations are too small, too many, too sparsely distributed, and too weak in every aspect. Therefore, their organization form and layout cannot meet the needs of urbanization under the new situation, and have become the weakest link impeding the city’s construction and governance of grassroots organizations as well as their further reform and development. 

Thus, Wenzhou must ensure success in the critical battles for the VCSOA. The Wenzhou’s Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government are determined to do a good job of the VCSOA, and call on the local governments at municipal, county, township, and village levels to take the VCSOA as an important political task, to practically fulfill their duty, to do the work consistently in line with related standards and prescribed “roadmap”, and never to lower the demands for the VCSOA.      

It is required to make a top-level design of the VCSOA scientifically, to do a good job at the pre-phase, finding out exactly what problems exist, and not to launch the VCSOA without knowing the related actual conditions or approval of related implementation measures or enough human resources to do the work. In addition, a strong leading group for the VCSOA will be established, which will converge land capital, financial capital, and industrial capital, and release related policies, such as those for “changelesssness in six aspects and priorities in three aspects”. The leading group will steadily and properly implement the VCSOA according to related laws and actual conditions, and will hand out the VCSOA-related Operational Manuals and Questions and Answers to villagers to let them know clearly the policies of the VCSOA and the implementing procedures. A specialized working group will be established for each village, which will make different preplans, and take different measures according to each village’s actual conditions so as to ensure orderly and steady implementation of the VCSOA, and to protect the interests of village collectives and the masses to the maximum extent.

Good news keeps coming in that success has been achieved in the VCSOA by the great efforts of the working groups. Through comprehensively implementing related policies and heart-to-heart talks with the VCSOA-related villagers,  only in 18 days, the village-to-community transformation was accomplished first in Lucheng District of the city; in Ruian city (county-level), by establishing a legal review mechanism to ensure the interests of the VCSOA-related villagers, the administrative village merging rate has reached 50%; in Dongtou District, the VCSOA has been completed first in Wenzhou by the joint efforts of four teams consisting of officials, Party members, respected figures in the villages, and volunteers respectively… Up to now, 3,358 VCSOA-related villages in the city have held joint village affairs meetings and Party members' meetings, at which the VCSOA schemes and related voting methods were passed. As a result, 559 new villages and 227 new communities have come into being.

VCSOA Lays a Solid Foundation for Wenzhou’s Reform and Development

Villages and communities decreased in number through the VCSOA, which is favourable to the social and economic development as they are optimized in scale, layout, organizational structure, grassroots governance system, and resources allocation.

“It is incredible that this city’s grassroots organizational form has been so greatly changed !” exclaimed Ren Chaochao, an official of the Nanhui Subdistrict of Lucheng District, who witnessed this city’s largest “village-in-city”, Shangtian Village’s transformation into an urban community.

Over the past two decades, Shangtian Village has been an epitome of Wenzhou's urban construction and development: All of the village’s houses, so shabby and disorderly-distributed, were demolished, and then high-rise buildings were built as dwellings or the offices of some major projects; on the other side, the villagers’ lives have long been urbanized. However, owing to the system of census register, they were not included in an urban community. Through the VCSOA, along with the “village-in-city” changed into an urban community, the villagers become urban dwellers. The VCSOA has sped up the pace to integrate “villages-in-city” into the city governance system.

It is learned from the Organizational Department of the Wenzhou Municipal Party Committee that by the VCSOA, 89 villages located in this city’s districts of Lucheng, Longwan, and Ouhai have been transformed into urban communities. Wenzhou has accelerated its coordinated development of urban and rural areas by reconstructing its urban morphology and grassroots governance system. 

The VCSOA realized coordinated resources utilization in a large region, and optimized grassroots governance system. 

In Kunyang Town of Pingyang County, there is a true story told about the merging of three villages, manifesting the benefits brought by the VCSOA: Qiangpan Village is a provincial-level 3A grade tourist scenic area, but it so lacks land that only by passing through other villages can it build a tourist greenway; Houao Village owns a natural reservoir as a scenic spot but lacks money for its renovation; Yacun village wants further development but lacks labours as most of its villagers are doing business out of their hometown. The three villages were merged into one in the implementation of the VCSOA. Thus, by integrating the different resources of the original three villages, the new village made a plan of building “the most beautiful leisure village in South Zhejiang” so as to revitalize its economy by tourism. The success in VCSOA will promote the grassroots organizations’ further development in every aspect.

Doing a Good Job of Follow-up VCSOA to Strengthen the Cohesion of New Villages and Communities

On May 5th, in Yueqing City (county-level), a full day’s special training course was held for 488 cadres of the new villages and communities produced through the VCSOA, with specially-prepared “textbooks” on how to do follow-up work of the VCSOA distributed to the trainees so as to enhance the cohesion force of the new grassroots organizations’ leading groups and to promote the industry convergence development.

“The VCSOA is a fundamental and strategic work. The work we do now will be  beneficial to the society and economic development in the future. After villages merging, the related grassroots leaders should make foresighted development plans, and achieve actual results to let the ordinary people feel that new villages are promising, and the villagers will get rich, and lead a better life,” remarked a leader       in charge of the Organization Department of the Wenzhou Municipal Party Committee,  “At present and next, each county (county-level city and district) should focus on   the follow-up work of the VCSOA, and specifically, do a good job soonest in the integration of person management, unification of organizations and governance, harmonization of personnel relations, and convergence development so that the village merging can produce a more powerful cohesion force, and achieve win-win results for the merged parties

Local governments at all levels strongly support the development of the newly-merged villages according to their different conditions in organizations, staffing, major events discussion procedures, and the supervision over and use of village collectives’ funds, assets and resources, and help them to construct strong grassroots leading groups and to do a solid job.

In Ouhai District, on the very day when the ceremony for awarding the nameplates of all the newly-merged villages took place, the Ouhai District Government held a meeting, at which 23 development projects were assigned to related new villages, 12 problems asked by village representatives were answered and solved. In addition, the solutions to resources integration and convergence development were proposed. Among the meeting participants are the government agencies concerning organization, civil affairs, finance, land and natural resources administration, and architecture planning.

In Taishun County, 22 Advisory Groups for New Villages were established, which were composed of 68 members, including the county leaders, county Party secretary, town and township leaders governing the merged villages, former leaders of the villages before the merging, and respected figures in the villages. The Advisory Groups focus on people's livelihood and the related key issues. They made an in-depth investigation in the newly-merged villages’ culture, industry, people's livelihood, etc., put forward some suggestions for new villages’ development, and helped them to obtain the funds which should be granted according to related policies.

The Yongjia County Government issued its document: On the Approval of the Scope Optimization and Adjustment of Administrative Villages (Communities ) at Each Part of the County immediately after the related village scope was adjusted, and at the same time, released a latest list of new village names, laying a foundation for the convergence development of the newly-merged or adjusted villages.

It is sincerely hoped that the departments and personnel concerned could go all out to do a good job of the follow-up VCSOA. With the citywide work completed, Wenzhou’s grassroots organizations will be bound to have broader prospects!

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