Meeting with TC
Just got back a short while ago from the meeting with the town council which Michelle and I attended. I am glad to say that they did take the whole matter very seriously and looked into it promptly.
As was suspected by the caregivers, the TC did not know about this. The very first thing they did was to apologise. What happened was that the officer had apparently called in pest control about a case that Rebecca and I had both been working on. There was no caregiver in the area and that's why we were involved. Rebecca went down and removed the cats as there was a persistent feeder upstairs who refused to stop and the cats were relocated within the vicinity.
What then may have happened is that the cat found its way back up. Instead of contacting Rebecca or myself, the officer then called pest control which according to what was decided with the town council in earlier meetings, he should not have done either. Pest control could not trap the cat, and as a result, the officer then asked the cleaning supervisor to grab the cat.
The General Manager of the TC said that from now on, he will make it very clear that no one, except licensed pest control will be allowed to trap cats in their estate. In addition he will reinforce to the officers that the protocol must be followed - ie that if there is a complaint, it will be referred to the caregiver. If there is a nuisance, and the caregiver cannot solve the complaint AND cannot remove the cat, then pest control will be called in, but only after informing the caregiver.
The GM will also look into the case personally and counsel the officer involved.
The good news is that they will continue with the programme and continue to work with caregivers in the estate to solve issues relating to community cats.
What was unusual (and worrying) though is that apparently, there was a town council meeting recently (the meeting where the AVA met with the TCs) and the stance the TCs took was that as a group, they would have a policy of 'no-strays' in estates because they felt that these were HDB housing estates. To be consistent with the HDB rule against cats, they felt that this would be their stand.
Michelle and I pointed out that this was not about 'allowing' cats in estates but managing cats already in the estate - and minimising problems for residents.