I have to admit that though I’ve lived here a while I’ve never been to the council buildings – to be honest I thought the Edward Dunn Memorial Hall was what turns out to be the Wesley Centre.
Anyway, I’ve sort of followed local politics on and off for in a half hearted way – but then the town council website disappeared and I stopped knowing what was going on – but for a while I didn’t mind. Then I started to look around the internet to see if there was a new site where I could get minutes from meetings and so on, and I started to find all sorts of tales of infighting and suspensions – basically we don’t have a council any more, just a bunch of elected point-scoring bickerers who seem to treat politics with the same seriousness as we did when the powers that be at my Sixth Form decided we should have a mock election and us rebellious sixth formers started making up ridiculous parties and claiming it was our democratic right to put up candidates.
So today on my way home I went out of my way to visit the Edward Dunn Memorial Hall, the home of the council, to see if I could find out when it meets, and what it is planning to discuss. This is most unlike me – I am firmly of the belief that what you can’t find out from google isn’t worth making up.
So, I got to the Edward Dunn, parked up, went to the entrance at the back (the details for their entertainments licence application is at the front, by the way – printed on black ink in blue paper behind some glass reinforced with quite thick wire. Honestly, it’s like they don’t want you to see it or something! You can see it here)
And what greeted me at 4:15 on a Wednesday afternoon. Why, a set of shutters of course. After all, it’s only 45 minutes from the end of a standard working day.
‘They must close early on a Wednesday – it is the public sector after all’ thinks I – perhaps that sign in the window has the opening hours?
Nope – it’s not the Opening Hours – it’s that much less useful and therefore rarer of signs, the ‘Closing Hours.’ For last week. So what do I do now? The offices are closed with no opening times displayed, the website is down, my councillors don’t respond to emails …
Update – later that same evening
It turns out the council is meeting there tonight at 7pm – it’s Finance Committee night. Fortunately the good people of Maltby have developed their own means of communicating at the Maltby Town Council Forums. Surely though it isn’t beyond the whit of the council to put a sign up at the venue informing the people who are paying for the meeting that it is going ahead. I might be getting ideas way above my station here, but some sore of agenda in advance of the meeting would be nice too.