Sunday, 3 August 2008

Maltby Town Council - Open and transparent yet ?

Recent turbulent times have seen residents’ attendance at Maltby Town Council meetings increase, but many of the public and councillors themselves are still unhappy at the shortage of answers.
Eight councillors, still legally serving on the council and innocent till proven guilty of what is alleged to have been committed (if the British system still works that way) A Town Clerk, who was suspended then resigned. Continuing unresolved questions about minutes, receipts and the signing of cheques. An unsettling and inappropriate attitude and approach to colleagues and the public by certain councillors.

The question of the signing of the cheque for the Maltby Festival compared to the signing of the cheque for the Bede Playgroup is still being raisedand still no answers are given. The issue of user’s access to the Edward Dunn building is also still being raised - some users are concerned that whilst they have a room booked they are unable to gain access because of the doors being locked. This discussion has prompted Cllr A Laird to say “If they keep complaining, why don’t they go somewhere else” Again, no answers. A member of the public has asked why Cllr Slade did not read out her letter regarding the accessing of minutes from Town Council Meetings as he had promised to do. Minutes of certain meetings she said, appear to be unavailable for lengthy periods of time, and then when asked for , the response from certain councillors and staff is less than appropriate. Again, no answers.
Maltby Online, which the council had set up to provide access to information to everyone, is discussed, yet again. The council seem to want to walk away from this, after a little questionable legal hassle about discussions on the online boards. Understandably, this appears to the public that the easiest way to avoid answering difficult questions is to ignore them. Or use diversionary tactics.

Rotherham Council is looking to train new councillors in Maltby “as soon as possible” so that they are aware of general council procedures. Perhaps if this had been done a long time ago then the council might not be in the situation it is in now.
And now, Cllr Chris McMahon (who volunteered to support the Assistant to the Clerk of the town council ,with the help of Cllr John Kirk until such a time as aTown Clerk is in position) has been selected as a last minute candidate to fight the Wickersley by-election on August 28th. Perhaps he thinks the problems of Maltby Town Council are solved and he should move on.

There are many issues to be resolved within Maltby Town Council – many from months or even years back. Some of these issues are about certain councillors conduct and attitude towards each other and the public, so it is a delicate situation. But delicate or not, the truth must be shown and the honesty and integrity of some people questioned. Anyone who has nothing to hide has no fear of their integrity being questioned, after all, we question our leaders in government constantly, and so we should, because we are the ones who elected them to represent us. People in Maltby want the council to move forward and to be supportive of the town and it’s residents. Moving forward can not be done until past and current grievances have been thoroughly brought to light and discussed.

This must continue to be done, no matter how long it takes, for the sake of all Maltby residents.

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