Council 'locked out' of hall

There's nothing like finding yourself locked out to get you hot under the collar. Which is exactly what happened when town councillors found themselves locked out of the community hall they are supposed to help run.

There's nothing like finding yourself locked out to get you hot under the collar.

Which is exactly what happened when town councillors found themselves locked out of the community hall they are supposed to help run. It turned out that Waveney District Council, which owns the building, had changed the locks.

Halesworth town councillors were none too impressed, as they have been working to keep the Rifle Hall, which is the town's only community building, as a public facility. Two town councillors are keyholders, so that they can lend the keys to hall users when the Waveney council office is shut at weekends. But when deputy town council chairman Sandra Leverett gave her key out to one user, she soon had a complaint that it did not work.

The incident sparked complaints at Monday night's town council meeting - including that Waveney does not do enough to help the town and is deliberately running down the outdoor pool, which has recently reopened for the summer.

Alan Holzer said: “I am sad we are getting a backward trend from Waveney because I can cite other examples where we have tried to be progressive and do as much as we can for Halesworth and we are blocked by Waveney, especially the officers. I can cite the floodlighting for the skate park, the art wall in the town park, the pathway lighting, all things where we have received nothing but obstruction from Waveney, who are supposed to be an enabling authority.”

Waveney council spokesman Phil Harris told the EDP that the Rifle Hall locks had been changed for security reasons and that the main users of the hall, including the cleaner, the bowls club and keep-fit club, had been given new keys. He said the town council keyholders would now be issued with new keys.

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He said: “Hopefully the matter has now been resolved, and as ever we always remain open to ideas and suggestions that could improve Waveney District Council's relationship with the town council and residents of Halesworth.”