Thursday 1 August 2002 9.20am
I went in to City Hall
several times in the first week of opening in the hope of getting to the 9th floor. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, they were closed or closing for a function. Finally, on Friday, I got lucky. I also got to see in the main chamber, and walk up the stairs around it. Someone who worked there was saying that it would take some time to get used to the area being so open to the public, which made me think the 9th floor and the chamber would usually be accessible.
My main impression was that no-one seemed to know what was going on. I know it was the first week, but communication seemed to be really bad and the security guards were not at all helpful. I assumed that they would sort it out so that it would be obvious when the areas were being used for meetings or 'functions' but the rest of the time the public could get in. I think it's a real let down if it turns out we can only go in for a a couple of days every few months. So much for the symbol of open government.