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Using A Village Hall


klc106
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We rent a local village hall to run our playgroup. Since we opened in september the toilets and kitchen have been cleaned once properly by the caretaker. The floors never been mopped. and the room is generally left untidy and dirty.

We have to clean certain things before opening to make it suitable for the children coming in.

we got informed today that the parish council are meeting on tuesday to discuss the caretaker's role and whether it should be taken over by someone else. She suggested that I write a letter to the parish council to inform them of what has been happening.

 

I have wrote the letter and emailed it tonight and plan to post a copy to get there for monday. I am now worried that it was the wrong thing to do and it may cause friction between us and the caretaker, especially if it is decided that she shouldn't keep the job.

 

What would you do?

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sounds as if concerns have already been raised, But if you are having to clean so it is fit for the children to be in, then she needs a kick up the bum, frankly! I think, if you are helping to pay her wages, then you are entitled to your say........................and you can't really take back what you said, can you? I wouldn't worry too much; I think she's been very lucky to get away with things so far! ( and if you are doing HER job, maybe you could get a reduction in the rent? Just a thought!)

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I think you are very lucky to have a parish council that are actually taking interest and planning to sort out the way the hall is looked after..

 

so many of us who have worked from halls have had similar experiences of never being cleaned.. ours was so bad we employed a cleaner for an hour a day to clean before we arrived.. and I was constantly sending in letters of complaint and photos to hall owners of what it was like when we arrived.. they never did anything about it except ask others to clean up after themselves.. although we did get 2 groups thrown out as they did leave it exceptionally filthy.. I had gone and found someone before we cleaned that time and it was particularly bad..

 

All you have done is respond to a request .. we used to complain constantly, and it is better that they deal with it now before it continues any longer.. other hall users may well have complained .. and it will not be only your statement that could cause a change..

 

and as Narnia suggested.. we kept our rent down because of it, when they asked us to pay more I asked them to pay a cleaner... they backed down gave us the reduced rent and let us pay a cleaner as it saved them the trouble of sorting it all out!

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Hi klc106, I have been giving this some thought before replying. We are also in a village hall with a Parish Council. As I see it you rent a building for a certain amount of hours, you have to abide by the rules as a hirer, so there should be a standard to which it is hired to you. So I think you are right to raise your concerns so that the Parish Council can take whatever action they deem is appropriate. If the hall continues to not be maintained to a good standard eventually it will go into disrepair and then possibly lost for ever now that would be a real shame.

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You are probably one of the main hirers of the hall, and I am sure you have a catalogue of complaints against your nursery.......a grain of sand on the floor.....paint in the sink....... if you are like my village hall setting. You are right to complain and they should do what they can to meet the nursery's needs, after all you must meet legal requirements.

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You are probably one of the main hirers of the hall, and I am sure you have a catalogue of complaints against your nursery.......a grain of sand on the floor.....paint in the sink....... if you are like my village hall setting. You are right to complain and they should do what they can to meet the nursery's needs, after all you must meet legal requirements.

 

Definatley! We have been banned from using sand inside as they don't like finding a grain of it on the floor! We have also been told we have too many toys and resources! Except for playgroup, the hall is only used for 2 hours a week and occasionally weekends if a party is on!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok an update. The caretaker has no idea it was us who complained and has said whoever it was needs shooting!

 

We were told yesterday (last day of term) by the caretaker that she had to take our keys and change the alarm code and that she would have to let us in and out and we were not allowed keys. I did tell her this needs sorting by september as we have to lock the doors while the children are there.

I then rang the parish council and she said the keys should not have been taken and that they have recently found out there is no committee/parish council for the village hall and that the lady I have been speaking to has just been brought in from another parish to deal with the issues. She then told us that there is a strong possibility that the village hall will be closed down as it cannot be run without a committee and they are making a huge loss money wise!

 

I am now left in the situation that we have confirmed places for children returning/starting in september and will possibly have no premises! There are no other village halls in the area only a school which is now closed for the summer!

 

What would you do?

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Wow lots of issues here. :o

Firstly you need to check who is responsible for the hall you actually use and how it is managed.

If they are in the process of dissolving the hall/committee, could this possibly be a great opportunity for your provision to put in an interest.

Do you have a contract with your hall provider, hopefully it should state a time scale of notice, which they must give to all hall users in the event you describe..

I would certainly contact you EYA regarding all of your issues for guidance.

Please keep us updated with this.

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Thanks fredbear,

 

Basically there is a caretaker and a treasurer that run the hall and no-one else! which is why they are closing it as that is illegal. Unforunatley we are not in a financial position to take on the hall even though we would love to.

Our contract states 4 weeks notice which because of the summer holidays would be sufficient.

I have contacted the County council advisors and am waiting for a response!

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Oh crumbs, four weeks notice seems a very short time for you to make any alternative arrangements.

I know when we renewed our contracts with our Parish Council i asked for this to be extended to 6 months purely for this reason.

I suppose you will just have to see what your County Council advise. Have you got a healthy intake for September as i'm sure no County Council would like to see a setting close that was offering a service to the local community.

Do you know approximately how many parishioners you have within the Parish the hall resides. Is it used by anybody else or just yourselves. This might help in keeping a vital facility within the whole community going.

Hope you get the advice you need.

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It seems nobody knows a lot really. Its just these 2 people that are running it and it is supposed to belong to the parish council but nobody knows who that is!

 

We were low on numbers we have 11 children's names down for september but we only opened last september!

 

We are the only ones who use the hall except for things like birthday parties which is not very often.

 

I hope we get some good advice from the council

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we too operate from the village hall and have done for 30 odd years, previous superviosrs always had issues with caretaker/rtreasurer but i don't. Our hall is run by trustees , I am now one, as we have a vested interest. |it was bequeathed many years ago by the vicar who built it in 1898 . We are a registered charity and all income is used to maintain hall , admitedly it is getting tired and the cleaning is also an issue at times ( something we are currently resolving) could you try and take over hall as trustees, ask local people to get involved so its becomes a reaL COMMUNITY BUILDING again.

There are many grants availble for community buildings and this could be a way forward- we as a preschool are the biggest users and pay very little per term we only have 15 for September but this will hopefully increase.

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Ours is run like Lashes.

It is kind of like a committee that runs the pre-school - just local residents voted on to keep it running, (with out the staffing issues!) as part of our rental agreement we have to send someone from our committee to be on their committee (another role that isn't filled very easily!)

 

Could you have a look on the Charity Commission website and see if they are registered?

It might give you a contact name of who is supposedly 'in charge' as it does for pre-schools

Also

What about contacting your local MP they may know who the local Parish councillor is, that covers your area

Good luck

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well it has been decided that playgroup will not re-open after the summer. It's been the hardest decision I've ever had to make and has taken lots of phone calls and meetings etc. but we feel it is in the best interest of the children and staff if we close. Things have become very uncomfortable between the people 'running' the hall and ourselves and that is not fair on the children. We also don't know if/how long the hall will stay open.

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I really feel for you, klc106. I know how it feels and it is not very pleasant, although at least I was able to make my decision myself and on my own terms.

 

Sending you hugs.

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Really sorry to hear that, how sad after all the excitement of setting it all up in the first place. Did your county advisor not come up with any helpful suggestions? Are you going to look for somewhere else? Could your village school let you have the school hall when they aren't using it? That's how we started out.

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Well it has been decided that playgroup will not re-open after the summer. It's been the hardest decision I've ever had to make and has taken lots of phone calls and meetings etc. but we feel it is in the best interest of the children and staff if we close. Things have become very uncomfortable between the people 'running' the hall and ourselves and that is not fair on the children. We also don't know if/how long the hall will stay open.

 

 

I just wanted to send you a hug - we have also closed our village hall pre-school this summer and its heart breaking. Its seems everyweek Im hearing of another community run setting closing - its just gutting.

So sorry for u all

kxx

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Well we had a bit of positive news yesterday just before i was about to tell all the parents we are closing!

The parish council had had another meeting in the morning and are now 99% sure it can stay open with an increase in rent!

They are meeting again on the 6th August to finalise everything. They also said we can have a new contract which will state they have to give us 5 months notice beofre they close so we can find new premises!

I did inform the parents of the situation and they said they are happy to wait for an answer as many of them don't drive and couldn't go elsewhere.

 

Finally some good news!

I will let you know what happens on the 6th!

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We are trying to contact the school as well but with it being summer holidays can't seem to catch anyone in. But we will keep trying as we would like the security and we think it will bring more children in too

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Well we had a bit of positive news yesterday just before i was about to tell all the parents we are closing!

The parish council had had another meeting in the morning and are now 99% sure it can stay open with an increase in rent!

They are meeting again on the 6th August to finalise everything. They also said we can have a new contract which will state they have to give us 5 months notice beofre they close so we can find new premises!

I did inform the parents of the situation and they said they are happy to wait for an answer as many of them don't drive and couldn't go elsewhere.

 

Finally some good news!

I will let you know what happens on the 6th!

 

Brilliant :1b

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having come back to this , i was about to say oh no and now oh yes - i do hope you can continue to run your preschool in your community - sadly it is us rural village type settings who started for community provision that are being forced to shut - fingers and everything else crossed for you , can you get a sustainability grant ?? x
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