URGENT: PETT VILLAGE HALL – BOOKINGS

In the light of the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday that people should avoid social gatherings, I have been seeking urgent clarification from the Action in Rural Sussex (AirS) Village Halls Advisory Service as to whether we should cancel/postpone all bookings at Pett Village Hall.
I have also been having email exchanges with the management of other village halls as to their views and proposed action.
Unfortunately there is no definitive advice available today as to whether we should postpone/cancel bookings, although it would appear that many village halls are intending to do that. Inevitably, we have had a number of groups and individuals who have already decided to cancel bookings for the foreseeable future.These include POPP, WI, Short Mat Bowls, and Coffee Morning and Community Library.
The Pett Village Hall Management Committee have been asked by other groups and hall users to decide urgently as to whether or not bookings can go ahead.
After very careful consideration, and taking into account the situation as they currently understand it, the Pett Village Hall Management Committee have decided that all bookings at Pett Village Hall should be cancelled for the coming week, from midnight tonight up to and including midnight on Tuesday 24 March. The Committee does so with great reluctance, but the priority must be the safety and welfare of the community. As trustees, the Committee have a duty of care to hall users and consider it is wise to err on the cautious side. This will give time for more definitive advice to be available. But at this stage I have to say that, subject to further advice to the contrary, it would seem likely that we will have to cancel/postpone all bookings at the Village Hall indefinitely until the current crisis eases.
Harold Road Surgery have informed us that there will not be a doctor’s surgery at the Village Hall for the time-being, but the collection and delivery of prescriptions will continue at the hall. The hall may also be available for other help for the community, subject to the views of our insurance company, which we are urgently seeking.
There will of course be no charges levied on users for bookings that have been cancelled. Fortunately, the hall’s finances are strong, but the Committee may have to postpone any further improvements to the hall for a while because of the loss of income. We will be keeping the heating on at the hall, albeit at a reduced level, and will ensure that the hall is kept secure and well maintained.
I know that there will be some who may disagree with the decision to cancel bookings, especially for meetings/events involving few people, but on balance the Committee consider their decision to be the right one in all the circumstances.
Kind regards
Tim Rothwell
Chair, Pett Village Hall Management Committee