Conditions of Hire
The basis on which the Hall is hired
1. The Village Hall is owned and managed by St Catherine’s Village Hall Limited, a charitable company limited by guarantee that is in the charge of a board of trustees. In consideration of a hire charge, the trustees make the Hall available under these Conditions of Hire, which govern the hire of all or any part of the premises. Any contract for the hire of the Hall is made between the above company and the person who signs the Application Form and is based upon these Conditions, the Public Safety Precautions annexed to them and the statements made by the hirer on the Application Form.
2. If you apply to hire the Hall, your application is an acknowledgement that you have read the Conditions and that you accept them in consideration of the trustees making the Hall available to you. And when your application has been accepted, you become responsible personally to the Hall’s trustees for ensuring that the Conditions are followed at your event by all those who attend it. Any misuse of the Hall may result in your forfeiting the deposit you have made and/or in a claim for damages by the trustees, their refusal to hire the Hall to you or your organisation again, and any other action available to the trustees. Note especially that some of the Conditions of Hire arise from the public entertainment licensing regulations and your failure to observe them may render you liable to prosecution.
3. All use of the Hall is subject to the absolute discretion of the trustees, who reserve the right to refuse any application for its use, without giving reasons. The trustees also reserve to themselves and to their accredited representatives the right to enter any part of the Hall premises at any time.
The facilities that are available
4. There are two main rooms available for hire: the Main Hall and the Club Room. The maximum numbers of persons allowed onto the Hall premises are 100 for a Main Hall booking and 30 for a Club Room booking. The majority of the Hall premises are readily accessible to wheelchair users and one of the toilets is designed for the disabled, but the Club Room does not at present have wheelchair access and its use requires the negotiation of two steps. Chairs and tables are available in both rooms. The Main Hall is equipped with a ceiling-mounted projection screen and with a microphone and sound amplification system, including induction loop, available by agreement at time of booking.
5. The Hall is open for use between the hours of 9 am and 11.30 pm throughout the week. The Hall has a Premises Licence from the Guildford Borough Council authorising the following regulated and licensable activities inside the building during the hours from 2 pm to 11.30 pm, Monday to Saturday inclusive: the performance of and participation in music and dance, the playing of recorded music, the exhibition of films and video, and the performance of plays. Events whose purpose is the teaching of, as distinct from the performance of or participation in, activities involving dance and music are not restricted by the Premises Licence. The Hall is NOT licensed for the sale or supply of alcohol – see §12 below - nor for any form of sporting activity. The Hall has a licence from the Performing Rights Society allowing the use or performance of copyright music, but the trustees do not accept bookings for discos or similar events involving music amplified above the level of normal domestic audio reproduction.
6. The kitchen and adjoining coffee room in the Hall that may be used if, but only if, requested on your Application Form. The kitchen is suited to the preparation and service of tea, coffee, biscuits and similar light refreshments and to the plating of simple meals that have been prepared offsite. It is not equipped or registered as premises for the preparation or cooking of meals from raw ingredients, nor for storage of such ingredients or meals, and must not be used for such purposes.
7. There are parking spaces for 24 cars on the Hall site, but a booking for the Main Hall or the Club Room will not guarantee that any specific number of parking spaces is available, as some may be occupied by other users. In particular, for day-time bookings on weekdays (that is for bookings between the hours of 8.30 am and 6.30 pm, Monday to Friday inclusive), a smaller number of spaces may be available and during these times, parking in the spaces designated as reserved is not permitted for any reason whatsoever.
Making a booking
8. To seek a booking, you should speak first to the Bookings Secretary, whose name and telephone number are given at the end of these Conditions. The Bookings Secretary will advise you whether your proposed event or series of events can take place in the Hall and what the hire charge will be. Please note that the period(s) for which you seek to hire the Hall must include any time necessary for the preparation for your event and clearing-up after it. The Bookings Secretary will also advise you what deposit is required. This deposit will be refunded to you no more than 28 days after your event has taken place, provided that the Conditions of Hire have been observed and there has been no loss of, or damage to, the Hall’s premises and property, nor any complaints made to the trustees about noise or other disturbance occasioned by your hiring.
9. If you decide to make a booking, you must complete the Application Form and submit this to the Bookings Secretary, together with a cheque for the deposit and a separate cheque for the full hire charge. Hirers for a series of events who are established users of the Hall may be offered the facility of payment by quarterly invoice, at the trustees’ discretion.
10. If your intended event involves children, young people and/or vulnerable adults (other than as participants in a private party involving relatives and friends), the Bookings Secretary will require you to submit with the Application Form a copy of a Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure dated within the last three years for yourself and any other adults that will be present. If your event involves children under eight years of age, it is your responsibility to comply with the requirements of The Children Act 1989 and of the Office for Standards in Education.
11. If your booking is for a commercial venture – that is, for an activity or organisation trading for profit – the Bookings Secretary will require, in addition to the Application Form, a letter on your organisation’s official stationery, confirming the purpose, date and period of hire for which you are applying, signed by an authorised signatory, together with a copy of a Public Liability Insurance Certificate valid for the date(s) of hire.
12. If your intended event involves bringing alcohol onto the Hall premises in any way whatsoever, you must advise the Bookings Secretary when seeking a booking and you must include the fact on your Application Form. In three kinds of circumstance, no further action is then required of you: (1) where the alcohol will be in bottles or other containers that remain closed throughout the event and that are used as prizes in raffles, competitions or similar, alongside other non-alcoholic prizes; (2) where the event is to be a purely private one, such as a family party or a wedding reception open only to specifically invited guests and where no charge is made; (3) where the event is organised by a club or society but the alcohol is genuinely free of any charge, direct or indirect, to the participants, having been donated, or brought in by individuals solely for their own consumption. In all other circumstances, including meetings of societies and clubs and functions open to the public, it is necessary to submit a Temporary Event Notice (or TEN) to the Guildford Borough Council at least ten days before the date of your event. It is your responsibility to submit the TEN, but you may only do so with the express and prior consent of the Bookings Secretary and you must send to her a copy of the Council’s permission before your event takes place. In all circumstances, you will be responsible legally for the proper management of any sale or supply of alcohol that is permitted at your event.
13. The Bookings Secretary will send you a countersigned copy of your Application when your booking has been accepted and only when you receive this confirmation can you assume a contract for hire is made. Please remember that your contract to use the Hall entitles you to proceed only with the event for which you applied and only for it to take place under your direct control. You may not make any change to the purpose for which you use the Hall, nor can you delegate or change who controls the event, without the prior written agreement of the Bookings Secretary. No-one other than signatories to the Application may take charge of an event.
14. It is your responsibility to ensure that any licences necessary to your event are obtained in good time.
Cancelling a booking
15. If you decide to cancel a booked event, please advise the Bookings Secretary as soon as possible. If you cancel more than four complete weeks before the booked date, any payments you have made will be returned to you, but for cancellations less than four complete weeks before the booked date, the trustees are entitled to the full hire charge and only your deposit will be returned to you.
16. If the trustees discover that, for reasons outside your control, the Hall can no longer be made available to you for an event you have booked, you will be advised as soon as possible. Every reasonable effort will be made to avoid such cancellation and it is likely to occur only if there is a major problem or emergency. In such circumstances, any monies paid by you will be returned promptly, but it is your responsibility to make any contingency arrangements, such as insurance, that you think appropriate, as the trustees will not be liable to you for any resulting direct or indirect loss or damages whatsoever.
17. The trustees recognise that, when they make the Hall available to users under the Conditions of Hire, it is the their responsibility to ensure that the premises and the facilities it offers are functional and safe. In the event of exceptionally cold and/or snowy weather, when difficulties might be expected, they will therefore visit the Hall to ascertain that the fire safety systems, the water and electricity supplies, the lighting, heating systems and toilet accommodation are all operating properly and they will arrange clearance of any snow so that the fire safety doors can be operated correctly. They will also clear snow from the front access steps, leading to the Hall from Chestnut Avenue. They will not undertake to clear the car park or the paths adjoining the Hall, although they will aim to have this done as soon as is reasonably practicable.
18. If the trustees are satisfied that the Hall is properly available for hire at the time a booked event is due to begin and it is not subsequently demonstrated that there was a material deficiency in its condition, then no refund will be made if the event does not take place.
19. If the trustees cannot, for whatever reason, satisfy themselves that the Hall is properly available, then Condition 16 applies.
20. In addition and in extreme circumstances, the trustees may close the car park using clear warning signs and a chain when, in their judgement alone, there exists a serious hazard to users that renders the car park and associated access paths too dangerous for safe use. This action will not of itself render the hirer eligible for a refund as the use of the car park is not guaranteed under the Conditions of Hire.
21. During periods of bad weather, when difficulties with the use of the Hall might be expected, the Bookings Secretary will be kept advised as fully and frequently as possible about the situation at the Hall, so as to be able to respond to the enquiries of hirers. In the event that the Hall is deemed unfitted for use, or the trustees are unsure of its condition, the Bookings Secretary will make every reasonable effort to reach expected users to advise them.
22. If the trustees consider that the Hall cannot continue to be made available to you because of a failure by you to observe any of these Conditions of Hire, or because they have good reason to believe that the Hall premises may be subject to misuse, any hire charges and deposit paid by you may be forfeited.
Gaining access to the Hall and preparing for your event
23. The necessary keys to gain access to the Hall will be provided by the Bookings Secretary, with whom you must make a mutually-convenient arrangement for their collection and return. You must sign a register for the keys when you collect them. Their safe custody is your responsibility for the entire period that they are entrusted to you, you undertake that they will not be duplicated and you agree to pay for their replacement if they are lost. If the keys are stolen or the trustees believe that they have been duplicated or have come into the hands of third parties, you will be responsible to the trustees for the cost of changing the locks and replacing all the keys.
24. If, on entering the Hall premises, you discover any damage, serious uncleanliness or other unpreparedness for your use, you must advise the Bookings Secretary immediately, or you may risk being held responsible yourself.
25. No decorations, notices or other objects may be attached to any part of the structure by pins or any means that may mark or otherwise damage the Hall surfaces. No preparations of any kind may be applied to the floors. No heating appliances, or electrical equipment of any kind rated at 2kW or more, may be brought onto the premises without the authorisation of the trustees. You must ensure that no highly flammable substances are brought into or near the Hall buildings and that no combustible materials (such as paper or polystyrene decorations) are placed near light fittings or heaters.
The Hirer must ensure that any electrical appliances brought by the Hirer to the premises and used there shall be safe, in good working order, and used in a safe manner in accordance with the Electricity at Work regulations 1989. To comply with these Regulations, it is necessary for the hirer to carry out a risk assessment on each piece of equipment brought into the hall and this may lead to the need for inspection and/or test under the PAT regime.
Supervising your event
26. It is your responsibility to ensure that the event for which you have booked the Hall is conducted in accordance with your booking and in a safe, orderly and lawful manner. The number attending your event must not exceed that for which your booking was confirmed. You are responsible for ensuring that only those persons entitled to be on the premises remain there and that they conduct themselves properly. You must ensure that you have sufficient competent adults on hand at all times to help you to fulfil your responsibility.
27. You agree to comply with all laws that apply to your use of the Hall at all times and with all conditions and regulations made in respect of the premises by the Fire Authority and the Local Authority. You must ensure that nothing is done on or in relation to the premises that is in contravention with the law relating to gaming, betting and lotteries, and that no indecent or immoral activity occurs.
28. The car park, to the extent that it is available to you, is solely for the purpose of car parking. You are responsible for the supervision of car parking at your event; you must ensure that cars are parked only in the appropriate spaces and that there is no obstruction of the public highway.
Fire precautions and public health and safety
29. Nowhere on the Hall premises is smoking permitted, nor may any naked flames, including candles or similar, be used. The trustees take the risk of fire to the timber building very seriously and any evidence of smoking or other fire hazards will be considered a breach of these Conditions. (See also §25)
30. The trustees have prepared an instruction sheet entitled Public Safety Precautions describing the safety arrangements at the Hall, the precautions to be taken by you and the action to be taken in event of fire or other accident or emergency. This instruction sheet forms part of these Conditions of Hire. Your Application to hire the Hall is an acknowledgement that you have received this instruction sheet, that you have read it and that you understand it. You must advise the Bookings Secretary if you have any doubts on this subject.
31, The Fire Service must be called to any outbreak of fire, however slight, and details must be given to the Bookings Secretary or to another trustee as soon as possible.
32. The kitchen and its equipment may be used if, but only if, this has been agreed as part of your booking. It is your responsibility to ensure that the preparation and service of food and drinks are carried out in a clean and safe manner and in accordance with all relevant regulations. After use, all items in the kitchen must be washed, dried and returned to their proper places. No items belonging to the kitchen may be removed from the premises. No perishable foods of any kind are to be left in the refrigerator or elsewhere on the premises before or after your event.
33. No animals of any kind, excepting officially registered guide and help dogs, may be brought onto the Hall premises. No children or guide dogs are permitted in the kitchen at any time. No bicycles or similar outdoor equipment may be brought into the Hall buildings.
Avoiding noise and nuisance
34. Your event must be conducted throughout with proper respect for the Hall building and car park and for fact that the Hall is situated in a residential neighbourhood. Loud noise or other obtrusive conduct must not be allowed at any time. In particular, no sound amplifying equipment may be brought onto the premises without the prior permission of the Bookings Secretary and you are advised that such permission will not normally be given. After dark, the doors, windows and curtains on the road side of the large hall must be kept closed.
35. No evening booking of the Hall will extend beyond the licensed hours for the Hall which finish at 11.30 pm. By this time, you must not only have vacated the Hall and its premises, but departed the area in a quiet and neighbourly manner. Please ensure that you bring your event to a close with sufficient time for those attending to disperse and for the necessary clearing up.
Removing your equipment and other belongings from the Hall
36. Neither the Hall nor any part of the premises may be used to store your equipment or other belongings before or after a booked event unless, exceptionally, this has been agreed beforehand by the Bookings Secretary and any additional charge has been paid. In any case, the Village Hall accepts no responsibility for any stored equipment or other property brought onto or left at the premises and all liability for loss or damage is hereby excluded. If property is left at the premises without agreement or without payment of an agreed charge, the trustees may remove the same seven days after the hiring and dispose of the property by sale or otherwise on such terms and conditions as they think fit and charge the hirer any costs incurred in storing, selling or disposing of them.
37. Regular hirers of the Hall, who have made arrangements for their equipment to remain on the premises between events, must ensure this is stored as agreed and are responsible for its security and insurance.
Leaving the Hall clean and secure
38. Before you leave the Hall, you must ensure that it is left in a clean and tidy condition, any debris or spillages cleaned away and all tables, chairs and other equipment returned to their proper places. Brooms and other basic cleaning equipment are available in the cupboard adjacent to the kitchen and they should be returned there after use.
39. It is your responsibility to ensure that all lights and heaters are turned off, all windows fastened and all doors properly locked. It is in your interest to check these precautions very carefully, as you may be held liable for any loss or damage that results from your failure to do so.
Accidents and damage
40. If any accident occurs to any person at or as a result of your event, you are required to complete an Accident Report Form in the Accident Book that is provided as part of the First Aid equipment placed in the kitchen area of the Hall. You must complete all sections of the Form and add the names and addresses of witnesses if there were any. You must then hand the Form to the Bookings Secretary or to another trustee as soon as possible.
41. You must also report to the Bookings Secretary or to another trustee as soon as possible any incident, however slight, to which any of the emergency services were called.
42. If any damage to the Hall or its equipment, however slight, occurs during your period of hire, it is your responsibility to advise the Bookings Secretary when the keys are returned. It is a condition of hire that you agree to make good such damage to the satisfaction of the trustees or to reimburse them for so doing. Any failure of equipment belonging to the Hall or brought in by the Hirer must also be reported as soon as possible.
43. The Hall is insured against any claims arising out of its own negligence. You are advised to make your own insurance arrangements for your personal and/or your organisation’s property, as the trustees accept no responsibility for it, nor is it covered by the Hall’s insurance.
44. The liability of the company in respect of its breaches of the relevant contract for hire shall be limited in amount to the amount paid by the hirer for the relevant contract and nothing contained in these Conditions shall entitle the hirer to pursue, exercise or enforce any right or remedy in respect of any such breach against the personal estate, property, effects or assets of any of the trustees or the directors of the company or against any assets for the time being vested in the trustees which are not assets of the company.
45. Nothing in these Conditions is to imply or warrant that the Hall may lawfully be used or is physically suitable for the purposes intended.
46. You must not do or omit to do anything that would cause any insurance policy in relation to the Hall to be wholly or partly void or voidable or that would cause an additional insurance premium to become payable. If you have any doubts in this regard, you are advised to ask the Bookings Secretary to see the company’s insurance policy and if necessary to take further advice
47. All notices served by either party pursuant to the provisions of these Conditions shall be in writing, and shall be sufficiently served if delivered by hand, or sent by recorded delivery to the address of the other.
48. None of the rights or obligations contained in these Conditions may be assigned or transferred to any other person.
49. No variation of these Conditions shall be effective unless it is recorded in writing and signed by or on behalf of each of the parties.
50. Any rights or duties implied by the terms of the Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 are excluded and no third party shall be able to enforce any provisions of these Conditions.
51. These Conditions represent the entire agreement of the parties relating to the hire of the Hall. They supersede all previous and other agreements, arrangements and understandings between the parties but nothing in these Conditions shall be read or construed as excluding any liability resulting from any fraudulent act or omission by any party.
52. These Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law and the parties hereby submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
Eric Thorniley, The Gateway, Chestnut Avenue, Guildford GU2 4HD Telephone 504485
Version 4b, December 2012