Aibu? probably.

(46 Posts)
cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 17:59:48

Hi everyone.

I am currently looking into starting a dance group for the local children in my area. I have approached my community centre and church hall to enquire about prices etc... only to be told that a business rents out both halls every single night from 4pm to 10pm (Expensive dance classes). The lady who runs the dance classes only takes on those who are at a certain level so nobody in the community actually goes.

I told the vicar who runs both halls that it isn't very fair at all.
Aibu to be pretty damn annoyed?

Ifcatshadthumbs Thu 26-Sep-13 18:02:20

Well yes I think so, she has the booking first and pays for it. I don't think the vicar can start making stipulations about who hires the hall.

What about the school hall or weekends?

flowery Thu 26-Sep-13 18:05:27

YABU. Of course its fair. If the halls are already booked, then they are already booked. They could just as easily be booked by a zumba class or Slimming World.

I would guess you were told you couldn't join or more likely your precious ones were not of the required standard and in a fit of pique went down the route of "i shall start my own one" add a "community" badge to it and hope the vicar falls for the ruse.

By all means start a group - but don't expect the vicar to turn away a regular paying business for a mother whose nose is out of joint whose classes will fold when her little darlings get bored.

You cant have the hall (your kids aren't to the standard??). Thats life. Get a helmet.

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:10:50

I have to pay money every month, as does everyone else in my community for our community centre and non of us can actually use it.

It's not just me, it's a gang of us who have decided to do something for the kids because we have nothing here for them to do. I'm not bothered about someone else using it but every single night?

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:11:36

Flowery. Slimming world is held in the pub because the hall is booked fully up by one woman.

BopsX3 Thu 26-Sep-13 18:13:29

voiceofnoreason that was a bit harsh wasnt it? hmm

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:14:40

Bops. That's why i completely ignored the post. wink

flowery Thu 26-Sep-13 18:19:35

Er, ok. My point is if its booked up it's booked up, but you seem to think it's unfair that it's booked up because of who it is. Did you really expect the vicar to turf her out because your class is more "worthy"?

Topseyt Thu 26-Sep-13 18:20:48

I think it sounds a bit off that they have the hall every single night.

That kind of excludes everyone else, and flies in the face of the words "community" hall.

Not sure what you can do about it though. I would try having a word with the vicar, but failing that is there perhaps another hall you could hire that is not too far away?

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:23:16

No not really flowery. I asked if any slots come available to let us all know. She said she highly doubt it as the other ladies business has taken off.

All i need is an hour a week, no more. At any time too.
I don't see why any of us in my community has extra money taken out of our council tax for these buildings if non of us are actually able to use them. We all pay £15 per month for the up keep of the buildings and the park. Now a business is using these building.

Even the Rainbows can't use them, they moved villages!

mrstigs Thu 26-Sep-13 18:24:05

I actually think yanbu. It's a church hall, these are generally used for the community - especially if you all have to pay towards it. She's essentially using it as cheap business premises and preventing anyone else from getting a look in.
That said, not a damn thing you can do about it I suppose. She was there first.

dollymixedup Thu 26-Sep-13 18:24:43

Hi cooee,

Is there a management comittee for the community centre? I would approach them, if it has charitable status then its constitution probably says something about meeting the needs of the local community and equality of access to services. I'd also find out how the centre is funded - lottery money etc usually has strings attached.

How do you pay every month? I'd be looking at that arrangement very closely. Are there other community groups struggling to find venues? It might be worth getting together to approach those in power/local press.

sonlypuppyfat Thu 26-Sep-13 18:26:20

She has the monopoly surely that's not fair. And I fail to see what being rude to your quest is of any help. Things aren't fair but it doesn't mean you have to be happy about it

sonlypuppyfat Thu 26-Sep-13 18:27:08

Question not quest bloody phone

lottiegarbanzo Thu 26-Sep-13 18:29:10

I think you have a point about community access. The other dance teacher must be very tired.

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:29:55

Hey Dolly. We get a council tax bill with a little bit and the end which says
Cooeey's village blah blah. It's £15 per month.

The management consists of the vicar, her husband, he daughter, the lady who's business uses the halls, the local pub landlady, the post master and a couple of elderly gentlemen. It's not voted in, the comittee pick and choose who they have.

Literally non of us can use it, we can for birthdays parties on saturday and sunday between 9am and 4pm but that's it.

QueenofallIsee Thu 26-Sep-13 18:30:13

Actually I don't think you are being completely unreasonable. I don't think that a community provision that the local residents pay into should be utilised by a single business - if the Rainbows troop has had to move due to it then actually that is negatively impacting the community.

I would table something at the Parish Council to discuss how to widen partcipation without becoming a not viable proposition.

MrsDeVere Thu 26-Sep-13 18:33:13

Our local hall used to be home to a load of activities. Some had been there for 40 years.
Suddenly everyone's rent was put up by a huge amount.

People started closing down. The toddler group was the last to give up.

Then the local Montessori school moved in. (How fortuitous hmm )

They moved to new premises after about five years but the hall is now used by a all day preschool.

It has been pretty much lost to the community. I think that is very sad.

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:33:26

Lottie- The lady who owns the business employs dance teachers. It's a proper business.
But yes, it is about community access.

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:35:55

I just wanted something nice for the local kids. I wouldn't be making any money from it.
I should point out that both halls are actually joined together, they're two big halls divided by a hallway.

FeetUpUntilChristmas Thu 26-Sep-13 18:36:44

OP, is your monthly contribution voluntary or compulsory, how is it collected, what exactly is it for, do you have an agreement?

Who manages the community centre etc. as stated above there should be a committee with a constitution.

Does this person really monopolize the halls 24/7

MortifiedAdams Thu 26-Sep-13 18:37:45

Ask the local primary school if you can book their hall.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 26-Sep-13 18:39:20

Why don't you run your class on a Saturday morning?

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:40:05

It's taken straight out of my council tax Feet up.
Where is it itemised on my ct bill it says..
village cash
Just looked and it's actually £12.50 not £15

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:40:57

Lone cat nobody is allowed to do clubs on those days. Halls are reserved to hire out for parties.

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:41:32

Already asked if i could use the school hall but i was told nope.

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:44:06

It's only £5 per hour to hire out the hall so i do understand why the business uses it. I'm not bothered about that at all.

But it should be fair on everybody else. That's all i ask.

cantspel Thu 26-Sep-13 18:50:03

You cant expect them to leave it empty on some nights on the off chance that someone else will want to hire it.

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 18:52:27

Yeah i know. I'm just annoyed that's all. Just fancied a rant lol.

AirDuster Thu 26-Sep-13 18:57:05

£5 per hour! It could well be in her business interests to rent it and then not run any classes at all for a good proportion of that time, just to prevent competitors getting a share of the market and taking her on.

It's potentially a restrictive practice, so you're not being unreasonable, particularly because it sounds like there is nowhere else.

The committee should allow different groups to bid for the slots on a regular basis (not necessarily on the basis of who can pay most, but also who offers something which the community would not otherwise have).

I'm not sure it's legal for somebody to be a trustee of a non-profit organisation from which they derive a financial benefit; it raises a conflict of interest.

GobbySadcase Thu 26-Sep-13 19:06:27

I'd be inclined to contact your local DISTRICT councillor to question why as a community you are paying for a lost resource which is now private enterprise, effectively.

If you can get others to do the same - ie a Rainbows leader, so much the better.

I'd also consider local press. They love stuff like this.

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 19:16:00

I'm going to have a word with the parish councillor. He seems to be a decent kind of bloke.

GobbySadcase Thu 26-Sep-13 19:19:24

If that fails go to District level - they're the ones who do council tax billing and funding. See if that concentrates the mind - losing funding.

DoJo Thu 26-Sep-13 19:34:51

Why do you have to pay a monthly fee for this community centre?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 26-Sep-13 19:35:08

If the hall is a registered charity they would have a hard time proving benefit to the community if it's just providing cheap business premises for a private business.

cooeeyonlyme Thu 26-Sep-13 19:37:23

I have no idea why we have to pay it. It's just included in our council tax.
It includes a caretaker too for the buildings and he litter picks etc..

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 26-Sep-13 19:44:39

Can you pm me a link to the hall? I'm intrigued...

CaptainBinker Thu 26-Sep-13 19:49:19

OP before you start looking for halls please, please check out what insurances etc you need for this - as an unqualified dance teacher (whether you call yourself a teacher or not you are in charge so are effectively acting as one in the eyes of the law) you won't be protected by the various insurances etc that membership of a professional body would give you. Plus there's things like music licences which again may or may not be held by the hall - it's highly unlikely but if someone shopped you then you'd have a hefty fine to pay.

I really admire you for wanting to do this for the community and hope it works for you. I'm sorry I have to even mention these things but in today's society, if someone had an accident then it could cause trouble. I knew of someone who got sued by a person they used to teach dancing to over 10 years ago...because the teacher put a particular step in their routine which caused the pupil an injury years later. It sounds absolutely ridiculous but is totally true sad

DoJo Thu 26-Sep-13 19:52:11

Ok, well I clearly take WAY too long to post. blush

Calloh Thu 26-Sep-13 20:01:29

I like that this is just below the Trumpjngton Village hall bondage scandal thread in the index. It would be good as a daily mail headline:

Children of the rate payers forced out of ballet lessons by sinister, public school educated/gypsy/Rumanian bondage affecionados who abuse Vicar's good nature.

OP it does seem a bit unjust and I think she should have to find other premises for some evenings of the week. I just don't know if you can do much about it?

cooeeyonlyme Fri 27-Sep-13 01:03:10

It's just a little village hall Unexpected. They don't have websites i'm afraid.
After talking to the post master it appears that the lady is using the buildings until she finds a better place.

ShakeRattleNRoll Fri 27-Sep-13 01:05:30

Call the vicar a snake in the grass only joking

Turniptwirl Fri 27-Sep-13 08:05:00

If she's actually running classes (not just booking it so no one else can) then yabu

Feminine Sat 28-Sep-13 03:34:36

Why is the vicar in charge of the village hall? In our village it is run by a committee. In our case we are crying out for people to use it:-\ uanbu.

Bodicea Sat 28-Sep-13 18:16:42

get in touch with the local council and voice your complaint. Maybe get a bit of back up from other local people too. I have never heard of a local village hall being monopolised so heavily by one business. It doesn't seem right.

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