Charity event at village hall wasn’t overcharged

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IN REPLY TO a letter which appeared in the Evening News on Friday June 17.

I read with some surprise that a Mrs J Pugh from Byward Drive, Crossgates, felt that we had overcharged the event on Sunday which was a “Help the Heroes” afternoon held in Ayton Village hall.

She states that she thought our charge of £85 was too much for the afternoon hire. I agree with her if it had just been for the afternoon, but the village hall was hired from 9am to 5pm which meant that no-one else could use it during those hours and the charge was for the eight hours it was unavailable to anyone else.

We do have many charity events at the village hall and try to be fair to all, but cannot favour one above another. The organiser discussed with me the charge weeks ago, the charge was for the main hall plus either the side annex or the back room. The charge for those two rooms is £10.50 per hour, hence the sum of £85. We were, we thought, helpful, as the other annex could not be used by anyone else because of the noise that would be present throughout. Had we charged for all three rooms the cost would have been £16 per hour, making the total £128.

Mrs Pugh says that no heating was used, but this was available at the touch of a button should it have been needed, she also states that no damage had been caused and no mess for anyone to clear away etc. This is, of course, what we expect when someone hires the hall. We do not expect damage or have anything to clear away. The users are, naturally, responsible for all such things and I cannot imagine what her statement has to do with the charges unless she wrongly believes that there are paid people standing by to clear up!

Ayton Village Hall is run by volunteers, we expect the hall to be left ready for the next user, although, as responsible people we do try to check that all is well for each period of hire.

There will be very few of us who are not grateful for the sacrifices made by our heroes but we also have a duty to make sure that Ayton Village Hall remains a viable concern and available for many years to come for the local people to use. The running costs of the hall have to be met and the committee has and will work very hard to obtain grants to enable us to bring the hall into the 21st century.

I see with the cost of the entrance fee for the heroes event at a very reasonable £3.50, it still would have needed only 23 people to pay to cover the cost of the hire. It is hoped that many more than that number attended and supported the appeal.

Mrs Joy Tomlinson

Ayton Village Hall

Chantry Road, East Ayton