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Friday, July 11, 2014


Woolsach Hall Committee
Woolsery Sports & Community Hall

Tuesday July 8th 2014

Mr Jonathan Downes
Mytle Cottage

Dear Jonathan

Thank you for your e-mail dated 17/06/14 to notify your intention to cancel this year’s event booking.  In reply the Hall Committee would like to put matters into perspective as regards the unfortunate misunderstanding re your Weird Weekend yearly booking fees and the catering.
It seems that some very unpleasant and unflattering/untrue facts have been circulated in the public domain regards the community hall and running fees.
We would like to take this opportunity to put facts right.

As already made clear, the group who usually accommodates you in this regard had actually put in place plans for this year without the assistance of Mrs Bennett who had resigned as a trustee of the hall.  In retrospect we should have contacted you personally but were given to understand that David Braund-Phillips was acting as event co-ordinator.

Hall Charges: According to our September 2013 hall minutes you were made aware that the charges for your next event in 2014 would not be discounted and would be charged at the going rate, as we cannot be seen to give preferential rates and need to adhere to the charges as set out.
·         The charging rate for this year was to be £270, (£216 in 2013) – a £54 increase.
·         The rate given for camping  £10 per unit per weekend.  (This includes full use of shower/WC facilities within the hall and kitchen use for refreshments).
·         The kitchen rate to any user is £15 per meal, and a extra charge for the usage of the crockery cupboard if required or, £50 all day/night usage, ie £150 per your weekend break.  This kitchen rate is universal, whether charity event, conference, wedding or party.

This kitchen charge covers use of oil, gas and electricity as well as all kitchen equipment, ie, ovens, fridge, freezer, dishwasher, electric water urn and at that rate gives the user opportunity to use these items all day.  Plus of course kettles/toaster, microwave, crockery, cutlery and utensils etc.
I am sure you will appreciate the costing involved in our kitchen set up, and the running costs involved.  We do try to keep our charges fair and they are well below the charges in other similar local facilities.
We may have given the impression that the kitchen charge was because the Small School was not a local charity but in fact this is not so, and even if,  Woolsery School, for example, were to have booked this type of event the charge would stand.

The hall has over the years been absorbing the cost for the gas usage due to the fact that WE, also support the hard working ladies and their groups that use the hall on a weekly basis over your weekend.  We feel that it would be inappropriate to do the same for a group that has no connection with the hall nor does any fund raising to help with the upkeep. I’m sure you can see where we are coming from. We do feel that any responsible caterer one hires in would realise that fees would be payable for service items used and, profits made would be after this cost; we are sure from past experience that they would still make a substantial profit for good causes.

We have also in the past, as you know, been more than obliging with regard to providing specialist lighting and sound systems which are expensive to purchase.   Our voluntary staff has also been very lenient as regard the opening and closing hours of the social club and hall which has opened very early in the day and has remained open until the early hours of the morning to accommodate your guests. 

Apart from all this, it has been a pleasure to accommodate your community weekend in the past and we have been much troubled by the unfair comments by the followers on your blog & facebook without having the opportunity to answer said comments. 

We would like to, despite this unfortunate misunderstanding, wish you and your followers a pleasant weekend and trust that the 2014 Weird Weekend in Hartland will be a profitable and successful affair.   Please note that despite this unfortunate occurrence as a gesture of goodwill the hall would be willing to consider host venue accommodation in the future if you have any problems in this regard.

Lastly we would be obliged for this letter to be posted onto your website so that all can read the reasoning behind why all this has been raised/aired and for us not to be posted as a village Hall committee that is without a heart.

Kind regards,

Trustees of Committee Woolfardisworthy Community Hall 

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