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Policy for the hire of library interview, meeting and lecture rooms, and premises

1. Purpose

a)     This document sets out Powys County Council's policy on the letting of library service premises for use by groups and societies, partner and other organisations, primarily for educational, cultural and civic purposes.

b)     It also sets out to demonstrate the Council's policy of supporting skills and learning, and developing social cohesion, in the community.

2. Interpretation

a)     The 'Council' means Powys County Council.

b)     'Hirer' means any group or organisation who wishes to enter into an agreement with the Council to hire any part of library premises.

c)      'Library' means any premises used by Powys Library  Service to provide library and information services in Powys.

d)     'Branch Librarian' means the member of staff with responsibility for the premises or their delegated officer.

e)     'Premises' means any interview, meeting or lecture room, or any other part of the library building in the context of this policy.

3. General

a)     The Council will support the activities of local community and special interest groups, educational, cultural and other organisations by making available for hire meeting, interview or lecture rooms in libraries in Powys where available. This will normally be during library opening hours, and subject to certain conditions.  

b)     In specific circumstances, and subject to stringent conditions, library premises may be available for hire outside normal opening hours.  

c)      Premises bookings are authorised on the understanding that the Council does not endorse, promote or recommend any event, viewpoint, or service, or the aims of any group or organisation which is the Hirer.  

d)     The Council will not allow the sub-letting of the hired premises to a third party.

4. Facilities

a)     Those libraries with interview, meeting and lecture rooms will be noted on the Council's Libraries website, along with contact details for further information, terms and conditions and booking form.  

b)     The maximum number of persons permitted at any one time in the designated space will be noted on the Council's Libraries website.  

c)      Access to the hired space will normally be within library opening hours, and library staff on duty will advise the Hirer on the use of toilet and kitchen facilities.  

d)     The provision by the Hirer of food and drink in the hired premises will only be with the permission of the Branch Librarian. The Branch Librarian will require the Hirer to show that any food or drink provided is done so by an approved supplier. Assistance in making local catering arrangements maybe given by the Branch Librarian subject to the request being made at the time of booking. 

e)     Where a library has parking space this will be made available for use by the Hirer, but this will be subject to availability when there are other library users in the building.

5. Types of Use

a)     The Council will support the following types of use of library accommodation as appropriate (see 3a above):
   i) Private meetings of groups and societies (e.g. Local History Society; Reading Group; U3A)
   ii) Courses or other training events (e.g. Welsh Language classes; Welsh College of Horticulture course; creative writing course)
   iii) One to one meetings (e.g. interviews; counselling; Registrar or Housing Officer appointments)
   iv) Surgeries (e.g. with MP, local councillor, or AM; with Trading Standards) 
   v)  Public events (e.g. Toy Library activity; local interest lecture; art exhibition launch)
   vi) Weddings (Ystradgynlais Library only)  

b)     The Council will not allow the following uses of its premises:
   i)  Public performances (Powys' libraries are not licensed for public performances of music, singing, dance, staged plays or similar activities.)
   ii)  Fundraising events
   iii) Commercial activities
   iv) Events that promote a particular political party
   v)  Events that promote a particular religious viewpoint
   vi) Events that are illegal or offensive to public taste
   vii) Events involving the sale of licensable liquor
   viii) Events involving gambling or gaming of any sort
   ix) Events resulting in noise or other disturbance which might affect the other users of the building  

c)      The hire of the library premises will be permitted at the discretion of the Branch Librarian.

6. Security, health and safety

a)     The Council will ensure that any arrangements made to let library premises do not compromise its health and safety responsibilities or insurance policy.  

b)     Access to the building will normally be during library opening hours, when the library staff will be responsible for the security of the building.  

c)      In circumstances where out of hours access is requested, this will only be authorised subject to the Branch Librarian being able to make satisfactory arrangements for access and security. In buildings where access is restricted to the booked room and associated facilities only, a selected keyholder list may be in operation for regular bookings. For all other booking requests, any such arrangements will involve Council staff opening and closing the building, and taking responsibility for the security alarm. The cost of these arrangements will be recovered from the Hirer.  

d)     The Hirer will be informed of their security responsibilities, with special regard to out of normal opening hours arrangements when members of the public may be given access to the building.  

e)     The Hirer will ensure that the premises are vacated by the time agreed with the Branch Librarian. In the case of out of normal opening hours, an evening session will end no later than 10.00p.m.  

f)       The Hirer will be informed of the relevant health and safety procedures.  

g)     Where there is a letting out of normal library opening hours, the Hirer will be given a broader range of information (e.g. location and use of the accident book, first aid box etc) as well as specific training  where appropriate (e.g. evacuation in the event of a fire). The Hirer will be required to sign a declaration that they have been given and have understood the security and health and safety information relevant to their booking.  

h)     The Council will pay particular attention to the security, health and safety of any event involving children. The Hirer will be required to ensure that there are sufficient responsible adults dedicated to the care of children present, and that those adults have had the appropriate CRB/V&B checks. Arrangements must also be in place for the safe management of the children so that they do not disturb the other users of the building.  

i)        The Council operates a no smoking policy in all its buildings and grounds.

7. Furniture and equipment

a)     The Council will provide chairs and tables for use by the Hirer, who will be responsible for their arrangement and tidy replacement.  

b)     Any Council equipment that is available for use by the Hirer will be requested by the Hirer at the time of booking.  

c)      The Council's Public Access computers may be available for use by the Hirer for community training purposes at the discretion of the Branch Librarian.  

d)     It may be possible for the Hirer may to use personal laptop computers, projectors or similar items of equipment, in the hired premises. The use of items powered from the mains will be subject to a thorough visual inspection of such equipment by a staff member who will need to be satisfied with its condition before its use is permitted.

8. Booking, charges and payment

a)     The Council will only accept requests for the hire of premises on the designated booking form, and will be subject to terms and conditions.  Acceding to these requests will be at the discretion of the Branch Librarian.  

b)     The Council will levy charges for the hire of premises and any associated facilities, and will also include the full cost of any out of hours access arrangements. The standard charges will be posted on the Libraries web pages.  

c)      We offer a 10% reduction for regular bookings (10 per year and over) 

d)     The Council will accept payments by cash or cheque on or before the booked date, or by invoice by arrangement with the Branch Librarian.  

9. Cancellations

a)     The Council will accept the cancellation of a booking not less than 7 days from the event, and will waive the charge. The cancellation must be confirmed in writing to the Branch Librarian.  

b)     Cancellations made less than 7 days from the booked date will be subject to the full hire charge.  

c)      The Council may cancel a booking with one month's notice in writing to the Hirer.  

d)     The Council will not consider any claims for losses incurred by the Hirer as a result of a cancellation made by either the Hirer or the Council.

10. Disclaimer and indemnity

a)     The Council does not accept responsibility or liability in respect of damage to or loss of any property whatsoever placed or left on the premises by the Hirer or any other person attending the hired premises during the period of hire.  

b)     The Hirer shall indemnify the Council for all losses or damage caused as a consequence of and during the period of the hire and of whatever nature to the Library premises whether provided by the Council or any other body or person.

Terms and conditions for room and premises hire

  1. The Hirer will have read and understood, and will abide by the Council's Policy for the hire of Library premises.   
  2. The Hirer will satisfy themselves that the premises and associated facilities agreed for hire are suitable for their purposes.   
  3. The Hirer will adhere to the agreed booking dates and times.   
  4. The Hirer will ensure that the number of people present in the premises does not exceed the maximum number permitted for those premises.   
  5. The provision by the Hirer of food and drink in the hired premises will only be with the permission of the Branch Librarian. Requests for assistance in making local catering arrangements must be made at the time of booking. The Branch Librarian will require the Hirer to show that any food or drink provided is done so by an approved supplier. Please note that the premises are unlicensed.   
  6. The Hirer will be responsible for the arrangement and tidy replacement of all furniture, and will ensure that gangways to the exits (including fire exits) are sufficient and kept clear at all times.   
  7. The Hirer will ensure that only authorised persons enter the hired premises.   
  8. The Hirer shall not sublet the premises to any Third party.   
  9. The use of the hired premises must be compatible with the provision of library services by the Council, and must not interfere with the provision of these services or disturb users of it.   
  10. The Hirer will pay the agreed fees on or before the day of the hire, or other only by arrangement with the Branch Librarian.   
  11. The Hirer will cancel a booking not less than 7 days from the event, and confirm in writing to the Branch Librarian, or otherwise will pay the full charge agreed for the hire.   
  12. The Hirer will ensure that any electrical equipment they provide for use in the hired premises meets the requirement of section 7d of the Policy.   
  13. The hired premises, associated facilities and equipment will be left in good order by the Hirer.   
  14. The Hirer will ensure that the premises are vacated by the time agreed with the Branch Librarian. In the case of out of normal opening hours, an evening session will end no later than 10.00p.m.   
  15. The Hirer will be responsible for any damage or loss relating to the premises and equipment occurring during the period of hire.

 

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