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General conditions of letting

Application, hiring and acceptance of letting

a) With the exception of the matters referred to under general notes further down this page, these general conditions for letting apply to all lettings of the Guildhall Chamber and/or the Members’ Room. Medway Council, its employees and agents are referred to as “the council”.

b) Hirers must be aged 21 years or over and the council reserves the right to require the production of proof of age.

c) Your application must be on the form provided. The council reserves the right to refuse your application without giving any reason but if your application is accepted, you will need to confirm the hire arrangement in writing. The council reserves the right to ask hirers to pay the hire charges not less than two weeks before the date of the letting.

If payment is not forthcoming within this timescale the letting will be automatically cancelled and the council will be at liberty to re-let the premises.

d) Hirers booking the Guildhall Chamber and/or the Members’ Room should be aware that the council reviews its scale of hire charges each year. New charges are introduced on 1 April each year. If, therefore, your future booking falls either on or after 1 April, the new scale of charges will apply.

e) The premises or part thereof may not be sub-let or sub-hired (neither may possession nor occupation be given) to a third party or parties without the prior written consent of the council.

f) Museum premises cannot be hired for meetings or activities that are overtly religious or political in nature or for events where the sole purpose of the hiring is to generate income or profit for the hirer. No items may be offered for sale by hirers on the museum premises without the written consent of the council.

g) Museum premises are not to be used for any activities that involve gambling, lotteries, raffles or sweepstakes etc.

h) Museum premises are not available for hire for private parties or similar social events.


2. The council’s power to cancel a letting


a) After premises have been let, the council still reserves the right of not less than two weeks’ notice to you to cancel the letting without giving any reason and without the payment of compensation of whatsoever nature. However, any monies you have paid to the council will be returned.

b) Further, after premises have been let, the council also reserves the right to cancel that letting without notice (even after that letting has commenced) where either:

  • any of these general conditions of letting have not been complied with or
  • any of these general conditions of letting have not been complied with or
  • the council reasonably believes there is a significant risk the letting will either prove to be of an objectionable nature or offend public decency or that it may cause violence, unrest, a nuisance or a breach of the peace or that it may involve or be the occasion for an unlawful act.

And in any of these circumstances the council will not be liable to pay any compensation of whatsoever nature but shall return all monies you have paid.


3. Cancellation by you


If the arrangements to use museum accommodation are cancelled by the hirer and five clear days' notice is given of such cancellation, the council shall have the right to retain a sum equivalent.


4. Cleanliness


At the end of the letting, you are expected to leave the premises tidy and clean and remove any rubbish but if you do not, the council will arrange for the necessary work to be carried out and you will be charged the expense.


5. Maximum capacity


The maximum capacity for the Guildhall Chamber is 75 seated or 100 standing.The maximum capacity for the Members’ Room is 35 seated. The layout of chairs must be agreed in advance with the council. (Kent Fire and Rescue Service recommendations must be observed).


6. Exits


All fire exits, doors, aisles and staircases shall be kept unobstructed (by furniture, equipment or otherwise) and available for immediate use in the event of an emergency.


7. Fire safety and health and safety

Hirers must ensure that all fire safety regulations are observed. In the event of an emergency situation arising, museum attendant staff will provide instructions and supervise the evacuation of the building.

The Guildhall Museum staff conduct frequent health and safety checks and risk assessments of the premises. Fire exits are clearly marked and attendant staff are on duty at all times during opening hours to supervise evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency.

8. Loss or damage

If damage is caused to the premises or if any of its contents owned or loaned by the council are either damaged or go missing, the council will repair the damage and/or replace whatever is missing and you will be charged the expense.

9. General notes

a) Dangerous substances - no inflammable, explosive, toxic or other dangerous substance or equipment may be brought into or within the vicinity of the premises.

b) Smoking is not allowed in any part of the museum premises or near entrances.

c) Risk minimisation - nothing shall be done in or near the premises, which may increase the risk of fire or invalidate any insurance policy.

d) Food and drink - permission must be sought from the council in advance about the consumption of food and drink on the museum premises. All catering arrangements must be approved in advance by the council. The museum has no food preparation area or public kitchen area. Any food or drink must be prepared off-site by caterers.

e) Alcoholic drink cannot be sold or consumed on the premises.

f) Random checks - the council has the right to carry out random checks during lettings.

g) Toilets - there are no designated public toilets on the premises. The nearest public toilets are approximately three minutes walk away at Northgate. Access to staff toilets will be granted in emergency situations at the discretion of the duty staff but as the toilets are not designated for public use, visitors use these facilities at their own risk.

h) Disabled access - the Guildhall is a Grade 1 listed building. Unfortunately it is not possible to install lifts in the building, so access to the first floor Guildhall Chamber and Members’ Room may be difficult for visitors with mobility problems. There is no wheelchair access to the upper floor of the Guildhall although wheelchairs can be admitted to a small part of the ground floor by arrangement with duty attendant staff.

i) Events involving children or young people - in the interests of child protection and in keeping with the Children Act 1999, special terms and conditions apply if hirers are hosting events attended by young people. These include:

  • children under the age of eight must be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult;
  • young people over the age of eight who attend activities should expect to stay for the duration of the event or session unless collected by an adult;
  • two designated responsible adults must be present at all times during the hire period to provide an adequate level of care and supervision;
  • the designated responsible adults must wear a name badge for the duration of the hire period and be introduced to the children or young people at the start of the event;
  • on no account are children or young people to be left without two responsible adults in attendance;
  • no event or activity involving children or young people should last for more than two hours without the written agreement of the council;
  • on no account should any event organiser ot helper accompany children to the toilet.

j) Confetti - wedding confetti must not be scattered inside or outside the museum buildings.

k) Dual usage of the building - hirers are reminded that the museum is a fully operational public building that will be open to visitors from 10am to 4pm each day. There may be noise contamination from museum visitors and/or the High Street during the period of hire. This is beyond the control of the council.

l) Ventilation - the Guildhall Museum is not equipped with air conditioning. For various practical reasons it is not possible for windows to be opened in the Guildhall Chamber.Temperatures in this room can be quite high during the summer. Pedestal fans can be supplied on request to aid air circulation.

m) Use of mobile phones - hirers and visitors are requested not to use mobile telephones on the museum premises.

n) Animals must not be brought on to the museum premises. Guide dogs and registered working dogs used by hearing-impaired visitors are exempt from this rule.