Edinburgh Quaker Meeting House Room Hire Policy

RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (QUAKERS)

SOUTH EAST SCOTLAND AREA MEETING

Edinburgh Quaker Meeting House Room Hire Policy

This policy was approved by Trustees of South East Scotland Area Meeting on 5 February 2018

We are glad to hire out rooms within the Edinburgh Quaker Meeting House (“the premises”) for the use of a wide variety of external organisations. We wish to offer a safe meeting place for all users and we ask groups to respect the fact that this is a meeting house for Quakers; we publicise our Quaker work and beliefs within it.

It is also important for hirers of our rooms that they find a comfortable and relaxed environment for their meetings; our staff will endeavour to provide this. However, we do not maximise occupancy at the expense of the comfort and convenience of hirers or our Quaker community.

Making a Booking

  • Advance, pre-arranged viewings are welcome.
  • Booking enquiries may be made in person, by telephone, by email or via our website.
  • We do require some information about new groups wishing to use the building and we reserve the right to make enquiries about groups’ aims and policies before confirming a booking.
  • Our standard Terms & Conditions of Booking are sent to all who hire rooms.
  • Agreeing to these is a precondition for a confirmed booking, as indicated by signing the Booking Form.
  • Bookings are only formally accepted, and a contract therefore entered into, once our signed Booking Form and the specified deposit or purchase order have been received.
  • All hirers are expected to conduct business and meetings within the premises in accordance with our Terms & Conditions.
  • Failure to do so may give rise to termination of their room hire agreement.
  • We do ask those submitting booking requests to give us some indication of their proposed use of the room/rooms, such as whether there will be loud noise (such as music) and whether the meeting will be open to the public.
  • Please note that smoking and the use of alcohol are not permitted within the building. In addition, as owners of the building we reserve the right of access to all parts at all reasonable times.
  • During a period of four weeks before political elections, bookings are not available for individual political parties holding public meetings relevant to that election, though public debates between political candidates are welcome.
  • Bookings information will be treated as confidential.

Our standard Terms & Conditions for room hire cover the following areas:

  • The booking deposit, and cancellation fees
  • Advertising of meetings
  • Rules for the use of the building
  • Public Liability
  • Provision of refreshments
  • Hiring suitable audio-visual equipment
  • Fire precautions
  • Alterations to bookings
  • Access to the building and right of entry
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

We reserve the right to refuse bookings from:

  • any organisation with aims contrary to Quaker values, which include a commitment to peace-making and against militarism, to equality (including social, racial and gender equality), to truth and integrity, to simplicity and to respect for the earth and all life upon it;
  • any organisation whose objectives are unclear;
  • any religious group or sect reasonably suspected of using indoctrination or exhibiting religious intolerance;
  • any group involved in illegal or morally unacceptable practices;
  • a group who has persistently breached our Terms & Conditions for room hire.

Doubtful cases are always referred to a Meeting House Manager who has the discretion to refuse a booking. When the activities of an organisation seem to be contrary to the work of the Religious Society of Friends, the Manager will refer the case to Meeting House Management Committee, and, if necessary, the Trustees of South East Scotland Area Meeting.

Insurance

South East Scotland Area Meeting, owners of the building, are not responsible for any personal losses or third party liability arising from a hiring. It is the responsibility of hirers to have adequate insurance cover. All accidents, whether major or minor, must be reported to a member of staff on duty and entered in the Meeting House Accident Book.

Room hire charges

Our standard rate charges apply to all charities and grass-roots groups, except when they themselves are charging more than a modest fee to cover costs, in which case our commercial rate charges will apply. Our commercial rate charges apply to use by commercial organisations, statutory bodies (e.g. local authorities) and by those organising events for fund-raising purposes. Alterations and cancellations Once a booking is contractually confirmed (see Making a Booking above), any alteration must be applied for and, when agreed, entered on the booking form and signed by a Meeting House manager (or a new booking form issued). Fees are payable for bookings that are cancelled (see our Terms & Conditions).

Catering arrangements

We provide tea, coffee and biscuits (traded fairly) at modest prices and can arrange a buffet style lunch from our caterers, including catering for special diets, if required. Individuals may bring food into the premises for personal consumption only, but there may be an additional charge if this is likely to cause extra clearing or cleaning, and the Meeting House can accept no responsibility for food safety in these circumstances. Water is provided in all rooms. Food and drinks (other than water) should not be taken into the main Meeting Room (2nd floor). We are not usually able to accommodate outside caterers unless specifically agreed in exceptional circumstances, for which an additional charge would be made.

Complaints procedure

In the first instance any requests for assistance should be addressed to the staff member on duty who will do their best to resolve any problems or to help groups with facilities. Any complaints should be made to the staff member, but if these are unresolved they should be passed to a manager. If the issue is not resolved satisfactorily it will be passed to the Management Committee.