10th November 2021| Uncategorised|
Petersfield Town Council has been pleased to be able to support the national Covid-19 vaccination programme by providing the local medical surgeries the use of the Festival Hall since the early part of this year for this purpose since the programme’s inception. The Council recognises the national importance of this programme and the crucial part that it plays in seeking to protect the health of people in the town and its environs from this virus.
The Festival Hall is and remains a public building whose main purpose is for public entertainment and other similar activities of a wide variety. It has been used for this purpose since its construction in the 1930’s and the Council is committed to continuing to honour this legacy as well as developing new forms of entertainment for the wider population in future years as part of the proposed refurbishment of the building that is currently being consulted on with the wider public. The Town Council is keen to see the building being re-used as an entertainments venue as soon as is possible but inevitably, after a period of inaction due to the problems created by Covid-19 there are essential works that have to be done before this can happen and which cannot be done whilst the building is being used as a vaccination centre. These works focus on the safety, servicing and repair of the theatrical equipment which must be certified as being safe to use before entertainment can take place. The works also include an essential ‘deep clean’ of the large Hall and all the curtains, drapes and surfaces in order to ensure that the building is safe for performers, hirers and audiences. By their very nature these works cannot be done simultaneously so it does take time to schedule in these activities and complete them fully.
It is therefore deeply regrettable that entertainment events cannot be scheduled to take place in the Hall until the Council is certain that all of its health and safety obligations have been fully completed which is likely to be the New Year.
“On behalf of the entire Public Halls Committee, I am deeply sorry we have not found a way to safely return the Petersfield Festival Hall to normal operations this year. All of us, members and officers, want nothing more than to get the Petersfield Festival Hall back to normal operations. And in a manner that meets all our legal and moral obligations to provide a safe environment and responds appropriately to the pandemic, we will continue to strive to achieve that aim as fast as we can. Again, my apologies to the hardworking volunteers of our User Groups that this decision has impacted and the general public looking forward to their productions.”
“Like many people in our community, I’m keen to see our Festival Hall return to normal operations as soon as possible. I appreciate how important the festive period is to our regular users and I understand how disappointing it is for them and for those of us who look forward to their performances not to have the Festival Hall available as soon as we would like. However, we must provide a venue that is safe and meets all the health and safety obligations. We are working hard to get the Festival Hall back in use as soon as possible."