Hiring Policy and Terms & Conditions of Hire

Hiring Policy

Milton Keynes Quaker Meeting is part of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain. The Quaker Centre is our place of worship and fellowship. Rooms are hired to outside bodies when this does not interfere with this primary function of the building.

Why do we hire rooms at the Quaker Centre? We hire rooms to other organisations for a number of reasons:

  • We recognise the need for places where people can meet to share ideas, learn and give support. The Quaker Centre offers a peaceful meeting place in Milton Keynes for many groups. We especially want our building to be used to benefit groups whose work is in line with Quaker values.

  • Through hiring rooms we offer everyone who comes to use our building the opportunity to find out about Quaker values, beliefs and work.

  • Hiring rooms raises income which helps to pay the costs of maintaining the Centre. We keep our rates low and, in some years, we do not make a profit from hiring rooms. In years when we do, the money raised contributes to Quaker work nationally and internationally.

Who can hire rooms?
We welcome bookings from all organisations (commercial, voluntary or statutory) whose activities do not seriously conflict with recognised Quaker principles. Acceptance of a booking from an organisation or individual does not imply that Milton Keynes Quakers concur with their views.

All bookings are subject to our standard conditions of hire which are sent to every hirer. Please note we do not accept bookings for parties.

A booking may be refused if:
• The aims and policies of the organisation or individual are in conflict with Quaker values.
• The proposed meeting would necessarily breach the Quaker Centre Conditions of Hire (eg it would involve levels of noise that would disturb others using the building or participants of user-groups have previously parked in a dangerous position or caused unnecessary obstruction of the road).
• A hirer persistently breaches the Quaker Centre Conditions of Hire.

We reserve the right to refuse bookings for any other reason which need not necessarily be specified.

Milton Keynes Quaker Centre Terms and Conditions of Room Hire

Offer of TERMS AND CONDITIONS Agreement for Room Hire with effect from 1st September 2020

The current Rates of Hire are set out in the Hire Charges section of this website.

Costs for room hire are exempt from VAT.

CONDITIONS OF HIRE

General

  • The Nominated Responsible Adult is the person whose signature is on the “Application to hire” form (or the person responsible for the booking).

  • The Nominated Responsible Adult is responsible for ensuring that attendees are aware of and keep to the Covid-19 protocols.  Flyers are available to help hirers with that task.  For Covid-19 protocols please press here.

  • Guests are reminded that the building is in a residential area and are expected to respect the needs and privacy of neighbours and other users by parking responsibly, avoiding noisy activities and by leaving quietly. Smoking is only allowed in the outside designated area.

  • Alcohol, illegal drugs and gambling are not allowed on the premises or within the grounds.

  • Milton Keynes Quaker Centre reserves the right to cancel bookings made by any hire group that fails to adhere to these terms and conditions.

Bookings, Confirmation of Bookings and Payment

  • Applications are made to the Warden via telephone, post or email. Hirers new to the Quaker Centre must complete a booking request form and sign this to indicate that they have read and agree with our Terms and Conditions of Hire.

  • Prices are reviewed annually and hire charges will be determined in line with the price lists effective at time of Hire Period.

  • Provisional bookings are held for up to two weeks. Within this period we require written (or email) confirmation of the booking. If written confirmation is not received within these two weeks then we reserve the right to let the rooms to other interested parties.

  • Payment is expected from hirers who book the Quaker Centre for a single event on or before the day of the event. Regular hirers will be invoiced monthly in arrears. Payment is expected within two weeks of the date of the invoice.

Cancellations by the Hirer

  • Please give as much notice as possible of cancellation of any confirmed booking.

  • Cancellations of any confirmed booking made with notice of less than one week will result in the full charge being payable.

Cancellations by Milton Keynes Quakers

  • While every effort will be made to honour bookings, on rare occasions it is sometimes necessary for us to cancel them (for example, when the Centre is needed for a Quaker funeral or the building is required by MK Council as an Emergency Rest Centre). In the event of an accepted booking being cancelled, as much notice as possible will be given.

Nominated Responsible Adult

  • All organisations hiring rooms at the Centre must nominate one or more responsible adults who must be thoroughly familiar with the terms and conditions of hire, and the procedures to be followed in the event of a fire or other emergency. This responsibility cannot be delegated.

  • No meeting can take place on the premises unless the nominated responsible adult is present.

Care of the Meeting House

  • Each group may arrange the room to suit their own needs. Please leave the room as you found it.

  • Please do not fix anything to the walls with drawing pins, paste, blutak or other means; please ask for advice.

  • If you adjust the heating using the radiator controls, please reset the controls to 2 when you leave.

  • Before you leave, please lock all windows, close doors and turn off the lights in all the rooms you have used.

  • Please tell the Warden if your group has caused any damage. We may ask you to pay for any necessary cleaning or repairs beyond normal wear and tear.

Use of Kitchen

All Centre users, including those using the Centre for the whole day, are encouraged to bring their own refreshments.  When taking a break, additional safe space may be available at the garden tables, weather allowing.

The kitchen is currently only available for use by groups using the Centre for the whole day and only one such group at any one time.    We will keep this under review and inform Centre users as soon as we feel able to allow fuller use of the kitchen by more groups.

All-day groups using the kitchen are asked to adhere to the following:

  • Only one person at a time in the kitchen

  • Masks always to be worn in the kitchen

  • Attendees to bring their own packed lunch

  • Attendees to bring their own mugs and to keep them for the day

  • A trolley of drinks may be prepared in the kitchen for distribution in the meeting room.

  • Any person preparing drinks or food for others must wear gloves as well as a mask

  • Any washing up must be done overnight in the dishwasher

  • Keep the windows open unless weather is very inclement

  • Wipe down all surfaces in the kitchen after every tea break and lunch break, using either a mild bleach solution or disinfectant wipes provided.

Shared Use of the Quaker Centre

  • All users of the Quaker Centre are asked to be considerate of others who use the building and keep noise levels down in the foyer, corridors and when using the kitchen. Counselling, yoga and meditation are regular pursuits in the Quaker Centre.

  • Those Centre users who require specific furniture for their event should contact the Warden with at least one week’s notice.  Please do not move furniture from one room to another.

Health, Safety and Security

  • The Nominated Responsible Adult must accept full responsibility for safety procedures for the group in the event of fire or accident.  This responsibility cannot be delegated.

  • The Nominated Responsible Adult is responsible for ensuring that attendees are aware of and keep to the Covid-19 protocols. For Covid-19 protocols please press here.

  • A first aid box and accident record book is kept on the wall in the foyer.

  • Personal electrical equipment used by hirers must be safe and conform to PAT regulations.

  • Inflammable and other dangerous substances should not be brought into the building.

  • If relevant, hirers are expected to have children and vulnerable adult safeguarding policies and procedures in place.

Fire

  • Safety is paramount.  If you become aware of smoke or fire GET PEOPLE OUT of the building and immediately use a ‘Break Glass’ panel to activate  the alarm to warn other occupants about the danger in the building.

  • The Nominated Responsible Adult for each group must know the position of the ‘Break Glass’ panels, Fire Alarms and Fire Exits.

  • The Nominated Responsible Adult is required to account for the complete evacuation of their group to the Assembly Point (Front of the building).

  • Call the Fire Service ASAP on 999 and notify the Warden or the Clerk as when possible.

  • The location of the cut-off Valve for Mains Gas is next to the meter in the external brick store cupboard in the car park.

  • All exit doors can be used as escape routes although it is preferable to use the doors that open onto the front of the building rather than the exit doors from the garden room, office and the main meeting room which open onto enclosed garden areas.

  • Fire Extinguishers are intended for use by those trained to use them.  They are labelled as to their use for electrical or other types of fire. Fire extinguishers are located near the fire exit doors in the following areas: the hallway – next to the Garden Room and the kitchen; the kitchen; the Main Meeting Room, and the office / WBTC counselling room. A fire blanket is available in the kitchen.

  • The Warden will show you the location of the first aid box and accident book (both on the wall in the foyer), the fire exits, fire extinguishers, and the assembly area outside.

  • Please ensure that fire exits and corridors are not blocked. Please inform your participants at your first meeting, and periodically thereafter, of these procedures.

Parking

  • The Centre’s car park has space for 16 cars and some bicycles. It is important that free passage in both directions along Oakley Gardens is assured for neighbouring residents and for any emergency vehicles.

  • When the car park is full, additional parking can be found in the public car park, adjoining the Cross and Stable Church. This is just across V9 Overstreet in Downs Barn. (There is a pedestrian underpass). If you are a large group please advise participants of these constraints prior to the event and appoint someone on the day to direct and enable parking.

  • If participants do park on the street they must not leave their vehicles in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road. Complaints from our neighbours about parking in these circumstances may result in the driver being asked to move their car. If the driver cannot readily be identified the matter may be referred to the police.

Hirers’ Publicity and Advertising Material

  • Please ensure the hirer’s contact details are given on any publicity for your meetings. Mail sent to the hirer at the Quaker Centre will not be distributed.

  • Hirer’s publicity should also be clear that your meeting is not held under the auspices of Milton Keynes Quakers.

  • Hirer’s publicity should not be attached to notice boards or otherwise left out in the Quaker Centre.

Legal Responsibility

  • Use of the premises is at your own risk. The trustees do not accept any responsibility or liability for any loss, including loss of earnings and loss by theft or damage to personal effects, property or equipment brought into the Quaker Centre by your group. In addition, you are responsible for any liability that may arise from any of your activities in the Centre.

  • Milton Keynes Quakers holds Public Liability Insurance but this only covers liability for claims against the Meeting or its members.

  • As no TV Licence is in place for these premises we do not provide any device for visitors to watch or record live TV; nor do we permit visitors to use their own devices to watch or record live TV using the Quaker Centre mains electricity. (Visitors will only be covered by their own TV Licence if their device is being powered solely by its internal batteries).

Queries and Complaints

  • Booking queries should be addressed to the Warden.

  • Queries about the Terms and Conditions of Hire or complaints should be addressed to The Convenor of Finance and Property Committee, The Quaker Centre, 1 Oakley Gardens, Downhead Park, MK15 9BH.