CONCERN over proposed changes to the way Fife Council halls are booked have been expressed by members of Cupar Community Council.
The matter was raised at last week’s meeting of the community council by member Barbara Dow, who understood that new arrangements would be in place next year.
Mrs Dow - through her involvement with Cupar Floral Art Club, which meets in the Corn Exchange - believed that a centralised booking system was to be introduced.
It was possible, she said, that clubs and organisations might not be able to get all their regular booking dates.
“The present arrangement seems to be working well, so why do the council want to alter it?”
Her views were shared by Ed Cook, who was worried that, with different charges across Fife and a centralised booking system, organisations in other parts of the region may find the Corn Exchange the “cheaper option”.
Fife Council Community Resources Team Leader, Gary Daniell, said this week: “We are at the early stages of considering a centralised booking and billing system.
“However, the working group have not yet met to discuss how an integrated system might work.
“We certainly won’t remove local booking contacts, but hope to make it easier for anyone to make a booking at any time.
“We don’t take informal reservations from individuals or groups.
“A facility has to be booked and anyone has a right to book a venue if it’s still available.
“The pricing system will also be reviewed and standardised across Fife, although there will obviously be price differences depending on the type and size of facility.
“A pricing proposal will be taken to the executive committee at some point in the future for councillors to take a decision.”
Cupar councillor Margaret Kennedy said on Tuesday that she welcomed measures to ensure fairness in the council’s booking systems.
“However, I would be very concerned should we lose the local relationships we have around the use of our establishments.
“It is therefore good to hear that the officers are indicating that people can still book face to face locally.
“ I look forward to the opportunity of commenting on the proposals the executive will consider in due course.”