Lithgow City Council has made public comments about its intentions for the Vale Hall. This followed social media commentary from the local community group who use the hall – the Vale Ladies. The group had indicated that they would cease to operate if the Council required licencing for their exclusive use of the Vale Hall.

The Council General Manager, Craig Butler explained, “Councils are not legally able to allow one group to exclusively use a public hall unless there is a lease or licence agreement in place.”

“The Council has been working productively towards cleaning up a number of historical arrangements to bring those up to today’s requirements. As a result, exclusive use leases are now in place for a number of Lithgow’s many public halls. This goal is almost fulfilled, with just a few agreements still to be entered.”

“In each case, we have worked co-operatively with the community groups and only a nominal annual rental fee is charged. Also, the Council retains responsibility for all substantial maintenance obligations. The community groups are only responsible for minor matters like cleaning, waste management and the changing of light globes. Insurance must also be maintained because we cannot have visitors to the premises left exposed should there be any accidents”

Mr Butler concluded, “There is no need for the Vale Ladies to be concerned about this process. Lithgow Council is immensely supportive of their continuing operation, as we are for the many other community groups across the city. The Vale Ladies have been invited to meet with Council staff to discuss any concerns they have.”