SECURITY STAFF are to man the doors at large events at the Civic Hall in Uppermill in the wake of the Manchester and London terrorist attacks.
The recommendation was approved by Saddleworth Parish Council at their June meeting, following a proposal by their Estates Committee.
It explained: “Following the recent Manchester and London terrorist attacks, the Clerk has issued staff with ID badges and has asked staff to be more vigilant and keep doors and windows closed and locked when rooms are not in use.
“Cllr Graham Sheldon said the Civic Hall would be a fairly easy target and suggested that event organisers be informed that they need to hire professional security personnel, at their own expense.
“The Clerk added that recently there had been a number of instances when the attendance had exceeded the limit for the hall licence and complaints had been received from neighbouring properties about noise due to the doors being left open.”
Addressing the council meeting, Cllr Sheldon said it would cost around £200 to hire two staff for the evening, and it would only be compulsory for large events.
The ballroom at the Civic Hall can hold up to 350 people, with another 100 in the balcony above, and is host to a variety of social events, weddings, brass band and music concerts.
Cllr Sheldon added: “We must ensure the safety of all our staff and members of the public at the numerous events at the Hall. In these uncertain times we have to be vigilant.
“It holds a large number of people but that can be a problem if there is an emergency and no one to manage it.
“There are already staff there at some events, such as Phil Beckwith’s brass concerts as he always has two members of staff on the doors upstairs.”
Cllr John Hudson commented: “It would be a blow for little charity events. I’ve organised around 200 in my time and I know we couldn’t have afforded something like this.
“But if there’s an event with 300 or 400 people then I do think you need that extra security.”
Cllr Pam Byrne added: “I went to a gig recently at the George Lawton Hall in Mossley and they had two security staff on the door who checked our bags and monitored the event.
“It wasn’t a nuisance and it all seems to go smoothly. So it’s not just us suggesting this, other people have it in place already.”
The recommendation passed with one abstention from Cllr Katrina Roman, who said: “We can’t live in a culture of fear and I think this is perhaps a bit of overkill.”