REGULATIONS covering the evacuation of buildings have rendered a number of council premises no longer available for evening community lets.
Instead, organisations will be assisted to find other suitable local meeting places owned by the council where the local authority can meet the requirements of the regulations.
There will no longer be out of hours lets of the first floor premises at Brechin Town House Museum and Forfar’s Meffan Museum, among others in Angus.
Users groups will be notified of the changes, and staff resources will be deployed meantime to enable existing bookings to be honoured.
Convener of neighbourhood services, Jim Millar, said: ”As a council, we are required to, and do, comply with all health and safety and equalities legislation related to access to our buildings.
“Unfortunately, the application of safe evacuation regulations means it will no longer be feasible or appropriate for the council to resource, or allow organisations to take on the responsibility of evacuating members of the public with unknown escape requirements, from the first floor of buildings.
“Safer and practical ground floor accommodation is available in each burgh for public meetings.
“During working hours, good building management and availability of staff allows evacuation to be carried out if the need arises, but the issue of safe evacuation becomes problematic when first floor premises are let for public meetings in the evenings.
“Council officers will work with the various groups which use the buildings mentioned, to find suitable alternative council-owned accommodation for meetings.”
The council’s neighbourhood services committee last week noted the requirements of the safe evacuation regulations and agreed to the proposals.