Letter: Stifled by regulations

I ENQUIRED about booking the sports hall at Southwater Leisure Centre for my seven-year-old son and some of his school friends to play football for an hour. You would think that would be fairly straightforward, wouldn’t you?

My two questions were, how much and is it available. First question answered no problem, a very reasonable £18.69, great. Next, yes it is available, brilliant!

Now at this point it got complicated. Before proceeding there were questions that needed to be answered. Did I have £10m insurance cover! What? It’s a new rule the parish council has introduced, explained the helpful lady at the leisure centre.

Next some more details about me. Am I a qualified coach? Well, no, is that a problem? Well it could be.

I explained my son’s under sevens school team had missed football training for a few weeks so I was enquiring how much it would cost to use the hall for an hour.

Things were getting complicated, the lady would need to speak to her boss and phone me back. Matters didn’t really improve when she called back.

Was this an official booking on behalf of the school? Well not really, I just want to use the hall to play football in, is that a problem. Well, yes. If it’s a school booking you only need £5m cover!

Wow, that almost seems a bargain compared to the £10m! Would a qualified coach be taking the session?

Well probably not, is that a problem? Could be. Would the parents be stopping? Um, I haven’t asked them yet.

So unless it’s booked through the school it sounded like I needed £10m cover, a qualified coach, and parents on hand to attend to any impending disaster.

At this point, exasperated I gave up.

Doesn’t this kind thing of sum up how fear of litigation and numerous rules governing everything you try and do just stifles any development?

MARK BENSUSAN

Depot Road, Horsham