Council ‘upset’ after Rothwell birthday party no-show

Rothwell Community Centre in Well Lane. NNL-180612-153532005
Rothwell Community Centre in Well Lane. NNL-180612-153532005

A boy’s first ever birthday party ended in disappointment after council workers didn’t turn up to open the Rothwell venue.

Jane Feasey, 61, booked to have the Kettering Council-run Rothwell Community Centre for three hours on December 2 for her grandson Milo’s fifth birthday.

She had arranged for 25 children to attend and spent an estimated £260 in total on the booking, entertainment and food.

But when they turned up the Well Lane venue was locked and the out-of-hours numbers they were given were not in use.

Jane said: “We went through all of the terms and conditions and paid for it but when we got there, there was nobody to open up.

“We couldn’t get through to anyone. The emergency number they gave was an old one.”

Half an hour after they should have been in the venue they gave up and went back to Jane’s house.

A couple of family members stayed at the centre to re-direct people but still nobody came to open up.

Jane later spoke to Kettering Council and was told the failure was a result of human error.

She is now in discussions with them about compensation.

Jane said: “Milo opened his presents and we had a cup of tea but we couldn’t really hold the party there.

“I was quite upset and a bit disappointed.

“I’ve spoken at length with the council and they were very apologetic.

“They are taking it very seriously and looking at compensation. We had to throw a lot of food away.”

A Kettering Council spokesman said the issue was caused by human error relating to the timing of the booking of the venue and scheduling of staff to open and close it and that they were genuinely upset by what had happened.

The spokesman said: “It’s also come to light that the number on the database for the out of hours service was not accurate.

“We are reviewing the information they have been provided with and making sure that it is up to date.

“Excluding regular/weekly bookings, we have had 130 one-off bookings to date this year to date across the four community centres, 30 of these being in the Rothwell centre.

“We have, of course, apologised to the family involved and are in discussions with them regarding any financial loss.

“Staff are genuinely very upset that this happened, and are seeking to ensure that it is not repeated.

“Going forward, we have reviewed and amended our booking process to ensure that it does not happen again with a failsafe back up arrangement now also in place.”