Castres. Renting a room: A blow to everyone for the university

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From Wednesday, associations will have to pay to use the city’s rooms, and in particular the Maison des associations. For all, the University is particularly affected.

Since Covid, the University for All (UPT) is slowly getting back on its feet. The Tarn association, which offers the largest number of activities, is not as well funded as it could be, but the members are hopeful. However, facing inflation in electricity and gas prices, the city of Castres has decided to introduce tariffs for the rent of municipal buildings. News that makes UPT uncomfortable.

“The main problem is paying bills. Our bank accounts are already in the red. So this announcement goes from red to red to red,” said UPT director Karine Pinel. This decision, which was taken at the municipal council on December 13, comes too late. Contacted by La Dépêche du Midi, the municipality explains that “the price network already existed. But until now we did not need to implement it”.

The news was not officially shared with them until a month later. The time for the association to stand up is very short. “We cannot operate in the same way. We have to find solutions,” he says. They chain the board to find a suitable and quick solution. “The news is still fresh, so we don’t have a solution yet,” admits the director. But the team remains very motivated and optimistic about the situation. What is certain is that they will finish the season with their members as they refuse to cancel the program.

Abandoning castrates: the final solution

A very effective decision for them. All conferences and seminars are organized in the Maison des Associations and the offices of the Castrese office are located on the second floor of the building. With €4 per hour for small rooms, €40 per half day for a Jeanne Cabrol room and €22 per m2 per year for offices, the budget quickly escalates. What worries them the most is the future of their employees: “We don’t just have volunteers in the association. Some of them are employees, which means we have salaries. It can put families in a difficult situation.” Despite everything, the whole team is eager to stay in Castres: “We are all very attached to it. This year, it’s been 25 years since we started meeting here. We thought about leaving for a moment. But it’s impossible!”, he says. Karina. Today, the vision of the long-term perspective is still blurred, but the will of the union is unwavering. Castres remains a city very close to their hearts. “Everything is being done to avoid having to leave the city.”

Apaj-Zebu: “Blow to morale”

The decision to charge for the use of rooms also affects other structures available at the Maison des Associations. On the same floor as UPT, Apaj-Zébu faces the same problems. President Jean-Francois Castile informed us about the state of the association for the prevention of accidents among young people, in particular, it offers training courses to restore points on the driver’s license and an escort service for people who cannot drive again. according to the blood alcohol level.

When did you find out about the city council’s decision?

Early January, I think. The receptionist informed us. We had a meeting and he explained the situation to us. Just as a network was put in place due to inflation to participate in the operation of the building. What does the board do two weeks after.

What is the effect on the union?

We are not a small union, so we do better than some. After that, we will especially lose a large part of our municipal subsidies. I understand the decision, no problem. We have four courses of two days each during the year. This costs us an additional hundred euros per course for room rental. And then our offices are here. So we will have to pay rent for the space we use. We are somewhat between a rock and a hard place.

What solutions are envisaged?

You would think that leaving Castres would be a solution, but in the end it will cost us more. Changing the building is also not an option. The prices of our courses are quite low, so we will consider raising them a little. By making this decision, it will allow you to slightly reduce the additional costs that this decision entails. We’re not looking for profitability, but we can’t afford to practice at a loss either. The second solution we are considering is to use the rooms of the building as little as possible. We don’t know how yet, but it’s all coming together. Admittedly, this remains a complicated story that adds to our problems. In addition to trying to find volunteers, managing this budget thing is a blow to morale. But gradually everything will return to normal. Then anyway, we’ll deal with it!

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