'Our Sheffield Town Hall wedding is on Thursday and council still can't tell us how many we can have there'

When the lifting of lockdown restrictions on July 19 was announced, Paul Shaw thought his wedding at Sheffield Town Hall on Thursday was perfectly timed.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 12:05 pm

With the service due to take place at the Hallam Room at the iconic landmark building, he expected he would be able to have the full 56 capacity in terms at the ceremony, rather than the 30 that it had been limited to under the earlier restrictions.

But now he claims he has been told that his service on July 22 could still only have 30 people – because the council has not been able to carry out a risk assessment yet.

He said: “After July 19, we assumed that the numbers we could have would be lifted.

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Sheffield Town Hall. Picture Scott Merrylees

“But when I contacted them about this, they have just told me that they have not made a decision yet.

"There are lots of people in the same situation as me on this. I’ve spoken to them and they’re still waiting for the people upstairs to make a decision to do the risk assessment.

"I can’t understand why these risk assessments were not done on July 12 when we knew that the restrictions were going to be lifted.

"I thought a public organisation like the council would have been one of the first to have got organised over something like this.

"I feel really disappointed because we thought that we would be relaxed at this stage, and looking forward to our big day.”

Paul, aged 36, from Heeley, was originally due to marry his partner of 12 years, who did not want to be named in the story, in July 2020. but the couple put it back because of the restrictions that were still in place last summer.

He said the couple have had to cut their guest list for the service down to 30. He said those they had invited had been very understanding, and said they were looking forward to seeing them after the service.

Paul said he had also asked his MP to look at the situation.

Councillor Julie Grocutt, executive member for community engagement and governance, and deputy leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “We know how important everyone’s wedding day is to them and we are doing everything we can to keep both guests and staff safe in our ceremony rooms.

"To maintain social distancing we are restricting the number of guests at ceremonies in the Town Hall and following our risk assessment we can safely allow 48 guests.

"We have advised all couples with upcoming weddings of the arrangements.

"We would love to have allowed more guests but with cases rising nationally and in Sheffield we must remain vigilant. We wish Paul and his family a lovely day on Thursday and we will do all we can to keep everyone safe.”

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.