A group of British pensioners have been barred from enjoying a coffee morning at a public library for health and safety reasons, say reports.
The seven members of the coffee morning for over 50s have met at Eye Library in Eye, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, every Tuesday for the last four years without incident.
AdvertisementHowever, the council has now banned the elderly group from holding meetings claiming that toddlers from a nearby nursery, who use the library at the same time, could be injured if hot coffee spilt on them.
They now arrange their coffee mornings at each other's homes.
Derek Taylor, one member of the coffee club, condemned the "laughable" move and claimed they would usually finish their drinks by the time the toddlers arrived for their half hour visit.
"It is just laughable really. It is health and safety gone through the roof," the Telegraph quoted Taylor as saying.
"Nearly four years ago we set up a coffee morning at Eye Library after the librarian at the time came up with the idea, and since then about seven of us have been going there every Tuesday.
"About three weeks ago a toddlers group started coming up on the Tuesday as well, and then this week when we went, we were told that we would not be allowed any tea or coffee because of health and safety reasons because there is a risk we could spill hot tea on the children.
"However, we understand that is not the case at all, because we have always finished our drinks before the children even arrive, and that it is the case that the librarian doesn't want to wash up extra cups.
"It is very disappointing, we all thoroughly enjoy the weekly meeting, it is a chance for us all to catch up and have a chat," Taylor added.
A spokesman for Peterborough City Council, which runs the library, said: "Eye Library is a small library and there were concerns about hot drinks being served to the group when there were small children sitting very close by. However, we do not want to spoil anyone's fun, and will be speaking to both groups to see if we can be more flexible about the timings so that the nursery group are not in the library at the time the coffee morning is meeting."