Good questions Minimus, as always!
I have been out for a couple of years now, but it was not long before we left that our circuit went from a three way split in using the Ass hall - An A, B, and C part of the circuit, back to just an A and B. That's pretty significant to me. When the circuit 'split' into two then three parts, the Ass hall was getting pretty full. After the return to just A and B, it didn't seem too full really. Could just be that Ass attendance is down, but likely the whole circuit is down in numbers.