Council u-turn has students dancing with delight

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Supporters of Kirkham Henry Performing Arts Centre are dancing with delight after a dramatic U-turn by council bosses.

Early last week, North Yorkshire County Council imposed “no waiting at any time” parking restrictions on a stretch of road next door to the dance school on Horsemarket Road, Malton, with enforcement officers then issuing several cars with parking tickets.

But the move angered and concerned principal Angela Kirkham who said the few spaces available were needed by parents to pick up and drop off her students who are taught at the school on week day afternoons and evenings and on Saturdays.

She also feared the safety of the youngsters, some as young as five, would be put at risk if they had to wait by the roadside for their mums or dads.

There had never been a restriction on that piece of road in her 25 years based at the centre, added Angela, as well as no notification to her or residents about its introduction.

But, thanks to the efforts of County Cllr Lindsay Burr and supporter Derek Rowell as well as her own dogged determination, the enforcement officers took down the sign at the end of last week – much to the joy of everyone at Kirkham Henry.

“It is absolutely fantastic,” said Angela. “Fingers crossed it will stay that way now. Parents are coming in and saying ‘well done,’ some of them had already been issued tickets without having seen the sign, so they are now writing to the council to get reimbursed. They should never have had a ticket in the first place.”

There was even some mischief in mind at the fed-up dance school as Angela and senior students had some fun and posed for photos with the pole where the sign had been.

Angela said: “I was so down about it all that I thought I have got to pick myself up somehow. I thought, ‘what can I do?’ so I put up a poster on the pole, reading ‘Keep Calm and Pole Dance!’”

A North Yorkshire County Councils spokesman said: “We understand that the parking restriction is causing a problem for the dance studio and we will therefore consider alterations to parking in the location to try to improve matters for the school.”

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