Young dancers kicked out of Community Centre

Contributed by editor on Jan 12, 2005 - 11:36 PM


A children’s modelling and dance academy, which held classes at Hawkinge Community Centre, has been told it is no longer welcome after the Principal complained about the behaviour of a member of staff there.

It follows an alleged incident at the academy’s Christmas show held at the Community Centre on the evening of December 20th, 2004.

Frances Metcalfe, who runs the Franze Academy of Modelling and Commercial Jazz, said: “I was put in a position where I had to complain about the behaviour of a member of staff.

“I had a meeting with the management and was told to put my complaint in writing and that an investigation would be held.

“On December 29th I received a letter informing me that there had been a thorough investigation into my complaint and that we were no longer able to use the Community Centre, with immediate effect.

“At this stage they had not even received my written complaint.�

Bewildered by this response Mrs Metcalfe contacted the Chairman of the centre’s Board of Trustees, John Heasman, who claimed to have no knowledge of either the alleged incident or the letter informing her she was no longer able to hold classes there.

She took her fight to last night’s (Wednesday) meeting of the Parish Council where she demanded to know whether or not there is an official complaints procedure in place at the Community Centre and asked for their definition of “a thorough investigation�.

She told members of the Parish Council, including John Heasman and George Hodgson who are both on the Board of Trustees at the Community Centre: “To my mind this was a well-run show.

“I was the compere and had a Kent County Council licensed chaperone taking care of the children backstage as well as parents helping out.�

Cllr Heasman said she was welcome to hold her classes in the Village Hall in future if she wished.

Cllr Hodgson said that the Trustees were in the process of preparing a statement regarding the matter.