Ceredigion cuts music funding 'to live within our means'

Ceredigion young musicians Image copyright Friends of Ceredigion Young Musicians
Image caption The music service gives youngsters the opportunity to play in bands and orchestras

Schools in Ceredigion have to change the way they provide music tuition due to cuts in funding for education, councillors have been told.

Two of ten jobs at the council's music service will go, and some pupils will be charged for music lessons as a third of the scheme's £500,000 budget is cut.

Council leader Ellen ap Gwynn pointed out that schools had lost 24 teaching assistant posts in wider funding cuts.

"We have to live within our means," she told her cabinet colleagues.

'Successful and respected'

Campaigners have warned that cuts to funding for the service - which helped launch the career of renowned harpist Catrin Finch - could "rip the heart" out of music-making in Ceredigion.

Giving feedback from a scrutiny committee, Councillor Wyn Thomas said the music service was "successful and respected".

"Members expressed disappointment that it was necessary to change the service provision," he added.

The committee wanted cabinet to give "due consideration" to the service and have further discussions with those involved before exploring all options.

However, Councillor ap Gwynn said the loss of two jobs was an internal staffing decision, following on from the council's need to save £6m this year.

The revised music service will allow pupils to continue to access tuition for a variety of instruments, as well as ensembles, orchestras and choirs, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Pupils wanting instrument tuition will now be charged £140 a year for a guaranteed 15-minute weekly lesson, with the money to be kept by the music service.

However, those receiving free school meals, or taking music at GCSE or A level, will not have to pay.

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