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Cuts to school music service and freezing school budgets – have you had your say on Wrexham Council’s plans?

There are just over two weeks left to take part in Wrexham Council’s Difficult Decisions consultation and make your opinions heard on plans to save £13 million.

Since 2008 Wrexham Council has made savings / cuts of £52 million across all departments and services across the county. Between 2018-20 a further £13 million needs to be cut.

Over the past few weeks Wrexham Council has shone the spotlight on the different sections of the consultation, with this week’s focus being on the proposals for the education department.

One of the more controversial proposals put forward in the consultation has surrounded music services provided at local schools – with Wrexham Council proposing that they stop its funding.

Currently Wrexham Council provides a music service to schools which :includes peripatetic instrument tuition (i.e. tutors visiting different schools), facilitating orchestras and youth choirs to a number of pupils.

However as this service is not a legal requirement, Wrexham Council are proposing the funding is withdrawn, saving approximately £300,000 in 2019/20

In October Wrexham.com reported that the proposals had generated a strong response locally, with thousands signing a petition calling on Wrexham Council to reconsider.

A total of 14,625 people have now pledged their support to the campaign.

The second education related proposal in the consultation is that the amount of money allocated to schools for the next two years is frozen.

Details provided in the Difficult Decision consultation, state: “For a number of years the Council has protected school budgets. It is proposed that schools’ budgets are protected and given the same allocation as 2017/18 but not increased over the next two years.

“This means that schools will be required to meet growth pressures and inflation which are currently estimated at £1,158,000 in 2018/19 and a further £1,408,000 in 2019/20. This proposal has been consulted on with the School Budget Forum. ”

There are just over two weeks left for you to take part and have your say in Wrexham Council’s Difficult Decisions consultation.

There are a number of ways you can let Wrexham Council know what you think of the proposals:

– Please complete the survey – either online or in paper version to say what extent you agree with the proposals Wrexham Council are making.
– There will be more detailed consultations conducted with service users for some of these proposals – which will also contribute to the decision making process.
– You could also write to ‘Tell Us What You Think’. 3rd Floor Annex. The Guildhall. Wrexham. LL11 1AY
– Or email telluswhatyouthink@wrexham.gov.uk (please mark your correspondence ‘Difficult Decisions’)

The responses submitted will help the decision making process for the new budget in January / February 2018.

A document outlining Wrexham Council’s proposals can be found here. You can fill in the online consultation here and you have until November 30th to do so!

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