A petition has been launched opposing Wrexham Council’s proposals to cut its ‘comprehensive music service to schools’.
Yesterday Wrexham.com reported that Wrexham Council had unveiled a range of plans to make budget savings, that will likely be formalised next week and some put out to specific public consultation, and all open to an ‘any other comments section’.
Wrexham Council say that over the next two years (2018/19 and 2019/20) there is an estimated budget shortfall of around £13m over the next two years.
As a result a number of proposals / plans to cut service and jobs have been put forward ahead of an Executive Board meeting next week.
One of the proposals put forward is to withdraw funding for music services to schools, as it is something done out of choice by the Council rather than a legal requirement.
A draft consultation document published on the Wrexham Council website, states: “The Council currently provides a very comprehensive 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 across the Borough.
“This is not a statutory service and it is therefore proposed that the Council withdraws the funding for this music service.”
It is anticipated the cuts to the service could generate savings of approximately £300,000 in 2019/20.
If the proposals to cut the service are approved, members of the public will be able to say whether they strongly agree or disagree with the plan and offer their comments.
The proposals have resulted in the launch of this public petition to save Wrexham’s music service. At the time of writing the petition has almost 390 of 1000 signatures target.
The online petition states: “Wrexham County Borough Council have released this week (w.c. 16th Oct.) that they will be cutting the Wrexham Music Service due to funding!
“This will mean many children will not be able to have vocal or instrumental lessons in school meaning they will have to (pay) a huge amount of money and go privately.
“Please support the young musicians of Wrexham County and save the Wrexham Music Services!”
The person behind the petition is a a pupil at a Wrexham school, who told us: “I have been having piano and vocal lessons since I started. I sing in the County choir too. I feel that if Wrexham Council decided to take the Music Service away I think that many children will be without lessons and will have to pay an awful amount of money if they want to carry on!”
A number of people have also expressed their thoughts on the proposals on the Wrexham.com Facebook Page, and some on twitter:
Cutting the music service is wrong children already pay for lessons and to go to the county clubs,why not reduce the amount of councillors!
— MrRawlinson (@MrRawlinson1411) October 19, 2017
If I were wanting to turn up the heat on Wrexham councillors I’d ask 1) Did you have free music lessons as a kid?
— Benji W (@benjiw) October 19, 2017
— McH (@brooklynwho) October 19, 2017
Music services at risk nooo 😯. The platform offered via the youth orchestra’s plays a huge part in shaping youth musicians @IanCLucas help!
— Lisa / Tobacco Road (@Lijoh1) October 19, 2017
— Rhiannon Wyn ⚓ (@rhi_wyn) October 19, 2017
Cutting music services is terrible. Children in deprived areas have saved to buy their own instruments as loved their lessons so much.
— R Sparey-Taylor (@rebeccaBug) October 19, 2017
Its a disgrace to cut music provision in schools. How much is Arts Hub costing? Surely that money better spent securing music in schools?
— Matthew Ellis (@MatthewEllis72) October 19, 2017
Sad to see potential funding cuts to the music service. Being in St David’s band/choir this played a huge part of my education
— Chloe Lloyd (@cloclo_) October 19, 2017
The proposals will be debated by the Executive Board at 10am on Tuesday 24th October. For those who can’t attend the meeting it will be webcast online.
It is anticipated that the ‘Difficult Decisions’ consultation will launch on October 25th after Executive Board approval.
You can read our report detailing other planned / proposed cuts to services, here