Pupils will lose out in music cuts

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MUSICAL students in Bedford Borough will still be able to hone their skills, but those living in areas governed by Central Beds Council could miss out.

While Bedford Borough Council has protected access to music tuition for local school children, Central Beds Council is considering plans to cut all its funding for the shared service.

The Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson said: “I will simply not allow Central Beds Council’s unilateral decision to cut all its funding for the music service to damage access to this excellent service in Bedford Borough.

“We are protecting music tuition in the borough, giving all children and young people the chance to enjoy music and the positive impact it can have.

“Access to high quality music tuition and further opportunities in music must not only be for the children of the very well off.”

Bedfordshire Music provides instrumental tuition and other music opportunities in the county.

On a weekly basis, it provides lessons and area music centre activities for children, young people and adults.

Councillor Anita Lewis, portfolio holder for children’s services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Bedfordshire Music is currently a shared service between Central Beds Council and Bedford Borough Council.

“The shared service agreement is due to expire at the end of March and we are moving forward with a proposal to disaggregate the service from Bedford Borough at the end of the summer term.

“The future provision of a music service in Central Beds is subject to review and consultation. The consultation will be undertaken with schools and interested parties and will consider alternative ways of delivering a music service provision to the children and young people in Central Beds.”