COUNCIL LEADER DENIES CLAIMS THAT CEREDIGION’S MUSIC SERVICE WILL BE SCRAPPED

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Tivyside Advertiser photographer - Ceredigion council leader Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn

SOCIAL media claims that Ceredigion council’s music service will be scrapped have been dismissed by the local authority’s leader.

Tivyside Advertiser reported “Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn said no decisions had been made but the service would be “restructured” as all services were in the current financial climate when concerns were raised at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting (March 19).

Aberystwyth councillor Ceredig Davies had highlighted online his fears for music in schools, with many others joining the debate, including Cllr ap Gwynn.

On Tuesday, Cllr Davies said, during discussions on the current budget position, that he would like to draw councillors’ attention to “discussion on social media” and asked for more information from the leader.

“There are real concerns out there, as we all know,” he added.

Cllr ap Gwynn said that a scrutiny committee was due to discuss the music service at a meeting next month.

“Nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen but the outside world seems to know better than us.

“There has not been a decision, people out there seem to think that people know better than us but no decision has been made internally,” said Cllr ap Gwynn.

She added that the additional money from council tax increases went straight to schools while music was provided by the central council education service.

“There is no intention to cut this service completely but perhaps we need to restructure how the scheme works” she added, reminding councillors that the authority faced a further £6million in cuts next year.

A statement from the council press office said: “It is regrettable that incorrect and misleading reports have been published in relation to the music service review prior to any proposals or meaningful discussions taking place.

“The council is looking very carefully at the delivery model to see if efficiencies can be achieved without compromise to quality. It is not the intention of the council to cease with the provision as suggested by many.

“The aspiration is to maintain provision and performing opportunities but at the same time reducing overhead costs and ensuring better value for money, as with every other service across the council.

“Ceredigion music service is currently the highest-funded music service in Wales. Several alternative delivery models will be considered over the coming weeks that will maintain access to lessons but reduce the overall cost of the service.

“It is envisaged that whatever delivery model is agreed upon, Ceredigion will remain among the highest funded music service providers in Wales” here.

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