A music co-operative set up to provide an alternative service for schools has been praised by Denbighshire County Council for actually increasing participation and providing a wide choice of tuition for the county’s pupils.
The Council announced in late 2014 that it would be cutting the funding provided to Gwasanaeth Ysgolion Wiliam Mathias School Music Service, as part of wider cuts introduced to the budget. Following this decision, the Council said it would explore an alternative provision and the Denbighshire Music Co-operative was set up in April 2015.
Over the summer, a Task and Finish Group set up by the Council to examine the impact of cuts has been looking at the music service and was delighted to hear that the co-operative has gone from strength to strength, with more pupils than ever before are now receiving music tuition in the county. Over 2,200 pupils are receiving lessons on a weekly basis on a range of instruments and vocally and the six ensembles in the county are continuing.
Denbighshire continues to loan instruments to the co-operative free of charge.
Councillor Huw Hilditch Roberts, Chair of the Task and Finish Group, said: “We have been looking at some of the bigger cuts introduced to understand their real impact on communities and the music service has been the latest issue under the spotlight.
“At the time the cut was introduced, there was concern that Denbighshire pupils would miss out on school music tuition, but the Council made a commitment to look at providing the service in an alternative way, whilst still making the financial saving.
“The music co-operative set up in 2015 is providing to be really successful and we would like to congratulate the whole team for their hard work, diligence and motivation in making the co-operative work, for the benefit of Denbighshire pupils and for turning that vision into a thriving business.
Councillor Eryl Williams, Cabinet Lead Member for Education, said: “We are delighted that there has been such a positive outcome to this issue which was resolved through such positive discussions between the Council and the music service.
“The setting up of the Co-operative means that so many of our children and young people are able to continue accessing the music lessons, creating a new generation of musical performers in the county.
“The Council has written to the Music Co-operative to congratulate them on their success”.