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A councillor has hit out at the membership of a subcommittee -which did not meet in public – formed to discuss changes to Ceredgion’s music service.

Aberystwyth representative Cllr Ceredig Davies has spoken out against cuts to music provision in the county’s schools and has made public his criticisms following a meeting to discuss the issue.

He said that a work stream meeting was held on April 3 for councillors to receive information and discuss the potential changes to the music service.

Cllr Davies said his objections to the membership make-up “fell on deaf ears.”

“All the councillors were members of the ruling coalition with no representation from the opposition group.

“Council committees should have cross party political balance or at least cross party political representation, but so large and dominating is the coalition group they always have the sway on such matters,” said Cllr Davies.

He said that facts and figures regarding the cost of running the service in Ceredigion, along with comparisons with other authorities, were presented during a two-and-a-half hour meeting.

“There was little detail on how the service would look in the future as discussions were still ongoing between senior education staff and members of the music service,” he added.

During discussion councillors gave their opinions, Cllr Davies said, with the main themes the importance of the service to young people in Ceredigion and that councillors felt they had not been adequately informed.

The results of the work stream meeting will be put on the agenda of the next learning communities overview and scrutiny committee on May 9, which will be open to the public.

A spokesman for Ceredigoin County Council said the work stream meeting was told the music service spends £65 per pupil – the highest in Wales – and despite a 32.4 per cent reduction would still be more than double the second highest spending council.
“The new service plan will offer a standard cost for instrument and vocal provision, to include lessons, ensembles, orchestras and choirs. This ensures fairness for families across the county. The current models allows schools to charge different amounts, with some schools not charging at all, and the highest charging £175 per year. The new model would allow the Music Service to retain all of the income generated from charging for provision,” he added.

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