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Brighton and Hove City Council cuts support for music lessons
Musicians in Brighton are set to feel the pain of further cuts.
Those looking to take up music lessons with Brighton Music Trust are facing a 4.5% rise in tuition fees.
And those on income support or other subsisidies could also be hit.
Some 2,500 children enjoy the music service each week including 500 families from low income backgrounds.
But the Music Service has to find savings of £53,000 in its budget following council cuts.
It is also set to lose out on £69,000 funding from the Arts Council, meaning £122,000 in total will need to be countered for.
The council admitted this could lead to even higher rises.
A report to the Children and Young People committee said: “The increase in fees may have an impact on numbers learning and access to learning for pupils with parents/carers on low income and other CYP in challenging circumstances.
“[The Arts Council cuts] will require the trust to decide whether to further increase fees or reduce areas of expenditure.”
Group lessons currently cost £81 a term, with subsidies of up to 80% for those on income support, while advanced scheme instrumental lessons cost £158.50 a term.
Councillor Vanessa Brown, who sits on the committee, expressed her fears about the hikes.
She said: “I have concerns about the rise in music and arts fees.
“We have a wonderful service in this city but it will stop if we keep cutting money.
“It seems like a huge amount.
“This is an excellent service and we should be encouraging it.
“Brighton and Hove has always been proud of its wonderful music and this will make it very difficult to continue to the same standards.”
The council explained other services would be available to those affected, such as via a child’s school.
The rises were agreed at the committee meeting yesterday (January 14).
Budding musicians will have to wait until later in the year to see if additional rises kick in once the Arts Council grant is removed.
Talking point: To what extent do you think increasing the cost of music classes will impact on children's education? How important is music? Share your views by commenting below or email The Argus letters pages at firstname.lastname@example.org
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