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Hundreds fight to save Brighton and Hove music service
Hundreds of campaigners are fighting plans to end a subsidy to a music service ranked “outstanding” for the last three years.
About 2,500 youngsters a week, including 500 families from low income backgrounds, are involved in schemes offered by the Brighton and Hove music and arts service. But Brighton and Hove City Council’s Green administration has proposed ending the local authority subsidy of more than £200,000 as part of its plans to save £35 million in the next two years.
It claims the Government-imposed cuts mean it cannot sustain the grant.
More than 1,000 people signed an online petition against the ending of the music service subsidy within four days of it going live.
Dozens more have signed paper petitions.
According to the Greens’ budget proposals, the council subsidy will be reduced over two years.
This is in addition to a 33% reduction in the Department for Education grant from £346,923 in 2013 to £237,872 by 2014.
Finance cabinet member Jason Kitcat, who said the Government plans were published five days before the authority’s own proposals, said: “We recognise the excellent work of the music service – its funding is just one of many difficult choices councillors face.
“It is currently the highest council music subsidy in the country; in the face of the cuts the government are imposing on us we can no longer sustain it.”
Hove MP Mike Weatherley, who is chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for music education, said: “These planned cuts by the Green administration will have a massively detrimental impact on music and music education in the city.
“Having been praised nationally for the creative music opportunities for children, it’s outrageous that this service is being cut.”
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