EDUCATION chief, Norman Davies, has defended the decision to axe the council’s subsidy to Solihull Music Service.
As we reported earlier in the month, the organisation has lost all funding from the local authority, and will have to raise all its money from grants, concerts, and private tuition.
Local authority support had been cut from £300,000 in 2008 to £210,000 in 2009 and £140,000 last year. It has now ceased altogether.
At last week’s Full Council meeting, Coun Davies outlined how the service would work under the new structure.
It will be divided into two teams – a musical education team of staff on teacher’s pay and conditions, and a second team of instrumental teachers employed on a one-on-one basis.
Councillor Davies, cabinet member for children and young people said: “Many local authorities have either stopped, or cut music services adrift. We haven’t done that.
“There’s been a lot of advice and help and they can continue to use the council’s internal communications system, legal advice, and treasurer’s advice.
“This is not something that has suddenly happened. We have worked over the last two years across all parties to ensure they get all the help they can.
“The music service wants to serve all the kids of Solihull – it’s not an elite service.”
The organisation provides lessons, residential courses, and concerts for 1,500 borough children. A November inspection rated the service as ‘outstanding.’