Creative thinking to maintain creative services
Posted on June 6, 2011
Central Bedfordshire Council is developing fresh thinking as it prepares for the launch of a new Music Service later this year.
Government grant reductions have required the Council to reduce its costs by £19.2m during 2011/12. Redesigning the former Bedfordshire Music Service and operating it on a cost neutral basis is part of the Council’s response to its budget challenge.
“We want to make sure that Central Bedfordshire children can continue to develop their musical potential so we’ve been consulting with young people, their parents and schools.
"Following this we have reconfirmed our commitment to the four Music Centres in Ampthill, Biggleswade, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard” said the new Executive Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Mark Versallion.
Cllr Versallion also said “Originally we planned to reduce funding to the music centres and we expected that at least one of them would need to close. However, as a result of a further review of our overheads and back office costs, we’ve been able to extend funding to all four of the music centres in the short to medium term. This gives the Music Service time to work with its customers and potential partners to work up our new service programme before the national introduction of regional hubs in 2012.
The Council has been allocated a reduced grant for music provision from national government of £394,000. With this it will introduce a new and more flexible model of music tuition. At the moment fees have been high from April but by working more efficiently, it is hoped that fees will reduce for parents as the year goes on and more young people access the service.
Central Bedfordshire Music Service will be launched in July, supported by a newly designed marketing plan. There will be clear goals to put a greater focus on advertising existing and new activities and responding more flexibly to the identified needs of the young people and parents.
As part of the service re-design a series of workshops are being held with schools, external partners in the business and the voluntary sector, pupils and parents to join Central Bedfordshire Council in developing plans for the future.
“If we work together we can find ways of not only protecting these important services, but to develop them for the talented young musicians of current and future generations” added Cllr Versallion.
For further information please contact: Tom Skinner on 0300 300 5738.
Source: Central Bedfordshire Council News Release
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