Archived News - Bedfordshire Music
The new Central Bedfordshire Music Service has been launched - with a new "competitive" pricing structure starting in September. The local authority hopes that the new package will strengthen opportunities for group learning, and are aiming to increase the minimum number of guaranteed music lessons in schools from 30 to 33 a year.
The cost of attending Leighton Buzzard Music Centre, and other similar facilities in Central Bedfordshire, have also been set to ensure that more youngsters will be able to use them.
The council has redesigned the former Bedfordshire Music Service and is operating it on a cost neutral basis as part of the response to its budget challenge. This has allowed for a reduction in lesson fees again.
Councillor Mark Versallion, executive member responsible for children's services, said: "The vision of the service is to give children and young people the opportunity to become the best musicians they possibly can."
For revised lesson fees and charges, which will come into effect in September, visit www.inspiringmusic.co.uk
Summer Youth Music Courses will be playing on over the school holidays with more than 300 young musicians taking part. For the course and concert schedule, see Summer Youth Music Courses.
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
Musical students in Bedford Borough will still be able to hone their skills, but those living in areas governed by Central Beds Council, such as Eaton Bray, could miss out.
Bedfordshire Music provides instrumental tuition and other music opportunities in the county and is a shared service between Central Beds Council and Bedford Borough Council.
While Bedford Borough Council has protected access to music tuition for local school children, Central Beds Council is considering plans to cut all its funding for the shared service.
The Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson said: “I will simply not allow Central Beds Council's unilateral decision to cut all its funding for the music service to damage access to this excellent service in Bedford Borough.
"We are protecting music tuition in the borough, giving all children and young people the chance to enjoy music and the positive impact it can have.
"Access to high quality music tuition and further opportunities in music must not only be for the children of the very well off."
On a weekly basis, it provides lessons and area music centre activities for children, young people and adults.
Councillor Anita Lewis, portfolio holder for children's services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Bedfordshire Music is currently a shared service between Central Beds Council and Bedford Borough Council.
"The shared service agreement is due to expire at the end of March and we are moving forward with a proposal to disaggregate the service from Bedford Borough at the end of the summer term.
"The future provision of a music service in Central Beds is subject to review and consultation. The consultation will be undertaken with schools and interested parties and will consider alternative ways of delivering a music service provision to the children and young people in Central Beds."
Read the full article on the Bedford Today website.
The Friends of Bedfordshire Youth Music website has further information about the proposed cuts by Central Bedfordshire, along with details of how you can show your support to keep Bedfordshire Music supplying services to both councils.
Source: Bedford Today
Central Bedfordshire Council, which hosts the Bedfordshire Music Service, has announced that they are proposing to cut the funding it currently gives the service to zero during 2011 and intends to reorganise and disaggregate the Music Service.
Consequently, Bedfordshire Music Service will cease to exist in August 2011. It is planned that Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire will each develop their own separate music service provision arrangements from September 2011.
Please email or write a letter to your councillor in protest at this cut in funding and the disaggregation of the Bedfordshire Music Service, and show your support by signing the FBYM petition and attending the meeting on 8th February.
You can also download a copy of the letter sent to Friends and Schools detailing how you can help.
Central Bedfordshire Council has recently announced that funding to Bedfordshire Music is to be cut to ZERO from April 2012.
More details at Campaign for Bedfordshire Music and in the letter below from Catherine Rose.
This would be a sizeable chunk of the Bedfordshire Music budget being cut and would mean either increases in tuition costs or presumably the loss of some groups or music centres.
The good news is that none of this is set in stone yet, so you can do your part by writing to your local MP to let them know how important the Bedfordshire Music service is.
If you've ever benefited from using the Bedfordshire Music service (through its ensembles, Saturday morning music centre, music lessons, instrument provision, etc), or know someone that has, then please write to your local MP and help raise the profile of the Campaign for Bedfordshire Music.
If you are thinking of writing a letter in protest at the 100% cut in cash funding to the Bedfordshire Music Service planned for April 2012, PLEASE CAN YOU DO SO BEFORE 12TH NOVEMBER?
I've just realised that the Council is currently reviewing the music service and will have finished this process by 15th November, so we need to get their attention before then.
Anyone needing more information or doesn't know what I'm talking about, please visit http://michaelerose.moonfruit.com/#/campaign/4545173370.
PLEASE SEND THIS ON to anyone you sent information on to before.
I'm particularly keen to get this to PARENTS, STUDENTS AND TEACHERS but I do not have individual emails so please keep it going viral!
The website has had 1337 visitors since it went live on Friday lunchtime - keep up the energy!
Source: Michael & Catherine Rose