Campaigner shocked as Newport axes music cash
4:20pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
A CAMPAIGNER against cuts to a Gwent schools service said he was shocked and disappointed at a decision by top Newport council councillors to axe its funding.
Ben Teague of the committee against cuts to Gwent Music Support Service (GMSS) spoke ahead of a concert at Newport Cathedral on Saturday aimed to show how important the service is.
Meanwhile a source close to the music service says that staff morale was low claiming it will have to provide a two-tier service with Newport students paying more.
Newport cabinet members agreed last Monday to continue with plans to end its subsidy to the service as part of budget proposals for 2013/14, with a £15,000 hardship fund for those who can’t afford fees.
The budget needs to be approved next Tuesday at a full city council meeting but it is unlikely that the GMSS proposal will change.
Newport council has said that that it has to make choices in challenging economic times which are becoming increasingly difficult.
Mr Teague said: “They are they are actually cutting a big investment in the community itself. I’m completely disappointed, shocked and annoyed.”
A concert is set to take place in Newport Cathedral tomorrow at 7.30pm, with students and ex-students from GMSS, to demonstrate the service’s excellence.
Newport children ‘to pay more’
A SOURCE close to the Gwent Music Support Service says that children in Newport are likely to have to pay more than other children because of council cuts.
The source said morale within the service is “pretty low” and said while GMSS would not stop functioning altogether, it will not function as it has in the city.
The source said: “There will have to be a charge for all of their uses of the music support service. They already pay for lessons.
“There will be a two-tier system where you will have children from Newport paying for the use of the services and children from other authorities not.”
Tuition costs for Newport schools could rise by £10 an hour or more, following cuts.
The total budget for GMSS in 2012/13 was £938,000, with cash coming from Torfaen and Monmouthshire councils and some Blaenau Gwent schools, as well as Newport. Funding from the other three sources is set to continue.
Newport council, asked to comment, did not respond before going to press.