Music Cornwall is a Music Tuition service that employs 70 music teachers to provide music education, including instrumental and vocal tuition to schools throughout Cornwall. The service was originally set up so that its income would cover its costs. In recent years it has not managed to achieve this so Cornwall Council has been subsidising the service. Sadly the Council no longer has the funding from Government that will allow it to meet an overspend of in excess of £200,000 per year.
Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said
“While I understand the importance of music to children and schools, the Council cannot go on subsiding this service without cutting other services we provide to children and young people in Cornwall”
Despite investigating a number of options, at the Cabinet meeting earlier this week, only a brokerage model where the Council provides a list of approved self employed music teachers for schools to use, appeared viable. Negotiations with current staff and the relevant Unions will begin, aiming for a start date of 1 January 2015. However, in response to the concerns of some Cabinet Members and a wider group of Councillors, it was also agreed that any proposals which came forward as a result of the formal negotiations which were found to be financially and legally sound would be brought back to the Cabinet for further consideration. In other words, if those involved in the Service can provide the Cabinet with an alternative model that will not need Council subsidy, the Cabinet will look at this again to re-consider its decision.
At the last minute this debate was held in public session so to listen to the webcast visit the Cornwall Council webcast and this item was the last on the agenda.