Stockton North’s Labour Member of Parliament has expressed his extreme disappointment after learning of the impact of the Arts Council funding cut for the Tees Valley Music Service.
After being told that funding will be reduced by £700,000, and hearing that as many as 13 jobs could be under threat as a result of the cutbacks, Alex Cunningham has written to the regional Chair of the Arts Council for further clarification.
The Tees Valley Music Service provides high quality teaching to individuals and groups, as well as a range of support options for curriculum music and extra-curricular music projects. The Service also provides specialist support and advice for primary and secondary class teachers, as well as support for music delivery in special schools, while developing and maintaining such award-winning group ensembles such as the Tees Valley Youth Choir and Tees Valley Youth Orchestra.
“The decision by the Arts Council to cut funding for the Tees Valley Music Service is very bad news for music, musicians and teachers across Teesside. The Service provides a valuable resource for young musicians across the entire region, and I fear that substantial cuts to funding will inevitably impact on day-to-day operations.
“I welcome Stockton Borough Council’s assurances that young people will continue to have access to good quality music teaching and coaching, but was extremely disappointed to hear that as many as 13 jobs could be lost while non-qualified music teachers face the prospect of changes to their terms and conditions.
“These are part of the invisible cuts we see from the Government filtering through to hit our young people and their parents in the pocket, and not everyone will be able to pay themselves.
“I have written to the regional Chair of the Arts Council to ask for further information detailing the precise nature of these cuts and their projected impact, and have also expressed to him my frustration that this decision was made without prior consultation with local politicians and other stakeholders.”