Strung up over mu­sic tu­ition cuts

Charges could be breach of UN

Ayrshire Post - - Memory Lane - Stu­art Wil­son

Cuts to school mu­sic tu­ition could be break­ing a top hu­man rights law, coun­cil bosses have been warned.

South Ayr­shire’s de­ci­sion to axe free lessons may be in breach of UN rules.

The claim, made by the Chil­dren and Young Per­son’s Com­mis­sioner for Scot­land, comes as pres­sure mounts for a climb down at County Build­ings.

In a starkly worded let­ter seen by the Ayr­shire Post, coun­cil lead­ers have been asked to jus­tify their con­tro­ver­sial move.

“The Com­mis­sioner has been in­formed that there has not been any con­sul­ta­tion with chil­dren and young peo­ple in con­sid­er­ing this pro­posal, nor is it clear whether any child right’s im­pact as­sess­ment has been car­ried out,” it states.

The let­ter, to coun­cil leader Dou­glas Camp­bell, ex­presses con­cern at South Ayr­shire’s ap­par­ent lack of en­gage­ment with those af­fected by the cull.

The sum of £ 46,000 will be saved when the coun­cil be­gins charg­ing for lessons this Au­gust.

Fam­i­lies will now have to pay £ 200 per year for their first child to re­ceive in­stru­ment tu­ition.

Crit­ics have la­belled the move as “means tested mu­sic,” while high pro­file fig­ures such as Ni­cola Benedetti have backed a pe­ti­tion against the charges.

Nick Hobbs, head of Ad­vice and In­ves­ti­ga­tions at the Com­mis­sion­ers’ of­fice, is now prob­ing the coun­cil for an­swers.

Tory leader Martin Dowey, who heads up the coun­cil’s op­po­si­tion group, said: “It’s high time for some ac­count­abil­ity here.

“This in­ter­ven­tion is one that the ad­min­is­tra­tion can­not ig­nore and the many af­fected fam­i­lies de­serve the proper re­sponse.

“Re­vers­ing this de­ci­sion is the only sen­si­ble op­tion.”

A coun­cil spokesman said: “We re­ceive lots of let­ters and al­ways re­spond di­rectly.”

Mu­sic sup­port Ni­cola Benedetti

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.