Jane East, Labour PPC for Colne Valley, said she is determined to do everything she can to save the eight centres which operate under the Music School banner.
Music is an important part of children’s well-being,’ she said, ‘we must tell the Council in no uncertain terms that we desperately want to keep these centres open. They have been kept afloat under Labour and I recognise that cuts are being forced on Kirklees by the Tory Government. But we don’t want music teaching to become the domain of the extremely well-off, with talented children from ordinary families excluded.’
Ms East said she welcomed an opportunity to meet the school principal, Tom Meredith, and his colleagues. She urged parents to make full use of the consultation period which runs until December 5th.
The axe has been periodically hanging over the Music School for more than 20 years. A registered charity, it was set up in 1992 when Kirklees pulled out of full-time funding.
The annual Council grant has remained the same since 2000. A reduction in funding could hit all, or some, of the centres, which include those at Huddersfield, Holmfirth, Colne Valley, Mirfield and Shelley.
Mr Meredith has been warned by Kirklees that grants to all Arts organisations will be cut by 2017-18. More than 7000 students, both school children and adults, take lessons from 60 teachers.