The Scottish council that had been contemplating axing its instrumental music tuition service has today rejected the proposal following a storm of protest.
In a move that become emblematic of the measures local authorities were considering across Scotland to address huge budget pressures, Midlothian Council had put forward plans to cut nine of its 12 instrumental music instructor posts.
The proposal drew opposition from teaching unions, local residents and big-name musicians.
In a council meeting this morning, the measure was rejected along with plans to cut free swimming lessons for P4 pupils; reduce learning assistant posts and crossing patrols; and scrap the council’s Active Schools team.
Dalkeith Town centre today. Outside Midlothian council offices. Some BIG noise! Local young musicians joined by adults to campaign for music tuition in Midlothian. Well done lovely people! Waving at you from London ... pic.twitter.com/9rYC8v4ptA— Karine Polwart (@IAMKP) February 12, 2019
To balance its budget for 2019-20, the council said it had approved “a series of other savings measures”, as well as a council tax rise of 4.79 per cent, and used additional Scottish government funding.
Other budget savings being contemplated by councils across Scotland include plans in Highland to save almost £6 million over the course of the next three years on supporting children with additional needs.
Meanwhile, Falkirk Council is planning to scrap morning registration in secondary to save £693,000 over a year and remove the need for 16.7 full-time equivalent staff to cover them.