Council music service jobs under threat

ANOTHER 34 council staff are at risk of losing their jobs.

The authority has notified the Government of potential redundancies in the once-celebrated Calderdale Music Service.

It provides instrumental teachers in schools and runs several groups, bands and the Calderdale Senior Citizens’ Orchestra.

According to the council, the jobs are at risk because the government is changing the way that music services are funded.

“Calderdale Council, like every other local authority, is having to bid for funding from the government.

“We will need to establish who will be the provider of the music service in the future. There are potentially 34 posts affected in the music service,” said a spokeswoman.

The Department for Education says it will invest more than £171 million between August 2012 and March 2015 in a network of music education hubs across England.

They are designed to ensure that every child aged 5-18 has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument, as well as perform as part of an ensemble or choir.

It will also allow young people to take their talent further - this might be through local ensembles, partnerships with nationally funded music organisations, including National portfolio organisations or through involvement in the Music and Dance Scheme.

A music education hub will be a collection of organisations working in a local area, to create joined up music education provision for children and young people, both in and out of school.

A list of successful hub applicants will be announced at the end of April and should be in place in September.

Last month, more than 150 council workers were told to expect their marching orders.

They include 21 school improvement officers who also work at Heath Training Centre.

Some education officers who work there, members of the NASUWT and NUT, have be voting on whether to strike over plans for compulsory redundancies.

The result of their ballot is expected on Monday, April 16.

*Unemployment in Calderdale is at its highest since 1995 with the number of people out of work and claiming benefits standing at 6,984.