Teachers, students and even politicans have expressed their dismay over Wrexham Council’s proposals to cut music services for schools.
Wrexham Council revealed a document on Friday which states £300,000 could be saved by 2019/20 by ending council funding for music services at schools across the county borough.
This comes after the council confirmed it needs to save about £13m in the next two financial years in order to reduce local government settlement.
As news spread about the proposals, a ‘save Wrexham music services’ petition was created by a student, educated at a Wrexham school.
It has since surpassed its initial target of 1,000 with more than 1,500 signatories.
The petition states that cutting funding “will mean many children will not be able to have vocal or instrumental lessons in school” and warned this would lead to people paying “huge” amounts of money for private lessons.
It asks residents to “support the young musicians of Wrexham county” and “save the Wrexham music services”.
Mark Lanson teaches music lessons to 16 schools in the Wrexham county borough.
He said: “Wrexham music is under severe threat again. It’s more than just about saving our jobs, which of course is a personal concern, it’s about losing what we have worked for over many years.
“As a result of this, people are not going to have the opportunity to play a musical instrument and will be denied the wonderful opportunities that so many of us have enjoyed.”
Mr Lanson also took to social media to ask people to approach councillors and ask about the proposals.
He added: “If you do so, please be constructive in your criticism, and maybe point them towards how this could affect our society.
“They are the people with the power so we need to convince them rather than annoy them.
“For the sake of all the children we teach, for those excited kids who today had their first violin lesson, for children too young to play who may never get the chance, please help.”
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates said he and Susan Elan Jones, MP for Clwyd South, have also received concerns from residents about the music cuts.
He said: “Several people have contacted me and Susan on this and there’s a huge amount of concern across the county borough.
“Wales is a nation with music in its blood. Susan and I fully support our constituents on this and have made urgent representations with Wrexham Council.”
Ian Lucas MP said: “What is important for people who want to challenge these cuts is that they look behind the figures the council have presented – the numbers should be examined very closely.
“It is also important that we use people pressure on this – if you have questions, put them directly to your local councillor.
“That is what they are there for, and councillors – particularly the Conservatives and Independents who are running the council – are the people who have the ability to make changes to these plans.
“Many of these cuts are being forced through because of the current Tory Government’s austerity policies.
“It is the same Government who found a billion pounds in June to secure their deal with the DUP. Opposing that Government, and its policies, is crucial for those who want to end austerity.”