FRIENDS of Ceredigion Young Musicians have reacted with dismay to the news that Ceredigion Council seems set plough ahead with plans for a huge funding cut and restructuring of its schools music service.

Back on May 9, the Learning Services Scrutiny Committee recommended that the cabinet look again at its plans, and consult with music service staff and the Friends of Ceredigion Young Musicians.

However, a Ceredigion council cabinet meeting decided to allow officers to press ahead with the cuts and restructuring with no further scrutiny.

Friends of Ceredigion Young Musicians spokesperson Nia Peris said: “We’re astonished and devastated that the council should act in this way. The clear recommendation of councillors in the scrutiny committee was that the proposals for the music service be reviewed in consultation with staff and the Friends of Ceredigion Young Musicians.

“This offered the opportunity to work together constructively to improve the plans and meet the aim of a thriving and sustainable service. It is clear that the authority has chosen not to take this opportunity.

“It is incredible to us that they plan to simply ignore the widespread opposition: the children who have arranged spontaneous protests, the dedicated staff, the thousands who have signed a petition against the cuts, and the Friends who made a genuine offer of constructive dialogue and compromise.

“Most astonishingly, it also intends to ignore the clear wish of elected councillors who discussed the proposals on May 9. This cannot be how local democracy is meant to operate.

“We implore them to change their approach and listen, instead of forcing through massive cuts and an ill thought out reorganisation.”