One of the world’s top juvenile bands, North Lanarkshire Schools, has been threatened with the axe following the announcement of stringent cuts by their sponsoring local authority North Lanarkshire Council.
Music teachers and parents have been stunned by the announcement. One parent said: ‘Ultimately this all down to cuts to local authorities from the Scottish Government.
‘Who would have believed that an SNP administration could threaten a kid’s pipe band in this way?’
Councils have seen a six per cent cut in revenue funding from the Scottish Government for councils, in real terms, between 2013/14 and 2019/20, according to Holyrood Magazine.
North Lanarkshire Novice A band are the current World Champions in their grade. With the championship winning NL Juvenile band they have represented the local authority at many functions including last year at a school opening by HM The Queen.
The band also represented the local authority and the country to great acclaim at Tartan Week in New York with a video of them playing on the concourse at Grand Central Station going viral on social media.
Music teachers in the authority were called to an emergency meeting yesterday afternoon to hear the grim news. Other music ensembles are also facing the chop.
North Lanarkshire have said they need to cut £30m from their ‘non-statutory’ outlays over the next year and £100m over the next three. In a worse case scenario this could mean the whole of the authority’s music service in schools being cut. The options will be considered at a council meeting on Feb 24.
Ex-Shotts P/M Robert Mathieson, who did great work in setting the NL band up several years ago, said on social media, said; ‘This is utterly shocking. These music programmes don’t just teach the instruments they make better future citizens in our society.’
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