Budding musicians have urged Bromley Council chiefs to rethink more than £300,000 in funding cuts to the borough’s youth music services.
The Bromley Youth Music Trust, based in Southborough Lane, helps thousands of children across the borough to develop their musical talents, each year.
The trust’s teachers spend time delivering lessons in school music departments and additional tuition and rehearsals take place at their centre during evenings and weekends.
Finance bosses are proposing to cut £306,000 of the service’s funding over the next two years to be agreed at a Full Council meeting on February 23.
BYMT says it would continue to operate but the cuts would mean a drastic reduction in its support for low income families, a tuition fee increase and a recruitment freeze.
More than 9,000 people have signed a petition urging councillors to reconsider withdrawing the funding.
Hayes School pupil Katie Bacon, 13, took up playing the trumpet after BYMT teachers visited her class when she was at primary school.
She told News Shopper: “The cuts will disastrously affect young people and it’s such a vital part of the community.
“BYMT is where you meet friends from all different walks of life. It’s where I met a lot of my close friends.”
David Hunt, of Forde Avenue, met his wife Victoria, a double bass player, through BYMT.
The couple’s 9-year-old son Ethan plays piano and has singing lessons through the trust.
The 48-year-old, who works in the music industry for Peavey Electronics, said: "As far as I know, it has always been a jewel in the crown for Bromley.
"If this funding goes then possibly the link to the local council and the local area will go too.”
Under the proposals, £230,000 would be cut from April 1, this year, with the remaining £76,000 withdrawn the following year.
BYMT also receives funding from the Department for Education, which it says is so far, only guaranteed until the end of the 2015-16 financial year.
In a joint statement, Chairman, Dennis Barkway and Principal Ian Rowe said: “BYMT are still seeking a positive resolution and are striving to communicate with Bromley Council.
“We do acknowledge that London Borough of Bromley also support us via the use of the premises at Southborough Lane.
“We remain positive that we can find a mutually satisfactory resolution for both parties.”
A council spokesperson said: “As with all the proposals in the budget, discussion and debate will go on right up to the Full Council meeting on 23 February when decisions will be taken.”
You can read the full statement from BYMT here.
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