Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting Harrow Times to 80360, or email us
Harrow Borough Council promises to help Harrow Young Musicians survive
Harrow Borough Council has pledged to help a youth music group find alternative sources of money if it cuts their funding.
The authority proposed to stop funding the organisation in the draft budget approved by the council’s cabinet in December..
The decision now has to be agreed at a meeting of the full council.
If this happens, the cuts will be implemented in April.
In a statement the council said: “Harrow Council is the lead body in Harrow music education hub and directly delivers music teaching to around 5,000 pupils in schools across the borough.
“The council is currently supporting Harrow Young Musicians (HYM) with grant funding. It delivers advanced music tuition to many students inside and outside the borough.
“Like every local authority in the country, Harrow Council is facing its most challenging financial situation in decades. We have had to deliver a number of savings and have so far done this while protecting services for our residents.
"If the decision is taken, we will be working with HYM through the Harrow music education hub to help them look at reducing their costs and supporting them to access alternative sources of funding, so that they can continue to deliver music services to our community.”
Harrow parents have reacted with dismay to news that Harrow Borough Council is considering cutting funds to the HYM which allows as many as 400 of the borough’s children to be part of bands and orchestras.
Peter Horne, a civil servant from The Highway, Stanmore, has two daughters who are involved in the orchestra.
Katie, 18, has been part of Harrow Young Musicians for ten years and plays the viola. Eleanor, ten, has been playing the violin with the group for two years.
Mr Horne said: “People love belonging to it. My daughters thoroughly enjoy it and it gives them an amazingly wide circle of friends throughout the borough.
"If the funding were to be withdrawn the orchestra would not be a true reflection of the multicultural borough that Harrow is – the funding enables all Harrow residents to be able to be part of a unique organization – unparalleled in any other London Borough – regardless of their parents’ income levels.
"The orchestra would be forced to be elitist as only those who could afford it could continue. This would wipe out half of the orchestra."
Currently parents pay about £250 a year for each child who is in the group.