A Perth City South councillor has welcome the decision not to put a new arm’s length trust in charge of music lessons in Perth and Kinross.
Campaigners had feared the much respected Instrumental Music Service (IMS) might be handed over to a new trust being set up to run the council’s cultural services. Parents had suggested tuition fees could rise or music camps or jobs could be cut if the move went ahead.
The changed had been proposed after a review of existing sports and leisure trusts in Perth and Kinross, Live Active and Horsecross Arts. Last week councillors agreed a new cultural trust should be set up by April 2016 to run the council’s museums, galleries, libraries and archives.
According to the report put to councillors the new trust will also act as a fundraising vehicle for the Cultural City Project alongside Horsecross Arts.
The setting up of the trust, which it emerged during the meeting would NOT take on the IMS, is expected to save the council around £332,000 on non-domestic rates for its buildings.
PKC’s deputy chief executive John Fyffe also said staff moving to the trust will have the terms and conditions of their jobs protected under TUPE arrangements.
Council leader Ian Miller told the room: “This paper is the conclusion of the options appraisal carried out into the future delivery of culture and sport in Perth and Kinross. The proposals are sensible and will lead to significant efficiencies and saving for the council.”
Referring to IMS being left out of the new trust, councillor Willie Wilson told the PA after the meeting, This is a sensible decision. The IMS did not fit well within the trust model and there was a real danger that a huge amount of voluntary effort, both by parents and young people, would have been lost of the service had been forced into a trust. There was no real advantage intros move and common sense has prevailed. This decision does, however, represent a real challenge for the council and all those involved in the Music Matter movement. We can move on from here and help build an even stronger and more positive relationship between the council and the voluntary sector.”
He added, “We are lucky in Perth that the sector is very strong and has excellent leadership. I will be urging the council to work fully in partnership with Music Matters in the future to ensure that the very best services can be provided for our young folk to allow them every opportunity to excel in instrumental and choral work in the future.”
by Paul Cargill
PERTHSHIRE ADVERTISER 7th July 2015