Carmarthenshire County Council are using the phrase "efficiency savings" to mask a series of significant cuts in the education budget, according to Plaid councillors. At a recent meeting of the relevant Scrutiny Committee, a series of so-called savings was tabled for consideration.
Cllr Dyfrig Thomas, who was at the meeting and opposed the planned cuts, said later, "To describe the list which was presented to us as 'efficiency savings' is to stretch the meaning of words to say the least. Amongst the savings proposed is a plan to cut back on the provision of music services to schools and to charge parents for transporting their children to rehearsals. It has always been one of the strengths of the council's music service that children are not excluded by being unable to pay the costs, but I am concerned that the council will be creating a two tier system of provision.
"The county council's Labour/Independent Party coalition is also considering closures to community education centres, and increasing charges for adult and community education. All in all, this is a bad package for the county and its residents."
Cllr Thomas also expressed concern about the rating given by Estyn to the council's service providing Welsh tuition to adults. "At a time when the overall mark, at 3, was lower than any of us would wish, I have serious concerns about the proposed cuts in the adult education service."