CONTROVERSIAL music tuition charges are to remain at the same level for the forthcoming year, if Clackmannanshire Council's budget is approved today (Wednesday, March 6).

There will be no change to the prices, which doubled for non-SQA students last year and led to public uproar.

The situation will remain the same despite a motion from Labour leader Councillor Dave Clark calling for a supply-demand analysis to be carried out last summer.

A Freedom of Information request, initiated by a local parent, also revealed last December that 100 local children had been priced out of music tuition after annual charges went from £258.50 to £524.

The increases meant that group-sessions provided by the council were now as expensive as private one-to-one lessons at Dollar Academy.

As the council, which said the move sought to "protect essential services" in the 2018-19 budget, previously highlighted; the SQA element of lessons continues to be fully funded by the education service.

School meals will still cost £2, remaining at current levels.

Council documents say that: "This is in attempt to reduce the falling trend in uptake of school meals."

Milk charges will remain unchanged at 15p per carton.

Nursery charges will increase by 10 per cent, however, papers to be tabled today adding: "This is to recover the full cost of the service whilst offering superior value for money."

Cllr Clark's supply-demand motion, which received support at the end of last June, also called on a review of park hire fees.

Controversially, prices for the West End Park in Alloa or the Cochrane Park in Alva tripled and the John Evans Funfair skipped the Hillfoots town last summer for the first time in 50 years as a direct result.

Fair chiefs said hiring the space in the wee village became as expensive as securing a park in the city of Glasgow, a much more densely populated area with arguably better business prospects.

The budget now seeks "to reflect a fairer pricing structure", with the introduction of non-commercial and non-operational hires.

Documents said: "The pricing strategy combines various approaches to encourage usage and and [sic.] help recover the full cost of the services where appropriate."

And added: "The revised pricing structure will still allow the council to obtain full cost recovery through charges.

"A new charge for partial park hire has also been introduced as a result of demand and to reflect a fairer pricing structure."

In the new structure, a commercial hire of the aforementioned parks will still be £308 per operational day, but only £100 for non-operational days, for a maximum of 48 hours.

Non-commercial operations are to be set at around half the price.