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Students to hold rally against youth services cutbacks
Up to 1,000 students and young people will stage a rally outside City Hall to protest against potential cuts to Bradford Youth Service.
Under draft budget proposals announced by Bradford Council in October, the youth services allowance would be cut by 79 per cent over the next two years as the Council aims to slash its overall budget by £89 million.
Bradford College Students’ Union president Piers Telemacque has been gathering signatures for a Stop the Cuts to Bradford Youth Service petition which has almost 2,000 signatures.
It will be handed to the Council at its full meeting on Tuesday and followed by a debate.
From 3.30pm, students, parents and members of community and faith groups will protest with banners and posters. Young people who have been supported by the youth service will perform on a stage.
Mr Telemacque said: “There’s so many different people involved in this campaign and we’ve got so many different kinds, which is great. Young people have got political without even realising it.”
The 21-year-old said that in 2020 Bradford will be the youngest city in Europe, with half of the population under 25. “You can’t invest in the city, if young people in the city aren’t being invested in,” he said.
On Saturday protesters will meet at Culture Fusion in the city centre to make placards for the rally. Dozens have already posted pictures of themselves with posters explaining the importance of the service on Save Bradford Youth Service Facebook page. Those pictures will be printed and placed on each councillor’s chair before the meeting.
Councillor Brian Martin Smith (Con, Ilkley) is also due responses at the meeting to written questions he has put to the Council regarding the cuts to youth services and £15m spent in the voluntary sector within youth support activities.
Coun Smith, chairman of Ilkley Youth and Community Association, said: “The youth service works extremely well in education, particularly schools, with the police, social services and courts to help people that need support become useful citizens for the community.”
The budget will be set at a meeting of the full Council on February 20.
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