Dynamo supports protest over youth services budget cuts

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dynamo with his message of support Dynamo with his message of support

A group hoping to save Bradford’s youth services from Council cuts has conjured up some high-profile support.

Dynamo, the Bradford born magician and TV star, has joined the ranks of people calling for Bradford Council to vote against cutting the youth service allowance by 79 per cent in its next budget.

The star, who last week was awarded an honorary doctorate by Bradford University for his charity work and efforts to promote Bradford, said the youth services played an important role in shaping his young life.

The 31-year-old, whose real name is Steven Frayne, grew up on the Delph Hill estate, and is now one of the UK’s most successful entertainers thanks to his hugely-popular show Magician Impossible.

Later today, up to 1,000 people are expected to descend on City Hall in protest over the planned cuts, while the issue is discussed in a full Council meeting.

The cuts would see the number of youth workers slashed from one in each Council ward to two per Parliamentary constituency.

A Facebook group – Save Bradford Youth Service – has asked Bradfordians to send in photographs holding signs detailing what the youth services means or meant to them. And when Dynamo was back in Bradford to pick up his honorary degree last week, members brought him up to date on the planned cuts, which led to him submitting his own protest photo.

It features him holding a sign saying: “Bradford youth services supported me as a young person” and encouraging people to attend today’s rally.

Bradford College Students’ Union President Piers Telemacque will speak at the meeting. He needed to collect at least 1,500 signatures to trigger a debate over the cuts. As of yesterday, more than 3,000 people had signed the petition, meaning he will speak on the issue for five minutes before a 15-minute Council debate.

From 3.30pm tomorrow, students, parents and members of faith and community groups will protest with banners and posters, while young people who have been helped by the youth service perform outside City Hall.

And when councillors arrive at the meeting, they will be greeted by printed photographs of the protesters on their chairs.

Mr Telemacque said it was important to their campaign to get such high-profile support: “He did all sorts with the youth service when he was younger. He told me it meant a lot to him.

“We only needed 1,500 signatures for this debate and we’ve got double that. It is really good to know that so many people feel this way.”

The budget will be decided in February.

The full Council meeting starts at 4pm in the hall’s council chamber.

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