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Protesters rally against council budget cuts
7:50am Friday 1st March 2013 in News
ANTI-CUTS protesters staged a rally outside Guildhall last night as councillors arrived for York’s budget meeting.
The demonstration, organised by York Socialist Students and York Stop The Cuts, was held in St Helen’s Square ahead of City of York Council’s annual budget debate.
Protesters opposed the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and proposed changes to the way York’s libraries are run, which could see them placed under the control of a social enterprise.
Both groups compiled a 1,167-name petition objecting to the Government’s scrapping of the EMA, which they said would leave many students without enough money to travel to college and buy books and food. The level of support for the petition, calling for an EMA-style grant to be introduced for local students, allowed it to be debated at last night’s meeting.
The groups, supported by York Trades Union Council, said they wanted to question councillors about why Government austerity measures affecting young people were being implemented “in a city which is one of the most educationally prestigious in the country”.
They also said they wanted the council to ensure vulnerable and low-paid residents in York were not “disproportionately affected” by funding cuts.