Argyll and Bute Council passes budget despite youth protests

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school protest
Image caption,
Pupils left classes to protest at proposed cuts to youth services

Argyll and Bute Council's budget has been passed, despite protests at proposals to cut youth services.

Councillors have agreed to increase council tax charges by 4.75%.

Pupil protests over plans to cut services for young people took place at several schools on Wednesday.

Councillors agreed not to go ahead with some proposed cuts, including removing school crossing patrollers and raising parking charges.

The rise, set as part of the council's budget for 2019/20, will see the cost of an average band D property increase from £1,249 to £1,308.83.

Argyll and Bute Council faces a funding gap of almost £8m in the new financial year.

'Listened' to local views

The council's leader Aileen Morton said the local authority had protected vital services and listened to the views of local people.

Students at six secondary schools - Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh, Oban High, Campbeltown Grammar, Lochgilphead High, Tarbert Academy and Dunoon Grammar - staged 15-minute "strikes" after break time on Wednesday.

Some young people fear cuts to spending on youth services will lead to a big reduction in activities such as youth forums, summer camps and community events.

Elsewhere in Scotland, Angus, Glasgow City, Edinburgh City, Dundee and Fife councils all agreed a rise of 3% on Wednesday.

Stirling Council is to put rates up by 4%.

On Tuesday, West Lothian Council agreed an increase of 4.79%. Previously, East Lothian, Midlothian and the Western Isles councils have all agreed the 4.79% increase - the maximum Holyrood allows.

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