SOUTH Down SDLP Youth held their first full meeting of 2011 on Sunday night (30th January) where they brought forward plans to fight to retain the EMA and fair university fees, as well as proposals to publish a policy paper on a Shared Future for young people in the area.
Commenting on the SDLP Youth’s support for continued EMA funding, chair Aaron Rice said, “The savage spending cuts and fee hikes being proposed by the Tory Coalition are all too familiar. A right-wing government who claim to be the party of the people are forcing the greed of the wealthy to be paid for by decent, hard-working families.
“Currently, university fees are accessible to all and the EMA ensures that students from poorer backgrounds have as good a chance as anyone else to gain the necessary qualifications to enter college. The Conservatives’ proposals will destroy this.
“South Down SDLP Youth will be an active and effective voice of reason for the youth of this area, defending the right of all young people to fair and equal education.”
Also on the agenda was the proposal to bring forward practical new ideas on reconciliation and cross-community relations in South Down.
Chair of the group’s Shared Future committee, Stephen Orme, said, “The people of this area have come far since the darkness of the Troubles, and I’m glad to say that the youth of today have come of age in a better time for all.
“However, simply ending violence will not remedy the scars that continue to divide our community to this day. What is needed is fresh thought, a way for the young people of South down to effectively come together for the common good. I look forward to turning these values of compassion and tolerance into practical policy,” he added.