HUNDREDS of angry and disillusioned protesters took to the streets of Stroud on Saturday to voice their frustration at government cuts.

Organisers claim more than 500 campaigners took part to vent their anger after it was announced that Stroud District Council faces a 28.6 per cent slash in government funding over the next two years, the biggest cut of any UK council.

The young, the old, workers and the unemployed delivered a hard-hitting message during the highly charged event.

Stroud's former Labour MP David Drew addressed the crowd outside the Sub Rooms.

"These cuts are based on an immoral pretext, they are wrong," he said.

"United we can win this. Let’s work together and show we can change the world."

The protest was organised by Stroud Against the Cuts and the Gloucestershire Trades Council.

Several streets were closed as protesters chanted "No ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts" and "Cuts no way, make the greedy bankers pay".

The protest began at Stratford Park Leisure Centre and involved a procession along Stratford Road, Beeches Green, Gloucester Street, King Street, George Street, Kendrick Street and the High Street.

Among those waving placards was Debbie Tufnell, 62, a regular library user, who said: "The cuts being proposed for our library service is nothing short of despicable. Libraries are a massive part of the community, they are vital to so many people."

Demelza Jones, of the Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries, attended the rally and called on people to sign the 14,000-strong petition against library closures.

Another demonstrator, Jordan Campbell, 19, said: "I wanted to show that I am not just another lazy 19-year-old, I wanted to do something to prove how angry young people are about our youth services being decimated.

"The young of today are the future of tomorrow, we should be given help and encouragement to better ourselves. Instead, we are staring down a black hole with no services available to us."

Organiser Chris Moore was delighted with the turnout.

"It shows the people of Stroud are not prepared to accept the cuts and that we will fight to save our services," he said.

"We will fight tooth and nail to force both the government and county council to change course."

Stroud's Conservative MP Neil Carmichael did not attend the event.

When asked by the SNJ for a comment, Mr Carmichael said he was not surprised by the protest.

"Whenever there are cuts it is always very difficult to implement them," he said.

More protests are planned.