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Large crowd gathers to protest proposed city budget

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It was a full house at city hall Tuesday as members of the public took part in their final opportunity to weigh in on the city budget.

However, their voices were heard even before the meeting began.

Over 70 people took part in a peaceful demonstration on the steps of city hall, protesting the proposed police budget, which calls for a 28 per cent increase over last year.

Once the meeting began, the public gallery quickly filled, with committee rooms being used to accommodate overflow.

Many voiced their views on the police budget, with the London Police Service (LPS) asking for more than $168 million in 2024.

“I’m glad the city is taking a serious look at improving police response times, and more officers will do that, and small businesses are actually counting on that,” said resident Peter Watson.

“All the research on the topic, which clearly shows that past a certain point, there’s essentially no correlation between police funding increases and crime reduction,” said resident Adrian Zylawi.

The final council budget session is scheduled for Thursday.

Once council finalizes the budget, Mayor Josh Morgan has ten days to decide whether to approve it.

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