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Save our lollipop patrols from chop in cash cuts
8:00am Wednesday 5th March 2014 in News
FUNDING for lollipop patrols could be axed, sparking fears for children’s safety.
School crossing patrols are among services being reviewed by County Hall in a bid to save taxpayer cash.
It is thought schools or communities could be asked to raise money for the patrols, as the Tory administration does not legally have to provide them.
Kerry Smith, Ukip county councillor for WestleyHeights, has campaigned for improved road safety measures outside schools across Basildon.
He said: “Whatever it costs for a lollipop lady is chicken feed compared to what County Hall wastes on other things, like consultants, and even its own staff.
“If it is looking at saving money, it should be looking elsewhere.
“Kids run across the road and don’t listen to warnings from their parents, so lollipop ladies are really important at busy school times.
“We have all had to stop quickly at some point to let a child cross the road. Axing the service could cause deaths.’’ Suffolk County Council faced a backlash from parents and teachers when it tried to scrap such funding.
Maureen Best, 77, has been a lollipop lady in Clay Hill Road, Basildon, for Cherry Tree Primary School, for 40 years.
She said: “I always get thanked by families. They are very appreciative of what I do, as is the school.
“There are quite a few lollipop ladies around Basildon and we help to teach children about traffic.
“I hope the county council keeps the funding. There are always rumours about funding cuts, but I wait until it happens before I start to worry about it. What will be will be.” The Tory administration at County Hall has already said it will look at all areas of spending to see where savings can be made.
A spokesman said: “Due to the economic climate and the pressure on local authority budgets, we are reviewing many aspects of public service delivery, particularly nonstatutory services.
“In relation to any changes to school crossing patrols, no formal decisions have been made.
“Should there be any changes to the service, wewill informand consult with schools and employees as soon as we have any proposals.”
Some county council services which do not legally have to be provided are moving to a model where they will be offered if they return a profit, or are run by the voluntary sector
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