Dorset to retain majority of SCP service

10.25 | 6 October 2011 |

Following extensive media coverage and a year-long campaign by a Dorset mum, Dorset County Council has agreed to continue to retain the vast majority of its school crossing patrol (SCP) service.

The Council’s Cabinet yesterday (5/10/11) agreed to continue to fund 51 of the county’s 61 SCP sites. Funding for the remaining 10 sites will be withdrawn from 1/04/12; five of which do not meet the nationally agreed criteria and five of which operate on an existing pedestrian crossing.

Local communities will be offered the opportunity to identify alternative funding, possibly using sponsorship arrangements, to continue to provide a crossing patrol at these 10 sites under the county council’s management.

Members of the Cabinet considered the findings of a cross-party policy development panel set up to discuss the options for alternative funding of the service by local communities. The council had proposed to withdraw funding for all 61 sites in order to achieve savings of £200,000, as part of plans to save £54.9m over three years.

Peter Finney, Dorset County Council Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “This decision was the culmination of several months’ hard work by a cross-party policy development panel set up to look at the school crossing patrols issue.

“Unfortunately, no community was able to help us with additional funding for the service. However, we have listened to what people had to say, and have agreed to retain all 51 school crossing patrols on sites which meet the national criteria.

“But in the current financial climate, we can no longer afford to continue funding the service at those sites which do not meet the criteria or which have pedestrian crossing facilities.”

Towards the end of 2010 Helen Toft, a mother from Dorset, launched the ‘Save Our Lollipop People’ campaign in response to the council’s proposal to cut their entire SCP service. The campaign’s success in collecting more than 10,000 signatures and organising a march through Dorset helped to persuade the council to review its decision and consider alternative ways of funding the SCP service.

For more information contact Rob Camp, senior technician, on 01305 224548.

Click here for more information about the ‘Save Our Lollipop People’ campaign.


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