Essex County Council has told a group of parents it will cost them £55,000 to hire a school crossing patrol to work outside their children’s school at Tollesbury (Telegraph).
The parents contacted the council to hire a SCP themselves after a series of near misses outside Tollesbury School. The council said it would require an initial set-up fee of £46,842, plus an annual sum of £8,342 to provide a SCP.
Sarah Case, one of the parents, said: “We were flabbergasted by the costs and it’s all for someone who is paid in the region of £7.50 an hour and works seven and a half hours a week.
“We want to make people aware of the ridiculous sum of money the county council wants to protect our children.
“We had people volunteering to help the children cross the road, but they said the general public aren’t allowed to do it.”
David Milligan, head teacher of the school, said: “We have 210 children who cross the road twice a day. We believe action is needed.”
Campaigners are hoping that the intervention of their local Conservative MP, Priti Patel, could lead to the council reducing the set-up fee, and are also seeking donations from local businesses towards the costs.
A spokesman for the council said: “We have sought to listen to residents through introducing a facility for local communities to self-fund school crossing patrols where a site does not meet our policy.
“We sympathise with parents regarding the costs, although these represent the financial commitment required for this type of activity. These costs include installation, any necessary safety enhancements, recruitment and training costs.”
Click here to read the full Telegraph story.