As councils attempt to find ways to save money in the wake of Government spending cuts, one in four are looking to cut school crossing patrol (SCP) numbers – but concerned parents are fighting back, reports the Guardian.
Helen Toft, a parent governor at Holy Trinity Primary School in Weymouth, who gathered 10,000 signatures imploring Dorset County Council to review its decision, said: “It seems quite extraordinary, completely unbelievable, that children should be put in danger to save money.”
Ms Toft, who launched the campaign ‘Save Our Lollipop People’, added: “I couldn’t believe [the council] were serious, but they were. Getting rid of Dorset’s lollipop service would save £200,000 a year, that’s 0.03% of the council’s budget. And at the end of the day, children’s lives will be on the line.”
Ms Toft claims the council is now backtracking, saying: “There’s no more: ‘They’ve got to go.’ It’s: ‘Where can we get the extra money from to pay for them?’ The schools can’t afford it, so we’re looking at sponsorship. But that has its own problems."
According to Ms Toft, the problem lies in the fact that, contrary to what many people believe, SCPs are not a statutory service: local councils have a general duty to promote road safety, but not to provide SCPs. However, earlier this year, Norman Baker, the transport minister, ruled out new legislation requiring councils to provide SCPs.
Click here to read the full Guardian report.