Wednesday, 7 December 2011

People Power/Media Power Wins the day

Many many thanks to the Manchester Evening News for their campaign to stop the cuts by the City Council to the School Crossing Patrol Service. The paper set up it's own easy to access on-line petition and showed that the weight of public opinion was very much in favour of keeping the service.
I have been contacted today by campaigners from Southwark looking for advice and support. Perhaps someone can persuade the Evening Standard to do for London what the Manchester Evening News has done for the children of Manchester. In the meantime please support the national petition by pressing the red button above.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Dorset County Council Has Seen The Light But Elsewhere The Battles Continue

Last week it was announced in the Manchester Evening News that the City Council are reviewing 156 crossings in an attempt to save 80% of the budget. The newspaper has launched a petition to try and save the service.
On Friday the story in the Northern Echo was that Darlington Council planning cuts to save £300,000 and
The authority’s 36 lollipop men and women received letters advising that a switch to a voluntary service was being considered.
It has been stated many times on this site that this is not a role for volunteers and it says on the Volunteer England website that volunteers should not be put in positions of danger. In the past 12 months one lollipop lady has been killed in Scotland and more than half a dozen have sustained injuries requiring hospitalisation. For more details of these incidents please look at the 'In The Press' page.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The One Show and Lollipop People

If you were unable to catch the piece that The One Show did about Lollipop People last week you can follow this  link and watch it on You Tube. We may have saved the majority of our Lollipop People in Dorset but across the country they are still under threat and this needs to be debated at the highest level. Please, sign the petition and ask your friends to as well.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

HURRAY!

We have Won the campaign in Dorset and we have Saved Our Lollipop People or at least the majority of them.
At The Cabinet Meeting this morning it was decided to uphold the recommendation of the Panel that all crossing patrols should be retained and paid for except for 5 that no longer meet national criteria and another 5 that are on pelican crossings.
It is a victory for common sense and the rights of our children to be safe on their way to and from school. Special thanks to Dorset Councillors, Janet Dover, Karl Wallace and David Harris who spoke up in support of my campaign at the Cabinet meeting back in January and continued to work towards a successful conclusion.
Also thanks to Dorset MP's Annette Brooke and Richard Drax for speaking to the Transport Minister Norman Baker. Also a 'well done to us' to Liz Norman and Liz Howard campaigning from Ferndown.

Monday, 3 October 2011

The ONE SHOW Tonight

The One Show tonight at 7.00pm has a piece about the campaign in Dorset and the threat to the Lollipop People across the country. A tribute to the Lollipop People I hope.

If you have seen the show and followed the links please, please take the time to click on the red button and sign the petition to get the Lollipop People's future discussed in the House of Commons. Make democracy work for us.

Friday, 30 September 2011

One Step Closer

The campaign to Save Our Lollipop People in Dorset was one step closer to success last night as the Overview Committee voted to uphold the recommendations of the Panel that the county continues to fund all those sites that meet the national criteria. The Committee also agreed to fund the 5 patrols that were on pelican crossings.
The decision of the Committee will have to be approved by the full Cabinet on Wednesday 5th October before we can rejoice.
To read the press coverage follow these links BBCDorset Echo,

This is still a national issue and although many other authorities will hopefully follow Dorset's lead there is still a threat to the service and the safety of the children around the country. Please sign the petition to get the matter debated in the House of Commons.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Almost There?

Today the recommendations of the Dorset County Council Policy Development Panel (set up to look into the future funding, of the school crossing patrols service), will be considered by the Environment Overview Committee. They will then report to the full Cabinet on the 5th October. The full cabinet were originally to have met in December so we are fortunate that the fate of our Lollipop People is being decided sooner rather than later.

If you are interested in reading the recommendations this is the link but the gist of it is that the Panel recommends that DCC continue to fund the service as there in no funding available at the present time, from either schools, parish councils or sponsors. They do however, recommend that DCC do not fund 10 sites where either the crossing no longer meets national criteria or there is an alternative means of crossing safely.

I hope the glorious weather we are experiencing is making the committee feel generous and they will endorse the recommendations. The rest of the country are watching to see what Dorset will do.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

What a difference 3 pence could make

Having considered that I might be asked by the One Show how the school crossing patrols should be funded, I have done a bit of calculating and worked out that for the 20,000 SCPs in the country to be funded it would cost the 31,000,000 vehicle drivers 2p more on their road tax! Seems like a good idea to me, in fact they can have 3p and pay the whole lot a more reasonable wage.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Young People and Traffic are a Fatal Combination

Anyone who believes that young people do not need help to cross the roads in this country and do not need the help of a Lollipop Person outside school should read this headline...


Five schoolchildren in serious road accidents in Birmingham in 24 hours

and reconsider their views. To read the full report in the Birmingham Mail follow this link

Friday, 16 September 2011

A letter to the Telegraph from a Council that has got it right


SIR – You report the demise of school crossing patrols (September 3). But in Leicestershire, lollipop men and women remain the stalwarts of the school run.
We at Leicestershire council want to get people out of their cars and walking, cycling or using public transport. As school crossing patrols provide security for parents and encourage children to walk to school, we’ve decided that cutting back on them doesn’t add up. A reduction in the number of these familiar faces, who help children reach school safely, may increase congestion and add to the growing health problems facing our younger generations.
Lesley Pendleton
Leicestershire County Council
Glenfield, Leicestershire

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Our Cousins Overseas

Just as a point of interest, we are facing exactly the same crisis with our Lollipop Ladies as communities in America where the Crossing Guards are a 'soft target' when its time to save money. La Crosse in Wisconsin
could perhaps be twinned with Weymouth. This report from the La Crosse Tribune.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Telegraph Newspaper

Maria McCathy's in depth piece on the history of and crisis facing the Lollipop People is now on line.
Have you heard the latest playground riddle? What's yellow, goes out in all weathers and is in danger of extinction? Lollipop people
As children are back to the classroom after the summer break, there are currently about 20,000 lollipop people – or school crossing patrols, as they are formally known – in the UK. But in the wake of local government spending cuts that number might be about to drop dramatically.
A survey by The Times Educational Supplement revealed that one in four of the 60 local authorities it contacted is planning to scale back or abolish school crossing patrols to save money.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Public Pressure May Win the Day

Brent Council is rumoured to be considering a U-turn on scrapping the School Crossing Patrols.

PLANS to cut school crossing patrols could be scrapped in Brent following a u-turn by council leaders after concerns from parents and schools.The Labour-led council will decide on whether to put the recommendation through at an executive meeting on September 19 after a consultation in May and June.
Read the report in the Harrow Times



Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Latest from Dorset

This afternoon the Dorset County Council, Planning Development Panel will meet for the third time to decide what will be done about the school crossing patrols. The plan back in December 2010 was to cut the whole service to save money. That would mean the loss of 68 Lollipop People across the county unless schools or local councils could find the money to fund the service themselves. To my knowledge none of the schools have offered to fund the service, not because they don't believe it is vital but because they believe the education budget should be for education and spending outside the school would mean less in the classroom. Neither am I aware of any local councils or communities who have spare money to fund this. Therefore, the ball is back in the court of the County Council. Will they really put the lives of the counties children at risk to save £200,000? I certainly hope not.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Friday, 12 August 2011

Monday, 8 August 2011

Petition the Government to stop Local Authorities cutting School Crossing Patrols

The Government's e-petition service has now been set up and a petition has been accepted from Save Our Lollipop People. This is the text of the petition ...
The Government should intervene to stop Local Authorities across the country cutting the School Crossing Patrol Service, which is not currently a statutory requirement. This is a matter of national road safety and should not be decided by local authority accountants. All evidence shows that removing the service will lead to injuries and deaths to young people. In the words of Prime Minister David Cameron, (when adding his support to the UN Decade of Action For Road Safety in May 2011): “Road accidents are still the leading cause of death for British teenagers and young adults – with the loss of six or seven people in road crashes every day.” Where a school crossing patrol is in place and meets the national criteria, Local Authorities should not be able to cut the service and endanger young lives.
This petition needs 100,000 signatures before the matter has to be debated in the House of Commons. Please follow this link and sign up to keep our children safe. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Unison Gives the Facts On Lollipop Cuts

Unison, the public services trade Union, have released a new fact sheet for members and MPs.
When you come to the end of a lollipop... POP goes children’s safety. ...
UNISON believes that school crossing patrollers, often called lollipop people, provide a vital service to the community. Cutting their short hour low paid jobs (average £3,000 p.a.) is a false economy, especially when young lives are at stake.
It details the history of the service, in addition to the reasons why these cuts are unacceptable. Click here for the full sheet.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Parents Speak Out to Protect Lollipop Ladies and Men Across Wandsworth

From This is Local London today the following report

Worried parents and children took to the streets last week outraged that the lollipop ladies and men who protect their children outside schools could be axed by the cash-strapped council.
Pupils and parents voiced their fears after it emerged the school crossing service, which costs Wandsworth Council £200,000 a year, was under threat.
It is consulting primary schools about them taking over the cost of the service, with the council proposing that it retains responsibility for training, uniforms and equipment.
Fircroft Primary School, in Tooting, has launched a Save Our Lollipop People campaign on its website and parents of youngsters at Honeywell Junior School and Belleville Primary School, both in Battersea, have begun collecting signatures on petitions.

Local MP Sadiq Khan who is a parent from Fircroft lends his support to the Campaign
 To read the full report please follow this link

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Children Protest to Save Lollipop People and WIN!!!

Children in Dulwich in London have protested against the cuts to three lollipop patrols - and won. Well done those children. It proves you never to young to stick up for something you believe in. That is now four London Boroughs that are protesting, Brent, Lambeth, Wandsworth and Dulwich. Cuts by the boroughs on spending on crossing patrols coupled with cuts by Boris Johnson to the Capital Road Safety Budget. Madness. Report on BBC Newsround

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Free Range Kids - A Sustrans Campaign

Sustrans has launched a new campaign Free Range Kids with the aim of encouraging Goverment and Local Authorities to work more closely together to make it safer for our children to get out of the house and out of the car and enjoy being free, as many of us were when we were children. Saving our Lollipop People is part of this process of giving children more freedom to feel save as they move about in the community. Sustrans are proposing an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons to raise awareness of this matter and needs as many MPs as possible to sign up to support it. By following the link you can find a letter to send to your local MP asking for their support.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

And so it goes on, and on...

The wheels of democracy turn so painfully slow. On Monday the Dorset County Council, Policy Development Panel met for the second time to discuss the situation with School Crossing Patrols following the consultation process. I know that all the schools have been consulted because the BBC carried out the same consultation (in slightly less time) and the majority decision was that schools would not be spending their children's education budget on road safety.

I know for a fact that DCC officers have been asking local councils and parish councils if they will provide the funding and likewise the replies have been negative.

The third idea was seeking sponsorship. I don't believe for one minute that the PDP has been tasked with finding this sponsorship or even that county council officers have been instructed to spend the next 3 months ringing around all the firms in the county seeking this sponsorship. Therefore they should have been able to reach a decision on the strength of what they discussed on Monday.

Of course the panellists will be claiming expenses for these meetings, which is more money that could be saved if they just got on and made a decision.

You wouldn't run a private company like this. If there was a problem of this magnitude to be sorted you wouldn't have meetings at 3 monthly intervals, you'd sit round a table for a long as it took until the matter was resolved.

When DCC was approached by our local BBC correspondent for a comment about the meeting on Monday this was the response.
Angus Campbell, leader of the county council, said: "I know that the future funding of school crossing patrols is a difficult and sensitive issue about which many people are anxiously concerned. A panel of councillors has been looking into this. They are due to complete their discussions in September, after which there will be a wider discussion leading to a decision by the county council in November. I look forward to hearing the panel's views as a valuable contribution to our decision-making."

Colin Jamieson, chair of the Policy Develop Panel on school crossing patrols, said: "The county council faces making tough decisions in order to make the level of savings required of us. We are engaging with schools, town and parish councils and county council officers on the options for how the safety of children is safeguarded. We aim to have our ideas ready in September." 
In the meantime, all the hard working School Crossing Patrol staff continue to live in a state of anxiety unsure whether they will still be working this time next year. This is a shameful way to treat people.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

National Newspaper Coverage

Yesterday the Guardian Newspaper plublished a very comprehensive report by journalist, Jon Henley, on the cricis facing the School Crossing Patrols service in the UK. The report explains very clearly the important role the Lollipop People play in keeping our children safe and the road accident statistics down. To read the full report follow this link

Thursday, 23 June 2011

A Letter to the Main Man

Having waited for a month for a reply to an email to David Cameron I conclude that there will not be one. Fair enough I suppose as he must get thousands if not hundreds of thousands of emails. Therefore I have written a proper letter which I shall post tomorrow and if you are reading this and know him please you can point it this out to him in case the letter gets lost in the mail.

Dear Prime Minister,

I am running a campaign that is concentrated in Dorset but extends across the country, seeking to halt the cuts by local authorities to the funding for School Crossing Patrol services. I wrote to you at the start of the campaign and your office referred me to the Department of Transport (letter 27th Jan).

I have been supported in my campaign by all national road safety organisations, as well as two local Dorset MPs, Annette Brook and Richard Drax, who spoke to Norman Baker on this subject in an adjournment debate in March. However, much as Mr Baker supported the very important and necessary role of these patrols he said that the responsibility for the funding lay with the local authorities and there was nothing he could do. (Transcript attached).

It was with considerable interest that I read about the launch of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety last month.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has joined F1 stars Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button to launch the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety in the UK. They launched the Decade of Action together with ten schoolchildren in a Downing Street photocall.
Wearing the road safety Tag for the Decade of Action, the Prime Minister said that road deaths now represent a major global concern and combating them must become a development priority:
“Every six seconds, someone is killed or seriously injured on the world's roads. Addressing this must be an urgent priority for the international community. In the United Kingdom, we have managed to make our roads amongst the safest in the world. Yet, despite this road accidents are still the leading cause of death for British teenagers and young adults – with the loss of six or seven people in road crashes every day.
“That's why I'm adding my voice to all those across the world who are coming together in support of the launch of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety.”
I trust that you stand by your words quoted above and fully support the aims of this world wide campaign.

If so, I am sure that you will recognise that the Government must take back from local authorities the responsibility for maintaining School Crossing Patrols to assure their future funding.

I do not see how you can be part of a global campaign for road safety and sit back and let these cuts take place, putting our children’s lives in danger. I would be most grateful for your thoughts on this subject and your intentions to ensure our roads remain the safest in the world.

Yours sincerely

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Unison Launch A Campaign to Save the Lollipop People

At this years annual conference in Manchester Unison announced that they would be launching a campaign to save school crossing patrols.
Despite clear evidence they save lives, they are not required by law and a quarter of councils are cutting their numbers. Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Cutting school crossing patrols puts children’s lives at risk.
“This is a false economy. Lollipop ladies and men are low-paid workers, earning less than £3,000. The Government needs to protect children by putting patrols on a legal footing.”
Unison is launching the campaign at the start of its annual conference in Manchester today, which is also the start of Child Safety Week. Caroline Perry, of charity Brake, said ministers should cut the number of children injured and killed on roads, “not make it worse”.
The full report is in the Mirror Newspaper. I am extremely pleased that finally a National body is taking up the challenge. I contacted Unison back in February and the wheels grind slowly, but they got there in the end. I hope they manage to do which I been unable to do and protect the service for the future by getting a committment from Government that despite it not being a statutory service is will be exempt from cuts.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

A Sad Week for Parents and Children in Staffordshire

Last Monday in Staffordshire a child was killed outside a school where there isn't a crossing patrol and then on Friday another child was injured outside another school without a crossing patrol. How anyone can seriously suggest that removing crossing patols to save money is an acceptable action when it is clear that children cannot judge the speed of cars on the road continue to get hit.

Friday, 17 June 2011

A BBC Survey

Local BBC reporters have been in touch with all 56 schools in Dorset that have school crossing patrols to ask if they are willing to pay for the service in the event that Dorset County Council cuts funding. Of the replies they received nearly 40 said no, 1 said they received local funding anyway and the rest were undecided. The BBC spoke to Peter Finney at County Hall who said that they weren't looking to cut the service but to find alternative funding. That in itself is a success, as the original stance was that the service will go unless non county funding is found. Mr Finney also suggested that funding might be sought by schools from local businesses. I agree that is an idea to look at but, it should not be for school staff/governor's to use their valuable time seeking funding which I know from personal experience is tedious and time-consuming, rather if that is the way County want to go they should set up a County Council paid group to seek funding for all schools from all over the County and in the current economic climate I think it will be a hard task to find money.

The whole report will be on three regions tonight at 6.30pm BBC South, BBC Southwest and BBC Bristol. This is prior to the next Planning Development Panel meeting on 27th June which is discussing the future of the service.

Monday, 13 June 2011

It's not about Politics it's about Money

Throughout this campaign I have been under the belief that this was somehow a Conservative led plot and if Labour was still in power they would not have been imposing cuts to local government that resulted in cuts to the the school crossing patrols and ultimately the risk of death to our children. I may be wrong on that score. Perhaps it is all about money, because the Labour controlled Brent Council in London is planning to axe 30 crossing patrols to save £200,000.

Are the Dorset School Crossing Patrols so poorly paid that 65 of them being axed saves the same amount as the 30 in London? I know there is a London allowance but is it that much?

Thursday, 26 May 2011

More children to put in Danger just to save £200,000

LOLLIPOP men and women across Brent are set to lose their jobs as a result of council cuts.
Brent Council is planning to reduce the number of lollipop people from 47 to 17 by September.
The cull would save the council about £200,000 a year. To read the full story follow this link

Last week I highlighted the increase in accidents to children on the roads as a result of Boris Johnson cutting the funding to the Capital' road safety budget. The facts are there in black and white and no one it reading and paying attention. Why is this?

Monday, 23 May 2011

Unison Survey of School Crossing Patrols

If you are a Lollipop Person or work with School Crossing Patrols please follow this link to fill in a survey being carried out by Unison to guage the extent and severity of the cuts to the service across the country.

A Trip To Parliament

Last Thursday it was a  pleasure to meet the Shadow Transport Minister for road safety, Mr Jim Fitzpatrick  and have a meeting with him on the Houses of Parliament Terrace to discuss the Kids Cross Safely Campaign and my Lollipop Campaign. He was very supportive of all that we am trying to achieve and encouraged us to continue with what we are doing and encourage others around the country to fight for their local Lollipop People and safe crossing outside schools. Only by getting the issue into the main stream media will we make those in power look at and address our concerns. Until then David Cameron can just go on ignoring us.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

More children hurt crossing roads after Mayor slashes budget

This is the proof of what happens when you mess with road safety. This is just what every sensible person knew would happen. This report is from today's Londond Evening Standard. Yesterday someone told me that Boris Johnson was responsible for removing pedestrian crossings on some routes in London because they hold up traffic and now this, the man's a buffoon.
The number of children injured on London's roads has risen by 150 since Boris Johnson cut funding for road safety, it emerged today.
Road safety campaigners said more children would be put at risk if Transport for London's support for boroughs was reduced further.
Many councils across London have already slashed the number of lollipop ladies as they are forced to tighten their belts.
In 2008-09, the year the Mayor took office, TfL's road safety spending stood at £58.8m, of which £30.3m went to the boroughs.
In 2010-11 just £24.5m has been allocated, £9.7m of which will go to town hall programmes.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

David Cameron helps Launch UN Decade of Action for Road Safety In the UK

I was slightly bemused to read that David Cameron was helping to launch the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety in the UK. He has not stepped in to prevent Tory Councils from implementing cuts to the School Crossing Patrol Service the removal of which will lead to an increase of serious injuries and deaths to young people on our roads.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has joined F1 stars Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button to launch the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety in the UK. They launched the Decade of Action together with ten schoolchildren in a Downing Street photocall.
Wearing the road safety Tag for the Decade of Action, the Prime Minister said that road deaths now represent a major global concern and combating them must become a development priority:
“Every six seconds, someone is killed or seriously injured on the world's roads. Addressing this must be an urgent priority for the international community. In the United Kingdom, we have managed to make our roads amongst the safest in the world. Yet, despite this road accidents are still the leading cause of death for British teenagers and young adults – with the loss of six or seven people in road crashes every day.
“That's why I'm adding my voice to all those across the world who are coming together in support of the launch of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety.”

I have written to David Cameron, yet again on this matter, perhaps this time he'll take some action. However, I am not holding my breath.

National News Coverage

Very brief appearance this morning on the BBC News Channel and no mention of the campaign details in fact just one sentence but I hope the most important one. 'If these cuts are allowed to go ahead, without any shadow of a doubt there will be an increase in serious injuries and fatalities'. Additional coverage going out on BBC Spotlight tonight at 6.30pm.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

BBC National News Coverage

Harry Allen, BBC Producer came to Weymouth today with his colleagues to film a piece about the effects of the cuts to a typical county, Dorset. They spoke to the me about the Save Our Lollipop People Campaign and to the Library protesters as well as Angus Campbell the Leader of Dorset County Council. The interview went well, the road was busy and noisy as usual I wish I had said other things or said things differently and they'll probably edit out the bits I think they should leave in but, I'm not complaining.
The piece will be on the national news on THURSDAY from 6.00am, 7.00am, 8.00am and again at 1.00pm.
This is a national issue and needs national coverage and then maybe someone who makes the rules will implement a national solution before any of the children get hurt. Hope you are listening Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg, Mr Baker, Mr Pickles. I would include Mr Milliband in there but since he never answers any of my letters I know he never listens anyway.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Children in Danger Because Stirling Council Can't Afford a Relief Lollipop Person

Crossing bungle enrages parents (full report)
OUTRAGED parents fear Bridge of Allan Primary School pupils' lives could be at risk after a lollipop man resigned and was not replaced.
Youngsters walked to school last week to find the school crossing patroller on the busy Henderson Street was no longer there.
It was the same day the school was promoting a special walk to school challenge, which prompted some parents to allow their children to walk the route themselves.

Friday, 6 May 2011

National News Coverage

Next week BBC News is coming to Dorset cover the Save Our Lollipop People campaign as part of a piece on cuts across Dorset. Dorset is being used as a typical county example of what is happening across the country one year on from the start of the coalition. I will reinforce the message that this is happening everywhere and that children should never be put at risk to save money and the service must be protected in the future.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Radio Coverage on The Coast 106 and The Breeze 107 [Updated]

A brief news item about School Crossing Patrols aired on The Breeze 107 today; listen below or click here to view on YouTube.



Coverage of the campaign was also featured on The Coast Radio Station (south coast) and the item on their news page can be viewed here.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Breaking down the barriers. The Olympian hurdles faced by children in walking to school

A report to mark the launch of National Walking Month May 2011
To mark the start of National Walking Month 2011, national charity Living Streets has surveyed over two thousand children and young people between the ages of seven and 14 from across the United Kingdom to
find out first hand how they view walking to school. They have produced a very interesting short report highlighting why the current generation of children has lost the 'walking habit' and the future implications for the health of these children as a result.

These are just two of the survey results that highlight why we must Save the Lollipop People

• Over a third (36%) are scared about walking to school because of speeding traffic.
• One in fi ve children and young people are concerned about the lack of safe crossing points on
their journey to school
.
To read the full report follow this link.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Haverhill in Suffolk agrees to fund Lollipop Poeple

It has started - the dividing up of the country into the 'have's and the have not's'. Haverhill Town Council in Suffolk has agreed to fund their school crossing patrols to the tune of £9,000 in the event that the rumour that new County Council Leader Mark Bee will not be fulfilling his initial promise to find county funding for the service. Why should the children in Haverhill be safe when other children in the county are put a risk because their local borough cannot find funding. For coverage of the story follow this link.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

BBC Politics Show Coverage of the Lollipop Campaign




On 3rd April the BBC Politics Show Southwest featured an item about the campaign to Save the Lollipop People including Annette Brooke MP's speech in an adjournement debate in Parliament and with supporting comments from Lord Knight. This piece is now avaiable on YouTube, property of the BBC. The full transcript of the parliamentary debate is available here.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Suffolk Lollipop People May be Saved

Suffolk County Council have appointed a new Council Leader, Mark Bee.
Within hours of being elected as the leader of Suffolk County Council on Monday , Mark Bee pledged to save school crossing patrols and slow down the divestment of waste sites and libraries.
For more details follow this link

Friday, 1 April 2011

Why does Ferndown need a lollipop lady? One car every three seconds....

Campaigners in Ferndown in Dorset carried out their own survey of their school crossing patrol and discovered that with a car passing every 3 seconds it would be almost impossible for children to cross safely to school if the Lollipop Lady goes with the cuts. To read the full report follow this link

An Update

This week I spoke to the Road Safety Officer at Suffolk County Council where they are on 90 days notice with no ongoing consultation to offer any hope. My sympathy goes out to the council officers and Lollipop People and I sincerely hope that 3 months down the line I will not be reading about the first young child injured or killed as a result of these cuts but I fear that I will.

I have written to Mr Pickles this Week because as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government surely he has an interest in watching out for those communities that will be devestated by children being killed as a result of the Local Government actions. I have also written to Ms Eagle the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport to see if there will be a bit more support on that side of the House.

This is a quote from the PACT report that was mentioned a couple of weeks ago...
There was a strong feeling expressed by many participants in the PACTS
research that central government’s role should be to lead. Central
government has a privileged panorama view, and it needs to use this
position to co-ordinate and advise. Power can be decentralised, but
overall responsibility cannot be abdicated.’
I wholeheartedly agree with that last sentence. I just wish I could find someone who wanted to take overall responsibility before the children start being hurt.

An interesting development elsewhere is road safety - In Oxfordshire speed cameras that were switched off to save money last year are being switched back on because more people are having serious accidents and dying! Let's hope we don't reach the serious injuries and death stage in our campaign.

Friday, 25 March 2011

House of Commons Debate Transcript

Click here to view the discussion about School Crossing Patrols in the House of Commons.

School Crossing Patrols and Sustainable Travel

This is what the Whitepaper on Sustainable Transport has to say on page 30...
The Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), which will provide £560 million of revenue and capital funding (£350 million revenue, £210 million capital) to enable local authorities to bid for funding to support the delivery of sustainable measures that support economic growth and reduce carbon emissions, delivering cleaner environments, improved safety and increased levels of physical activity.
I sincerely believe that SCPs are part of the existing sustainable transport structure and their removal will lead to more parents taking children to school in the car. This will obviously lead to an increase in carbon emissions and a lessening of physical activity. I therefore believe every local authority should be applying for this funding on these grounds. Even if every county in the country applied for a grant for SCPs is will only be a small fraction of £560 million and the children will be safe.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

BBC Politics Show

The item about the Dorset School Crossing Patrols that was filmed last week for the BBC Politics Show will probably now go out on Sunday 3rd April according to the show's producer Chris Lyddon. Unfortunately it is a regional item so won't benefit counties such as Suffolk where the whole School Crossing Patrol team is on 90 days notice.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

What this campaign needs is...

A Lego Minifigure is what is needed. There are figures for every other role in life but no Lollipop People. I have contacted Lego but since it is a little like getting into Fort Knox you can't find a human contact point. So I left a 'fill in the boxes email'. Please if anyone reading this knows anyone who is not a 'robot' at Lego please pass on our request.

Kwik Fit launch petition to help support Lollipop People

Kwik Fit have launched a petition to help support Lollipop People please follow this link to add you support to their campaign.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Lollipop patrols: Campaign praised by transport chief

The Bournemouth Echo has given a good account of what took place in Parliament last week. Annette Brooke and Richard Drax spoke of their concerns about the School Crossing Patrol cuts to Norman Baker Under Secretary of State for Transport.
Mr Baker acknowledged that local authorities have a general duty under the Road Traffic Act to promote road safety and to take measures to prevent accidents.
He said both MPs were ‘eloquent and persuasive’ in their arguments and he paid tribute to the ‘much-loved’ lollipop men and women who he said played such a ‘crucial’ role.
Regarding Mrs Brooke’s speech, Mr Baker said: “She has put together a compelling case and I believe Dorset County Council will reflect very carefully indeed on her remarks and those of Mr Drax.”
Full story here

Friday, 18 March 2011

In the News Today

Earlier this week whilst taking part in a local BBC Radio show presented by children, Toni Combe Dorset County Council Briefholder for Children's services said that in the event that neither volunteers or community funding could be found then Dorset County Council will continue to pay for the School Crossing Patrols service. The BBC has considered her statement to be a reprieve or even a U turn from the council and this morning interviewed parents and children at Holy Trinity about the response to the good news. We are slightly cynical but as this follows the statements of support for the service made by our MPs it will be hard for Councillors to keep taking the hard line. This will be a news item on BBC Spotlight at 6.30pm.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Yesterday in Parliament

A very big thank you to both Annette Brooke and Richard Drax, Dorset MPs for putting the case for the retention of the School Crossing Patrols so clearly and persuasively to Norman Baker the Under Secretary of State for Transport. I hope that Dorset County Councillors pay attention to the recommendation of the Minister that they use central guidance on Best Practice with regard to road safety and take their road safety responsibilities very seriously as well as listening to the comments and concerns of Ms Brooke and Mr Drax. To watch the debate follow this link
The debate starts at about 16.50. The recommendations of the minister are relevant to every County Council or Town Council across the country who is contemplating these cuts. It is up to everyone to bring these recommendations to the notice of their local MPs and Councillors. Common sense may yet prevail.


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

ITV news coverage

ITV Meridian did an interview yesterday with one of the Holy Trinity Lollipop Ladies, Dawn Moriarty, they also spoke to parents and children and Dorset Road Safety Officer, Rob Camp. This item will be part of their regional evening news at 6.00pm today.

BBC Politics Show Interview

This morning I gave an interview to a very nice gentleman from the BBC, John Henderson, who came over from Devon to film the Walking Bus going to Holy Trinity and using the Lollipop Lady on the very busy Buxton Road. We then returned home for an interview where I explained a little of the history of the Save Our Lollipop People campaign and what the aims are. It was very nerve racking and I hope I made a persuasive case for keeping the Crossing Patrols and somehow protecting them for the future. I really need a coffee now.

Monday, 14 March 2011

A Voice in Parliament

On Wednesday pm, North Dorset Lib Dem MP, Annette Brooke will be speaking in a half hour 'adjournment debate' in the Westminister Hall in Parliament, about the School Crossing Patrols and the effects of the cuts on the service. She will be asking questions of a minister, though which one I do not know at the moment. Fingers crossed for a change of direction on this matter.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Parliamentary Advisory Council For Transport Safety (PACT)

A report has just been published by PACT. The report called 'Tackling the Deficit' reports on the effects on national road safety in light of the cuts to spending. This is a summary of the report.
Budget cuts threaten to reverse road casualty reduction
Britain should be braced for a possible increase in the number of road deaths because of cuts to the road safety budget and traffic growth caused by economic recovery.
Nine out of ten road safety professionals think reduced spending is going to harm road safety projects and over half believe a loss of expertise will mean there will be no further falls in the number of casualties.
When asked for their more detailed opinion a number of respondents wrote that they feared the amount of those killed and injured could actually rise.
The report concludes it is vital that government sets out a firm strategy for road safety over the next decade in its forthcoming Strategic Road Safety Framework. The previous ten-year plan came to an end in March 2010. A strong commitment from central government to preventing death and injury on the roads will encourage councils to spend a fair share of their reduced budgets on cutting casualties rather than diverting it to other services which they believe better reflects the view in Whitehall.
 Follow this link to read the full report.

I am only a concerned mother but I think this advice is saying don't cut the lollipop people just to save money!

An Important Fact If You Are Fighting Cuts in Your Area

In Many County Council's across the UK it is now the requirement to discuss a petition subject in a full council meeting if the submitted Petition has more than 1000 signtures. If you submit a petition you will also be able to speak about the petition and put your case. Please check your individual county website and search for 'petitions' for exact terms.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Today in the Daily Telegraph Newspaper

In the Daily Telegraph today Mr Penning, Minister for Road Safety had this to say about the School Crossing Patrol Service cuts...
“We are committed to improving road safety,” he said.
"The importance of tackling the country’s deficit means that we have had to make tough decisions in all areas of our spending.
“However, we have also removed ring-fencing from local authority grants so that councils are able to set their own priorities.
“We would expect that road safety would remain a priority for local communities and that local spending would reflect that.
"Tackling child road casualties is a priority and we have launched a new initiative targeting those areas with higher than average child road casualty rates to help children stay safe on the roads.”
I have written to Mr Penning suggesting that a petition put before the Welsh Assembly had the right idea.
We call upon the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to make it a condition of acceptance of any Welsh Assembly Government Transport Grant, that the relevant council continues to employ School Crossing Patrols to safeguard our children. In particular, maintaining the existing number and location of patrols as existed in 2010 and that the status of these patrols not change unless approved by the majority of parents at the relevant schools.
 The arguments behind this petition are simple:
  • central govt funding to local councils for transport (includes pedestrians) is designed to improve it; make it safer and more effiecient.
  • Obviously safety is the number one criteria
  • transport grants include safer routes to schools
  • Removing lollipop persons makes transport more dangerous i.e. the opposite of improvement
  • Thus there should be no transport grants of any type from cental govt to local councils where they are acting to make things more dangerous by removing lollipop persons
This all sounds sensible to me, but I'm not sure that common sense plays much part in governing. Let's hope I'm wrong.



Thursday, 3 March 2011

A call to all SCHOOL CROSSING PATROL PEOPLE

I think maybe this blog is getting a bit too full of facts and I think its high time I included the real  faces of the wonderful people that are threatened by the cuts around the country without whom our children would not get to school safely. If you are a Lollipop Person or you have one at your local school please can you send me a photo and a little bit about (yourself) them because I would like to put them on a 'wall of fame'. Send an email with photo attachment to save_lollipop_people@yahoo.com
One of the downsides of the campaign is that the very people that need to be helped Our Lollipop People are often people who do not have access to a computer.  Therefore if you are a parent, teacher or member of school staff and you have a valued school crossing person please take the time to invite them into school and show them that there is a campaign taking place on their behalf.

And so the cuts go on...but its not all doom and gloom.

Yesterday I learnt that in Exeter they are facing cuts to the lollipop service. I spoke to a local councillor there and offered support. I also spoke to a parish councillour in Derbyshire again facing cuts.
On a lighter note, Sustrans say they hope to link with my campaign for their new 'Free Range Kids' campaign which is starting in May with its own website. Also there is hope that we can join with the national Unison 'Million Voices' campaign, (discussion still ongoing). I will join up the dots and we will stop children being killed in this country, just to save money!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Dorset Community Action

On Monday I was invited to take part in a A Dorset Community Action 'Surviving the Cuts' conference and workshops. I was there to share my experiences of campaigning and in particular using the social networking facilities to contact and inform. I hope therefore that those visiting this site as a result of Monday's conference have been inspired in some way. I was acutely aware whilst at the conference that it was directed at the large number of volunteering groups that exist in the county and provide invaluable services for everything from the homeless through to disabled; friends of the libraries; mental health support; and even Horses inform people. I on the other hand was there to talk about how I am campaigning to stop a service being turned over to volunteers because its not suitable. I did raise this with many that I talked to on the day and their unanimous opinion was that it was not a service that they would consider should be done by volunteers. I enjoyed the day and learned many useful things, some of which I wish I had learnt 2 months ago, but that's life! Thank you to the organisers who themselves have had their ranks depleted by cuts and I strongly advise anyone running a voluntary organisation within Dorset to make sure you utilise their help and advice.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Passing the Buck

At the beginning of this campaign year some Holy Trinity year 6 children and I wrote to David Cameron about our concerns about the Lollipop People being threaten by cuts. The reply from No. 10 was 'thank you for writing, very sorry but not our problem, have referred this to the Department of Transport and the Department of Education'. The DofT reply finally came through and throws the responsibility back to the local authorities and can't help. But since the local authorities are only making these cuts because the cuts from government have been so severe surely there is a responsibility at the top? I think I feel a letter to the Queen coming on, perhaps she could remind her prime minister of his responsibilities to the children of this country.

Sustrans a Leading Sustainable Travel Charity Say..

Sustrans supports school crossing patrols. They provide a vital service for children walking and cycling to school. If these are taken away, we may see a decline in the number of children travelling actively to school and the council may still have to find funds for an alternative form of crossing in the absence of a lollipop person.”

Sustrans School Travel Director, Paul Osborne

Friday, 25 February 2011

Staffordshire School Crossing Patrols safe! Colchester patrols axed!

Staffordshire County Council has categorically stated that they will not be cutting any school crossing patrols. Read the full story here. Lucky Staffordshire children.
However, in Colchester the axe has fallen, read full story here. I have today contacted St Michael's in Colchester to offer my support and asked them join the campaign.
Anyone reading this from Colchester please pass on the details to everyone there. Especially the link to the 38 degrees site where the campaign is listed under Public Services and is called Save Our Lollipop People.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Making the Save Our Lollipop People Campaign Bigger

Despite having failed to change the minds of the Dorset Councillors last week, I am determined to go on fighting to make this as high profile an issue as possible, or rather as high profile as Saving the Forests became. I have listed the campaign with 38 Degrees and am awaiting approval but since there are some pretty wierd campaigns going on I think a simple desire to protect the safety of our children may be accepted. I also started a Facebook 'Cause', again just a means to spread the word in a simple fashion if you are interested join the cause and send invites to all your facebook friends. I have been in touch with Sustrans again today with a suggestion that they would be well placed to highlight this campaign.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Furthering the Cause

Last night I was fortunate enough to be invited to a South Dorset Labour Party dinner on Portland.  I was able to have a short chat with Sarah Brown and Lord Knight about the School Crossing Patrols, which was very interesting.  It all helps to keep the cause alive, and I am determined to approach whoever it takes to get this decision reversed.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Jeremy Vine Show and Newsround

Today the cuts to School Crossing Patrol Services across the country made it as an item on The Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2.  Jeremy spoke to a couple of Lollipop Ladies who gave very good accounts of the dangers of their jobs and the risks to the children if they are no longer there to help. I got in touch as did Emily in London but as she said they just wanted to speak to someone who was in favour of the service going rather than more people saying why is should be kept so we didn't get to speak. However Emily and her daughter were filmed by the Newsround team and they will be on at 5.00pm today and probably all day tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Dorset County Council Stand Firm

I am very sorry to announce that despite my best attempt in the County Council Chamber today I was unable to change the minds of the Tory Majority. I was slightly under the impression that listening to me and my fellow petitioner Liz Howard was a formality as the decision had been made before the meeting started. However, this has simply strengthened my resolve to try and make a permanent change to the law so that the School Crossing Patrols become a statutory service and cannot be cut from under us and our children. Yes, I did state all relevant facts about cost of deaths on the road and the evidence of danger to volunteers but none of these facts were addressed. Finally, I do want to say that if you are reading this as a Lollipop Person please don't lose heart entirely and hand in your notice, we really need your continued service and we will go on fighting.
On a happier note someone in the country received the award for Best Lollipop Person today, if anyone knows who it is please let us know.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Full Council Meeting in Dorchester

By tomorrow evening we shall know whether this campaign to fight the decision by Dorset County Council to cut funding for the school crossing patrols that service 65 schools, has been successful or not. I sincerely hope that some of the facts highlighted on this site have sunk into the consciences of the Councillors. The fact that this is not a role suitable for volunteers, because in the last two months alone, one lollipop person has been killed, several have been seriously injured and several sustained minor injuries. The fact that DCC may be saving £200,000 but the cost the public services of a road death is over £1.5million. The fact that as a civilised society we should never put our children's lives at risk just to save money. Lets hope we succeed and can go on to help other parts of the country facing similiar cuts.

Newsround To Cover the Lollipop People Protests

After speaking to Newsround today, they got in touch with the protest group in Lambeth and will be interviewing Emily Fieldon there on Friday. Please go on adding comments to the Newsround website so they get a good picture of how widespread this problem is.

Concerned about a dangerous road in your community? Help is at Hand from Brake the Road Safety Charity

If you're concerned about a dangerous road, or cuts to road safety in your area (such as School Crossing Patrols), Brake’s mascot Zak the Zebra can help you. Thanks to sponsorship from Balfour Beatty Plant & Fleet Services, Brake's Zak the Zebra costume can be borrowed for a limited number of road safety campaigns and protests. If Zak visits, it can boost local awareness, as Brake will put together a press release and promote the visit to local media. Read about previous campaigns Zak has supported here. Zak can also attend educational or fundraising events, if you can cover postage costs.
GET INVOLVED: contact Zak today
Tell Zak about your dangerous road or your road safety campaign by completing our quick online form at www.zakthezebra.org, or calling Zak’s hotline on 08000 687780, kindly operated by Irwin Mitchell. To book Zak for fundraising events email emoxon@brake.org.uk

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Calling All Children, Your Help Please

CBBC Newsround are asking children to let them know about their lollipop person and what that person means to them. Please follow this link and let Newsround know how you feel about the thought of losing these essential people. Perhaps if enough children leave comments they will know how important this is and do a special piece.

Monday, 14 February 2011

The March on 12th February

To see Youtube footage of the March last Saturday and comment by Billy Bragg, please follow this link. To read the Dorset Echo coverage follow this link.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

National Newspaper Coverage

Our protest along with the all the other taking place across the country has made it into the National press. For details click the Press tab.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

A huge turnout for the Dorchester March to Protest the Cuts

It was thrilling to be part of the march through Dorchester this morning. Huge numbers turned up, more than the organisers were expecting. The support along the way from the members of the public who had to stand aside to let the march pass was also heartening. There was some inspirational speaking most especially Billy Bragg ,who sung his own anti bankers song and also the Union Anthem. I was pleased to be there and really hope the level of support seen today was noted with concern by our Councillors. Photos to follow.

A Sit Down Protest

Parents in Lambeth organised a sit down protest to highlight the plight of their Lollipop man yesterday. Click the Press tab for full details.

Friday, 11 February 2011

MARCH TOMORROW

What's the saying 'The Sun Shines on the Righteous'? The forecast for tomorrow's March in Dorchester is sunny! Hope to see lots of people there to protest all the cuts being imposed by our County Councillors. Meet at the library at 11.00 march to the town pump. Speeches from Billy Bragg and others. A show of unity before the decisive meeting on Thursday.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Another Lollipop Person hurt. Any Volunteers?

In the Liverpool Echo today is news of yet another lollipop lady injured doing her job. To read more see the in the Press tab. Do our County Councillors really think that this is a job for volunteers?

Best Lollipop Person Awards Sponsored by Kwik Fit

Whilst I will be attending the Full Council Meeting on 17th February to learn the fate of our Lollipop people in Dorset elsewhere in the county someone will be receiving the award for the Best Lollipop Person 2010. This is an award scheme sponsored by Kwik Fit who obviously value these wonderful people a little more highly than some people in our society. Click here to visit the Best Lollipop Person site. Too late to vote this year but if you care about your lollipop person and you still have one next year please get involved in promoting them this way.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Lollipop Person Injured On A Road Where A Child Was Previously Killed

On Friday in Suffolk a lollipop man was injured on the same road that in 2007 a young child was killed. Drivers can't seem to stop for a man dressed head to toe in a high vis uniform, what chance is there for parents and children? Click here for story.

The cost of Volunteers

Dorset Couny Council say they will provide uniforms etc for volunteers, so I have done a little research into the practicalities of this. To properly dress a crossing person in all weather uniform with hat costs £100. Add onto that the cost of carrying out the training, the CRB check and the medical. So for example if the community suddenly had an attack of Big Society spirit (totally unlikely) and at Holy Trinity School 21 volunteers came forward to share the responsibility of manning three crossings, i.e. one day a week every three weeks (sounds fair). 21 uniforms £2,100 plus extras for training etc. One month for a CRB check to come through, then the volunteer changes their mind, gets pregnant, gets a safer volunteer role or whatever. Over a year with changes in volunteers it could cost in excess of £3,000 to DCC. Wth all these costs DCC will not be able to save the money they envisage and the service will be a shambles.

What will happen if a volunteer does not do their job properly and a child gets hurt, will all these volunteers have to have public liability insurance as well?

If a volunteers does not turn up an ordinary parent or teacher cannot step in and do the role because they can be prosecuted for doing so. Follow this link to a story where a Devon parent was told not to man the crossing outside his children's school. This must be a paid role with central management and proper relief cover for sickness and holidays.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Jeremy Vine Show Radio 2 - The Big Society

The big society came up today in discussion on the Jeremy Vine Show and I phoned in for a moan about how the Big Society will not be able to help run the School Crossing Patrol service if the Conservative led County Council cut the funding. To listen click here . My moan is about 20/25 minutes into the show.

March and Rally on Saturday 12th February

Hundreds are expected to attend the march and rally that will be taking place in Dorchester to protest at Government cuts. I will be representing the Save Our Lollipop People campaign and invite anyone supporting the protest to come along. Hopefully we will be a significant group within the whole event. Meet at 11.00 by the library (opposite county hall). This march is being organised by the local TUC and is protesting the cuts to Day Centres, Lollipop Patrols, Libraries as well as local council jobs. The march will proceed to the Town Pump in Cornhill where there will be speeches from local union representatives. As before I would ask that if you have a hi-vis jacket you wear it and again I would ask that you let me know if you are thinking of coming so I can inform the organisers.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

In the press today

To read today's article about the campaign from 'The View from Here' follow the link on the press page.

E Petition

I have set up an E Petition at Dorset County Council now that the service is at last live. Please follow this link if you would like to add your support to the campaign. Please do not sign if you have put your name on the paper petition already handed in. Also you must be a Dorset resident to sign up. This is simply a means to show how much support there is for this campaign as budget decisions are to be made based on the petition handed in at the March.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Should there be a War of Petitions?

Today the Dorset Echo reported that a petition of 13,000 signatures had been handed in to County Hall to protest at the poposal to cut funding for the majority of smaller Dorset libraries. I signed my local petition to save Wyke library. But, I would say to anyone considering matching petition totals as a way of judging who is most deserving of 'saving' - had I been allowed to place my petition in the libraries, I consider that most people signing the library petition would also have signed mine. However, I was not allowed to put a petition contesting a DCC cut in a DCC funded library! I know we are fighting for the same funding, but closing a library will not cause a death. Removing Lollipop People will, it's just a matter of time.

The Times 'Blog' Coverage

Today a reporter from the 'School Gate' section of The Times newspaper contacted me for my opinions about the national issue of School Crossing Patrols, being cut by many local councils, in an attempt to address the cuts to funding implemented by the Government. I hope this report will go from 'Online' to 'National News' because once it is out for national debate I can't believe that any right minded individual would condone putting children's lives in danger just to 'Save Money'.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Video Footage of the March

A video from Saturday's protest march is available on the right of the page. Alternatively click here to watch it full screen via YouTube.

The Current Total

After additional petitions were handed in today, the total now stands at nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-five.

Dorset Echo: Vote to Save Our Lollipop People

After today's Dorset Echo coverage the website has launched a vote on whether you think the School Crossing Patrols should be scrapped. Click here.

I've voted!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

TV Coverage

This is the Television coverage of the Protest March. Unfortunatley the BBC coverage is not available on the internet.
ITV News (Meridian, West Country): 29th January 2011
Lollipop Cuts Protest
Families angry at plans to cut lollipop patrols across Dorset have marched to County Hall. The local authority needs to make savings of nearly 60 million pounds to balance its books and wants to stop funding patrols in a bid to claw back £200,000.

For previous coverage, see the In the Press tab.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

"No ifs, No buts, No Lollipop Cuts!"

 
We have just finished the March to County hall, it was a great turnout in the cold weather. The amount of signatures handed in was 9040. (compared to the 5000 target.) The event has already been reported on Wessex FM, and reporters attended from BBC, ITV West Country, the  Dorset Echo, the View from Weymouth and the Western Gazette.





Once again, I would like to give a massive thank you to everyone who signed, marched and gave their continued support. However, I would encourage everyone to continue the protest by emailing or writing to our councillors and MPs. Hopefully we will have done enough to change the Council's decision in the meeting on the 17th February.

Friday, 28 January 2011

THE PETITION: Over Eight Thousand Signatures

The Petition which will be handed to Councillor Crowhurst tomorrow morning currently stands at 8247 signatures with more expected to be handed in tomorrow. Thank you to all the schools who took part, hope to meet some of you personally tomorrow.

MARCH TO COUNTY HALL, DORCHESTER ON SATURDAY (TOMORROW)

I will be leading a March to County Hall on Saturday 29th January to hand in the petition to stop the cuts. At present the petition has over 4500 signatures with more still coming in. If you wish to join the March please assemble in the Market Car Park, Fairfield Road, Off Weymouth Avenue, Dorchester DT1 2EN by 11.00am. Children and families inparticular are most welcome as we need to emphasise that these are the children who will become victims if the cuts to the Lollipop People go ahead. If you know you will be there please email save_lollipop_people@yahoo.com and let me know so that we can have enough Police traffic management.

BBC South will be there to film the event.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Protesting in a Democracy (or not)

In 2009 The Local Democratic Economic Development and Construction Act was passed that made it law that all local government authories must have in place by the end of 2010, an e petition service so that members of the public could easily make their views know! A DCC document states that this service was to be in place by 15th December 2010. Lots of other County Councils have the service up and working but not DCC.
Dorset citizens have been denied their democratic right to protest because DCC has not put this service in place. This means the people protesting the library cuts, the elderly care cuts and the lollipop cuts must all submit paper petitions.
Is it a co-incidence that the proposed cuts came out at the beginning of December and a simple means to protest, which was due then, was not available? Interstingly, I learnt today that the e petition service for Dorset residents will go live on Monday. That is the last day that petitions objecting to proposed cuts can be submitted to County to be considered in the budget discussions. Should I mention the word CONSPIRACY? Democracy my foot!

School Crossing Patrols Staying In Bournemouth

Children in Bournemouth and Poole will be safe because their Council will not be cutting the School Crossing Patrol Service! I hope the DDC Councillors reponsible for the proposal to put our children's lives at risk are squirming, as they should. Follow link for full story on Heart FM.

Monday, 24 January 2011

A March to COUNTY HALL, DORCHESTER

I plan to lead a March to County Hall on Saturday 29th January to hand in the petition to stop the cuts. If you wish to join assemble in the Market Car Park, Fairfield Road, Off Weymouth Avenue, Dorchester DT1 2EN at 11.00am. Children and families inparticular are most welcome as we need to emphasise that these are the children who will become victims if the cuts to the Lollipop People go ahead. If you know you will be there please email save_lollipop_people@yahoo.com and let me know so that we can have enough Police traffic management.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Leicester City Council drops plans to axe Lollipop People

Leicester City Council is yet another organisation that has made the right decision about protecting the lives of young people. Follow the link in the press tab for full details.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Norfolk County Council listen to their public and don't cut Lollipop People

Norfolk County Council when faced with the need to make cuts to its serivces consulted the public in 'The Big Conversation' as a result of this consultation the recommendation from the Leader of the Council to the next council meeting on 14th Feb is that ..

6B School crossing patrols - delete this proposal (to cut the service). The safety of young children must continue to be an important priority and I am convinced by arguements that the value of this service to local communities far outstrips the relatively small saving that its removal would produce.
A county council with a heart, well done them.

Souce here

New Version of Petition

A new version of the petiton is online which includes numbering for each signature 1 - 25 this will make it easier to calculate the number of signatures collected. Please use this version in future.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

What does a life cost?

According to Department of Transport figures the average cost to society (Police, NHS etc.) of a death, serious injury or slight injury on our roads is £47,740. The cost of a death alone can be an average of £1,585,510.  This does not include the emotional trauma to both victim, driver, family and schoolmates, something that in many cases may never be recovered from.

DCC may save £200,000 but at what cost elsewhere?

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Wessex FM News

Interesting Wessex FM news today. First item - petition to stop DCC and West Dorset District Council SPENDING 50 million on the Charles Street Council offices and Library development in Dorchester. Second item - petition to stop DCC making cuts to the School Crossing Patrols to SAVE £200,000. Um let me see... new offices or saving children's lives... I will be signing the first petition so the second one can benefit from the money saved.

Dorset Echo Coverage

Dorset Echo continues to cover the campaign to stop the cuts planned for the School Crossing Patrol service. See press tab.

Dorset Couty Council extends the consultation period by 3 months

DCC yesterday announced that they would be extending the period for consultation with local communities, parish councils, and schools regarding the funding of the School Crossing Patrols or the finding of volunteers. For BBC coverage click the Press tab.
In real terms this extension is meaningless and is simply a knee jerk reaction to the request by local MP Richard Drax for them to make the cuts elsewhere as he is concerned for the safety of the children. Extending the consultation period will just mean 3 extra months for volunteers not to come forward and unless there is a sudden unexpected and sharp upturn in the present economic situation there will still be no money available in local communities or schools to fund this service.
Is it fair that if by some slim chance one school manages to find funding and their children are safe and yet another school in a more deprived area is unable to find funding or by the nature of the area, volunteers, and the children there are knocked down, injured or killed?
The only solution is for DCC to continue to provide this service for all children across the county.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Latest Echo Coverage: MP Richard Drax ask DCC to Reconsider Cuts

The Dorset Echo: 17th January 2011
MP Drax opposes Dorset County Council over lollipop patrols
SOUTH Dorset MP Richard Drax is pleading with the Tory-led county council to think again over the axing of Dorset’s lollipop pat-rols.
The Conservative MP waded into the debate as a campaign supported by parents and schools gathers pace.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Dear Mr Cameron

This is the letter which was sent to Prime Minister David Cameron accompanying letters written by Year Six pupils.

Dear Mr Cameron,


Please find enclosed some letters from the children at Holy Trinity School in Weymouth, Dorset. The children seem to believe that if you have a serious problem which needs sorting out, you write to the man at the top.

These letters have been written because Dorset County Council is planning to cut the funding of the School Crossing Patrol service across the whole of Dorset. This will save £200,000 and cost 65 jobs, which is I believe a mere 0.03% of the total Dorset Budget.

What is Safeguarding?

The Government has defined the term ‘safeguarding children’ as:

‘The process of protecting children from abuse or neglect, preventing impairment of their health and development, and ensuring they are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care that enables children to have optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.’

Friday, 14 January 2011

School Pupils send letters to David Cameron about School Crossing Patrols

The Dorset Echo: 14th January 2011
Holy Trinity pupils join Weymouth lollipop patrol campaign
CHILDREN feel so strongly about the loss of their lollipop patrol they are taking it to the top.
Pupils aged 10 and 11 from class 6P at Holy Trinity School in Weymouth have written letters to Prime Minister David Cameron asking him to act over Dorset County Council proposals to axe school crossing patrols.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Send a Protest Letter!

Sample protest letters have been added to the tab at the top of the page. Feel free to modify them and send them to Councillors or MPs.

New Dorset Echo Press coverage

Click on the In the Press tab for the latest Echo headline as well as TV coverage.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

BBC News Coverage

A feature on our campaign can be seen now on BBC Iplayer (it starts at around 5 mins in). Also we are expecting coverage on ITV West Country today although we were not featured yesterday.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Featured on TV today!

Tune in to ITV South West tonight at 6.00 and BBC South at 6.30. Both programmes did an interview about the campaign with me at 8.30 this morning.

Important: New Deadline for Petitions

I have been informed today that all petitions and protests against the cuts to School crossing Patrols must be with Dorset County Council by Monday 31st January, if they are to be considered when the discussion takes place. Therefore those being sent back to Holy Trinity must arrive before that date.

Monday, 10 January 2011

More about Our Campaign in the Press

Save Our Lollipop People has been featured on Wessex FM and in the Dorset Echo today. Click over to the In the Press page to see more information

An Interesting Fact

The total gross Dorset County Budget for 2010/11 is £650m therefore the saving of £200,000 that they propose to make by cutting the School Crossing Patrols is 0.03% of the whole budget. Not 1% or 5% but 0.03%.
60 plus jobs to go, children's lives put at risk to make this measily saving.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Read about School Crossing Patrols from the Press

A new page has been added with articles from the local and national press concerning lollipop men and ladies. Click on the In the Press tab to view it now

Facts, history and research added

To view information about School Crossing Patrols, visits The Facts tab.

Stop the Cuts Poster: Show your Support

This poster can be used by schools in addition to the petition. It can be downloaded here in the PDF format.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Welcome to 'Save our Lollipop People'

Hello, welcome to our blog. As concerned parents of children attending the largest Primary School in Dorset, we were alarmed to hear in December 2010 of plans by Dorset County Council to cut funding for School Crossing Patrols.

We hope to persuade the Council to reconsider the removal of School Crossing Patrols in Dorset, which we believe will have serious implications for the health and safety of our children.

We believe that if we manage to make a change, we will inspire others to follow our example and make a positive difference to the safety of our young people.

Please follow us and check back for updates in the near future. Thank you for reading!