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, or calling Zak’s hotline on 08000 687780, kindly operated by Irwin Mitchell. To book Zak for fundraising events email

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


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'.