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