Friday, 2 September 2011

An Update

The following is a summary and update on the recent School Crossing Patrol situation.

This quote for a recent article by Jon Henley of the Guardian (28th June) details the current situation around the country with regard to the cutting of the school crossing patrol service.
Northants county council plans to cut all 60 patrol workers to save £201,000 a year (although it's promising to maintain a service if at least 10 schools fund it themselves); Oldham council wants to slash £75,000 from its patrols budget; Barnet in north London has shed 10 patrols to save £117,000; and Suffolk's entire patrol staff, covering more than 80 road crossings, was at one stage slated to go, to save £180,000.
A further 67 out of 91 lollipop jobs are reportedly threatened in South Tyneside, 31 out of 103 could go in Stockport, Brent in London is seeking to reassess provision "according to risk", Buckinghamshire aims to save £119,000, and in Dorset the county council has threatened to withdraw funding for all of the county's 65 school crossing patrols by the end of the year, urging town and parish councils, schools and community groups to find their own funding or set up a volunteer service instead.
This is the full report.

To give you some background to the facts, in Northamptonshire the parents are furiously fundraising to keep their school crossing patrols. They have been successful in getting sponsorship from local companies as well as the more traditional fund raising activities. As we well know seeking money for good causes is hard work and time consuming and I doubt whether there will be the same enthusiasm to find money for the following year and the one thereafter.

The onus will now be on the schools who have found funding this time around to go on doing so next year.
In Southwark I believe 11 schools have found funding and 30 others have not and will no longer have crossing patrols from September. 
It is not fair that schools should be called upon to use their education budget to fund road safety. Despite what politicians say about the education budget not being cut, there is a greater pressure on schools to make the budget go further as we have lost many of the grants towards special needs etc that are depended upon to adequately provide for pupils.

In Suffolk, back in May, all the patrol staff were on notice to quit but that was thankfully halted when they got a new leader of the council and they are now reassessing each individual site as it becomes vacant but the fear is that in the next round of budgets they may be targeted again. (Source Mike Motteram, Suffolk County Council Road Safety Officer)
Recent protests have taken place in Lambeth, Wandsworth, Brent and Dulwich.

In January a crossing patrol lady was killed in Scotland. During the time the Save our Lollipop campaign has been running several school crossing patrol people have been hit and injured. These are the links to details of all incidences.



Without any doubt where these professional adults have been hurt a child would have been killed.
During the same period one child has been killed outside a school without a lollipop person and two others injured.

A headline in the Evening Standard in May read More children hurt crossing roads after Mayor slashes budget - A total of 150 more youngsters were injured on the capital's roads last year - a 14 per cent jump.

Don't forget that you can help the campaign by signing the government petition, and following on Facebook and Twitter.

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