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Essex: Renewed calls to save lollipop ladies

10:00 08 May 2014

British School Lollipop

British School Lollipop

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Renewed calls have been made to save under-threat lollipop ladies and men.

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Liberal Democrat councillors at County Hall have submitted a motion calling for plans to axe some school crossing patrols in Essex to be scrapped.

Existing proposals from Essex County Council (ECC) will see funding removed for patrols which are on zebra or pelican crossings.

The lollipop men and women would only remain if other sources of funding – such as schools or local businesses – are found.

The motion, proposed by Brentwood South councillor David Kendall, says: “That this Council recognises that the safety of children walking to school and crossing busy roads is paramount.

“Council, therefore, calls on the cabinet member for highways and transportation to abandon his proposal to withdraw funding for school crossing patrols (where controlled crossings exist) in the interests of children’s safety.”

An ECC spokesman said: “ECC received a large number of responses to the consultation about the provision of school crossing patrols where there is also a zebra or pelican crossing. These included petitions, letters and emails.

“There were also some suggestions about alternative ways of providing this service. We’re very grateful to everyone who took the time to respond.

“We entered into a conversation with schools and the public because we wanted to listen to their views and suggestions. We will now spend some weeks considering the information we have received before making any decisions.”

There was public outcry when the initial proposals were first revealed from parents, teachers and councillors.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg told the EADT during a recent visit to Colchester he thought councils should think “long and hard” before taking the decision to cut lollipop ladies and men and said if a child was hurt on a crossing left unmanned it would be “a small saving at such a large cost”.

The motion will be debated at a full county council meeting on Tuesday.

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