The move has sparked an angry reaction from parents who say they’re deeply concerned their children’s safety is being put at risk
FORTY schools across Wirral are to lose their lollipop men and women after a “risk assessment” by the council found other schools were more in need.
The move has sparked an angry reaction from parents who say they’re deeply concerned children’s safety is being put at risk.
The town hall carried out a survey at 48 schools to gauge whether a crossing patrol was essential.
Of those only eight are to keep their lollipop people while the other 40 are to be dispatched to different locations.
The review took into consideration the sites’ proximity to a pelican or zebra crossing.
One mum whose daughter attends Sacred Heart Primary in Moreton told the Globe: “I have recently found out the council is getting rid of our lollipop lady at the end of the summer term.
“Their reason for doing this is that there is already a pedestrian crossing on Hoylake Road – but they are simply making cuts to save money.
“Other concerned mums and I have raised the safety issues that the crossing on Hoylake Road presents to children in the morning.
“On some mornings the lights do not work, cars frequently jump red lights there, older children walk unaccompanied to school and younger children alike can be very unpredictable at the crossing.”
The mum continued: “Our lollipop lady has served Sacred Heart Primary at that crossing for the last 40 years.
“Her visible presence on the road alerts road users that school children are crossing.
“She ensures the safety of younger and older children alike, she does a tremendous job and indeed she is a vital asset and credit to our school.
“Those who have decided to axe her job for the sake of saving money should be ashamed of themselves.
“My only hope is that our voices can be heard and that our say will actually matter and that no child may pay the price for this callous decision.”
Conservative group leader Cllr Jeff Green said: “The Labour administration should honour its pledge set out in guidelines some time ago that a crossing patrol would only be withdrawn after gaining consent from the affected school, and in full consultation with parents.
“Let’s see these ‘risk assessments.’
“Let parents know and judge for themselves why their school should have been deemed less deserving than another by producing the evidence.
“My worry is that they are simply covering up their true intentions – which are to get rid of these lollipop men and women.”
Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Phil Gilchrist is campaigning on behalf of mums and dads in his Eastham ward.
He said parents have raised a petition demanding the council rethinks its plan to remove the patrol from Allport Road, Allport Lane and Bridle Road.
“Back in 2009 when a number of patrol sites were facing the axe, guidelines were drawn up,” he said.
“The key question is safety.
“Are the patrols being trimmed to fit in with the budget? Are there patrols sites which have been kept on safety grounds?
“The council should publish the list and set out what rules were applied.
“If parents have misgivings and remain unconvinced, is there a proper process for challenging the decision?
“Let’s have the answers out in the open.”
Councillor Stuart Whittingham, Labour cabinet member for highways, said: “Following the budget consultation last year we looked at 48 locations where we have both a school crossing patrol alongside a pelican or zebra crossing.
“A full risk assessment was carried out and of those 48 we have identified eight locations where the crossing patrol should remain in place.
“The others – 40 in all – are being moved to different locations in the borough to make sure our road safety resources are deployed as effectively as possible.
“We have no plans to make any school crossing officers redundant, they are being offered alternative locations.”