School lollipop patrollers, the people that annoy some motorists, by ensuring mostly small children can cross the road safely. They have been a staple of a childs walk to school for a number of generations, but does Devon need school lollipop patrollers? That’s the question that has been asked by Devon County Council a couple of times over the last 12 months or so, and according to the Exeter Express and Echo they are on the verge of not saying no – but that they shouldn’t be funded by tax payers money.
According to “The Echo“:
Despite overwhelming opposition from the public, schools and councillors, a proposal by Devon County Council to cease funding school lollipop patrollers has been approved at its cabinet meeting today.
The fate of the future of the service will now be decided next Thursday at a meeting of its full council.
The reason behind the cost cutting plans is to save £250,000 a year from the county council budget. Instead the cost will transfer to schools, with the patrollers themselves employed by a third party that would deliver the service on a full-cost recovery or commercial basis.
If schools decide not to fund the cost of their patrol, the alternatives are for it to be run by volunteers or to lose the service.
In other words, if a lollipop patroller service disappears, the council will say its the local schools fault for not sorting it out.
Is this David Camerons Big Society being played out? People needing to volunteer, because the state doesn’t want to find the money to help small kids, and hassled parents to cross the road?
There is a campaign going, to try and save the crossing patrols, if you agree with what they’re trying to do, please sign their petition at change.org.