Devon County Council axes funding for school crossing patrols

The Okehampton Times is reporting that funding for ’lollipop’ school crossing services has been axed by Devon County Council, leaving the area’s schools either without a service or footing the bill themselves.

Last Friday, councillors supported recommendations for the authority to stop funding paid patrols and to transfer the costs to schools and school communities should they wish to pay for them. Councillors also approved the used of a company to manage the delivery of the service to schools…

In cases where a school chooses not to fund the cost of their patrol, the service would end at that site and the county council would then look at the potential consequences of removing the patrol and, where necessary, how to limit any potential impact…

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for highway management, said: ’Since 2009, we’ve had to cut our spending by over £200-million due to the Government’s austerity measures. Unfortunately those services which we are not required to provide by law are most at risk as a result of the budget reductions from central Government…

’However, school crossing patrols can be paid for by the school or the community and it is therefore an area where we can make savings.’

’Although this model would require schools to pay some of the costs, the county council would remain committed to supporting a crossing patrol service by providing training and quality assurance to ensure it is delivered safely.’…

Cllr Alan Connett, Liberal Democrat group leader on Devon County Council said: ’The Government has given Devon an extra £8.4-million pounds to help ease pressures across the county and we believe £250,000 of that can be used next year to keep the school crossing patrol service.

’Looking ahead, we believe savings can be made from the near £2-million the Conservatives plan to spend on advertising, public relations and media spin in the next 12 months…’

More at: Devon County Council axes funding for school crossing patrols

 

Devon is not the first county council to do this, and no doubt will not be the last either, but sad regardless.

How are schools where you are handling similar issues?

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