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Council planning to review funding of Lichfield and Burntwood lollipop men and women as part of bid to save £35million

The roles of lollipop men and women in Lichfield and Burntwood are being reviewed as part of a council’s plan to save £35million.

Staffordshire County Council has drawn up a raft of proposals to bridge a funding shortfall.

The Conservative-controlled authority said record spending of £315million on care and a reduction in national funding meant it is having to make some “incredibly difficult decisions in order to balance the books”.

A review of school crossing guards is among the proposals, with the council keen to see community-funded posts in place by 2019.

Cllr Philip Atkins, Staffordshire County Council’s leader, said: “As a county council we have helped deliver a strong flourishing economy, low unemployment, improving schools, good children’s services and better jobs and training for Staffordshire people – all on one of the lowest council taxes in the country.

“Although we remain absolutely committed to doing all of these, we also have to deal with a most pressing financial challenge of how we can continue to meet the increasing costs of adult social care and children’s care with less money year on year.

“We have already reduced our own running costs by £240million in the last nine years, and the reality is that without urgent additional national funding, we face some extremely difficult decisions in order to meet our legal duty to deliver a balanced budget next year.

“Our proposals mean we will still do more to support Staffordshire people than we are legally obliged to, but we want to be honest and open with people about the reality we may all face if the level of funding we need is not achieved. That is why we are publishing our budget three months early.”

Other proposals to save money include:

  • A review of council back office support staff and focus on frontline services.
  • Controls on all non-essential spending on areas such as recruitment, travel and conferences.
  • Offer of concessionary travel post-9.30am only
  • Review of highways landscaping

Cllr Mike Sutherland, Cabinet member for finance added: “While we are hopeful extra funding will be forthcoming, it is important that we set out plans to ensure we can balance our books for next year – something which all councils must do.

“We are facing some very difficult decisions around areas such as school crossing patrols, but this is just one option we have needed to propose in order to work with the funding we have available.

“Where areas are affected, we will work with communities wherever possible to help them find local solutions.”

The current proposals will be discussed by Cabinet on September 19. The final budget for 2019/20 will be presented to the full council in February.

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  1. Nick

    12th September, 2018 at 10:21 am

    The Greys are living longer and unable to fund their own care so the safety of school kids is to become a casualty of balancing the books. Brill.

  2. AnnS

    12th September, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Eh Nick, don’t knock it, someday you’ll be one, and none of us know the future. It would have been interesting to know how much is currently spent on ‘lollipop persons’ so we can see how much would be saved if they dispensed with them.

  3. Flossy

    12th September, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Wonder if cutting councillor s expenses would assist us have school crossing patrols

  4. Ken

    12th September, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Don’t blame The Greys, Nick, that’s just what they want you to do. Classic diversion tactic. It’s The Blues who are solely to blame for tthis. Strung uup by they’re own govt they’re trying to shift blame onto someone else.

  5. Steve Norman

    13th September, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    When officers suggested this when we were looking at making savings – when Labour was in control we said “NO!” This was a red line for us – but obviously not for the Tory Council.