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Lib Dems welcome u-turn over “ridiculous plan” to axe school crossing patrols

The Liberal Democrats in Lichfield and Burntwood said proposals to cut lollipop men and women were “a new low”.

The comments come after Staffordshire County Council did a u-turn over the plan to axe school crossing patrols as part of a bid to plug a funding gap.

But Liberal Democrat spokesperson Miles Trent said the idea should never have been on the agenda in the first place.

Miles Trent
Miles Trent

“This plan was totally unacceptable,” he siad. “The Conservatives really reached a new low in proposing this cut.

“I appreciate that councils are under severe financial pressure – and this due to the policies of the Conservative government. But these lollipop patrol services are crucial to our local community and the safety of our young people. 

“That the county council needs to save money is accepted, but the idea that children should be put at risk in order to ‘balance the books’ is not.”

The county council’s proposal would have seen a move towards community-funded wardens.

Mr Trent said: “There is a very worrying trend where county councils look to push down their responsibilities to city and parish councils.

“The cost of each patrol is £4,000 and Lichfield City Council simply would not have the cash to fund all the patrols across Lichfield. There are 18 schools within the city of Lichfield.

“Lib Dem Councillor Paul Ray raised this issue directly with Cllr Philip Atkins, Conservative leader of Staffordshire County Council at a recent meeting.

“This pressure has paid off as the Conservatives have scrapped this ridiculous plan.”

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2 Comments

  1. Colin Ball

    23rd January, 2019 at 10:02 am

    It’s great news that the Tories at Staffordshire County Council have abandoned their hair-brained idea to axe funding for school crossing patrols. I raised this with Cllr Philip Atkins too at the meeting at Lichfield District Council before Christmas. I was also outside school gates, alongside many Labour Party colleagues, collecting hundreds upon hundreds of signatures on petitions to stop this. I didn’t see any LibDem folk there at all!

    I’ve also raised the issue of the difficulties facing those who hold concessionary bus passes and have to get to early morning hospital appointments or to colleges for 9.00 a.m., who will be out of pocket in the future, if the Tories go ahead with their plans to end funding for concessionary bus pass travel before 9.00 a.m. I hope the LibDems will join me in asking the Tories to put measures in place to ease this (e.g. by allowing concessionary bus pass travel before 9.00 a.m, if in possession of a letter indicating an early hospital appointment or college course starting at 9.00 a.m.)

    Colin Ball – Labour City and District Councillor for Curborough in Lichfield.

  2. Paul Ray

    23rd January, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Colin

    Not sure your swipe at the Lib Dems is really necessary or helpful. We are both opposed to this ridiculous proposal and have both campaigned against it. It was me that specifically raised this at Lichfield City Council meeting which led to LCC writing to Staffs County Council to oppose the proposal in the strongest terms.

    And I certainly support what you say about concessionary bus passes.

    Paul Ray Councillor for Chadsmead (Lib Dem)

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