'˜No plans' to axe borough's lollipop ladies

Wigan Council has allayed fears that a number of lollipop men and women have been cut permanently after concerns were raised by residents.

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 7:45 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:10 am

Locals contacted the authority as fears mounted over missing school crossing patrols in Standish and Winstanley.

But despite the current vacant crossings, the town hall has confirmed that at least two of these are only temporary due to staffing shortages.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure and regulatory services at Wigan Council, said: “Currently due to staffing levels we have two crossing posts currently vacant in Standish due to demands on highly graded crossings which are prioritised first. We hope to soon have the positions filled to restore the crossing patrols and we are continually working towards having the network fully covered based on the need of highest risk crossings covered.”

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Earlier this month, councillors voted to protect £400,000 of funding for the 119 current school crossing patrol posts.

The council has pledged that it has “no plans to reduce the services unlike many other authorities.”

During the budget vote, council bosses agreed they could not justify the savings when safety would be left at risk.

But parents at Winstanley St Aidan’s Primary School remain concerned after recently losing their crossing patrol for not meeting “necessary” criteria which is based on the number of vehicles and pedestrians.

Mr Tilley added: “The crossing has been moved to cover illness but it has been assessed as a point which does not need a crossing patrol at present. We will run a further assessment if there are any significant changes. We are delivering a road safety training programme at the school at present.”

Despite the council’s ongoing promise to protect the borough’s school crossing patrols, concerns have been growing for children at St Aidan’s RC Primary School in Winstanley.

A newsletter sent out earlier this month explained to parents that the crossing was no longer meeting the criteria for the crossing.

The letter explained that a regular census, monitoring the number of cars and vehicles, did not deem it a necessary spot for the patrol.

The council has said that it will “remain in touch” with the school for regular updates.

This is one of a handful of positions that are currently vacant due to shortages.