Council chiefs in Rotherham are pulling funding for lollypop men and women

Funding for lollypop men and women in some areas of Rotherham has been pulled
Funding for lollypop men and women in some areas of Rotherham has been pulled
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Council chiefs in Rotherham are pulling the funding for lollypop men and women outside schools.

They have identified 21 crossing points across the town where they claim 'nationally agreed criteria' is not met dictating where the council has to provide lollypop men and women.

Bosses have asked schools affected whether they want to pay the council to continue providing the crossing service.

Nine have agreed, but three - Brinsworth Whitehill, Kilnhurst Junior and Infants and Swinton Brookfield - have opted against paying.

Lollypop men and women who work outside the three schools will lose their jobs.

All the other crossing points have job vacancies attached to them and are staffed by temporary lollypop men and women, meaning redundancy notices do not need to be served.

A Rotherham Council spokeswoman said: “Like all local authorities, Rotherham is once again facing budget cuts as a result of government reduction in grants.

“Whilst we are determined to meet our commitment to improve the services we provide to keep our children safe and protected, some difficult decisions will need to be taken.

“We know that the school crossing patrol service is highly valued by our local communities and so we have undertaken consultation with schools as well as commissioning an independent survey of the 74 council-funded patrol points across the borough and an evaluation of risk at these sites.

“Last year’s budget cuts led to the council identifying the 21 safest school crossing sites where schools have been asked to enter into a contract with the council to provide the service.

“Cabinet has agreed proposals to ensure that crossing patrols will be funded by the council where national and local road safety criteria are met and that other sites will be offered the opportunity to contract with the council for a patrol to be provided.

“By delaying this decision for a year, and working closely with schools, we now have nine schools who have entered into an agreement with the council to provide the service.

"Because of this, only three of the crossing patrols which are currently permanently staffed have been issued with notice.

“The safety of our children is a priority for the council and we are committed to working with schools to ensure that any reduction in funding for school crossing patrols should not compromise this.

“We also understand the concerns that parents and carers may have and have committed to a full independent survey and review of patrol points every four years to ensure the situation is carefully monitored.”