Stoke & Staffordshire

Lollipop crossings: Staffordshire parents save patrols

Councils are cutting staff numbers Image copyright PA
Image caption Staffordshire County Council proposed getting rid of lollipop patrols to save money

Plans to axe lollipop crossing patrols have been dropped after thousands of parents campaigned to save them.

Staffordshire County Council said cutting the service across the county would save £1.4m a year but about 7,000 people signed a petition against it.

The council said it had "listened" and a one-off government payment had helped plug the funding gap.

Jill Salt, who set up the petition, said it was a "victory" but "the fight goes on" to save other services.

Parent Janina Barnett said it was a "great relief".

"This decision has, at its core, the safety of our children crossing busy roads in the mornings and afternoons," she said.

Image caption Parents said it was a "relief" to know their children would be safe crossing roads

She said she was concerned that the council "might revoke [the funding] in the future".

Ms Barnett's three children attend St Luke's Church of England Academy in Endon where head teacher Phil Wright said "the process needs to start now of looking at what a long term solution might be".

Cllr Helen Fischer, cabinet member for highways and transport, said it was "clear from the consultations that our residents and schools really valued the patrols".

"We've listened and we're acting on that," she said.

She said it would cost the council £1.4m each year to continue the patrols.

The authority faces a shortfall of £35m and council leader Philip Atkins said they "can no longer do or fund everything they once liked to do.... and we are being honest about what we can continue to fund".

It received about £9m from the government for highways and £6m for social care.

Ms Salt, from Biddulph, said a rally planned for this weekend in Stafford to protest against council cuts would still go ahead as "the fight goes on" to save services in areas such as libraries and rural transport.

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