MP intervenes to save school crossing patrols

MP intervenes to save school crossing patrols

A HEADTEACHER in Birstall welcomed a temporary reprieve for his school’s crossing patrol.

Tim Scargill, of Windmill Primary, was one of three heads told vacancies for lollipop ladies would not be filled.

Lydgate in Batley and Headlands in Liversedge were the other two schools affected.

Council funding of the crossing patrols across Kirklees is due to end next April under budget cuts agreed in February.

At Windmill Primary on Windmill Lane, Birstall, the lollipop lady is due to retire this month.

Parents fear lives could be put at risk when their children try to cross busy Upper Batley Lane.

But after Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox intervened, all three schools will get new lollipop ladies on fixed-term contracts until April 2016.

Mr Scargill said: “I’m pleased the council made this decision. It gives us some extra breathing space.” Mrs Cox said government funding cuts leave Kirklees in a tough spot.

She said: “When Kirklees talks about having its budget cut by the Government to the tune of £152m per year, this is exactly what it means.

“This is the human face of what Government cuts mean for communities such as ours.”

But a reprieve until April allows time to think of how else the service could be funded.

Mrs Cox added: “I will continue to work with the council, schools and parents to find a sustainable way to ensure local children can cross the road safely.”

A council spokesman said school crossing patrols will not immediately stop next April.

She added: “The council will continue to work with the police and other partners to develop a new community safety function within Kirklees.

“In the meantime we will be recruiting to vacancies on a fixed-term contract.”

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