Stoke-on-Trent's lollipop men and women: Cutting our jobs will put children in danger
SCHOOL crossing patrol wardens are demanding that their jobs are safeguarded in the face of city council cuts.
They are among 35 lollipop men and women who face losing their jobs because they patrol on a pelican, puffin or zebra crossing across Stoke-on-Trent.
The Sentinel has surveyed the affected 35 wardens who patrol on crossings outside or near 29 schools.
Twenty-six wardens have spoken to Sentinel reporters to hit out at the planned cuts – with some of the other schools already left without a warden or with wardens on the verge of retirement.
GET READY FOR SUMMER WITH A GOLDEN SPRAY TAN .
WHETHER YOU WANT A NATURAL GLOW OR A DEEP BRONZE, COME AND GET YOUR TAN AT KEIDO HAIR AND BEAUTY.
£17 OR 2 FOR £25.50
Terms: QUOTE SPRAY TAN WEB OFFER WHEN BOOKING IN
Contact: 01782 917918
Valid until: Saturday, August 31 2013
Now headteachers, parents and pupils have pledged to support the wardens who face being cut to help save Stoke-on-Trent City Council £101,000 a year.
In total, 43 lollipop crossing wardens are under threat at 37 schools as part of the council's £21.1 million cuts programme for 2013/14.
In addition to the 35 wardens operating on crossings, eight schools have lollipop men or women despite not even meeting national criteria for the service.
Newstead Primary School headteacher Helen Stocking, whose school is set to lose lollipop lady Wendy Booth, because it fails the national criteria test, said: "Ideally, every primary school should have a crossing patrol service."
School crossing patrol wardens whose jobs are safe are also backing their colleagues. Joan Clarkson, aged 47, of London Road, Boothen, who helps pupils at St Joseph's College, in Trent Vale, said: "Although this crossing has not been put under consultation, I do feel for the others. A lot of them have been doing the job for many years and it is an important job.
"If we all stood together and arranged some kind of petition or protest it might make a difference."
Mother-of-two Lisa Preece, aged 41, of Trent Vale, who operates a crossing patrol in Rookery Lane, Oakhill, added: "No job is safe and you just don't know when the council could tell you it is your job next.
"I would support a petition because it is my job and we need to save these positions. It would be a show of solidarity."
Schools facing the cuts have been told they must pay for the wardens themselves if they want to keep them. The wardens would lose their jobs this summer.
A further 36 school crossing patrols are not being reviewed.
City councillor Alan Dutton, cabinet member for education, below, said: "Crossing patrols are under review because they are non-statutory positions. Only sites where traffic conditions do not merit a warden, or those with a permanent pedestrian crossing, are being considered.
"We will consider all responses received from schools and the public and schools will be given the option to pay for wardens on these sites from their own budgets.
"Sites which meet the criteria, but do not have a permanent crossing, will remain."