City’s lol­lipop pa­trols may be at end of road

Solihull News - - FAITH MATTERS -

BIRM­ING­HAM’S yel­low­coated army of lol­lipop men and women are set to be axed for good – un­less schools can raise the cash to fund their own.

City coun­cil lead­ers plan to cull the 189 cross­ing pa­trol war­dens cur­rently op­er­at­ing across Birm­ing­ham to save cash as part of its bud­get pro­pos­als.

The move could mark the fi­nal demise of the lol­lipop men and women who have helped gen­er­a­tions of school chil­dren cross busy high­ways across the city for more than 50 years.

The lol­lipop war­dens were last un­der threat three years ago, when a cam­paign per­suaded the city coun­cil to drop the plan. Their num­ber has since been re­duced and the only ones re­main­ing work at what are de­scribed as “high risk” cross­ing points. The coun­cil says it is dif­fi­cult to re­cruit new staff, even at these lo­ca­tions. As a re­sult some have been with­out a pa­trol for months.

Un­der the new pro­posal, how­ever, those re­main­ing posts would also be axed.

The coun­cil pro­poses to make each post re­dun­dant when they next be­come va­cant through de­par­ture or re­tire­ment.

How­ever, the city coun­cil is also of­fer­ing schools and com­mu­ni­ties the chance to save their ‘ lol­lipop’ if they can raise the cash to pay their wages. The coun­cil will still fund train­ing, uni­forms, site risk and su­per­vi­sion.

They also pledged to con­tinue to of­fer small grants to schools to de­velop their own school travel plans to en­cour­age more chil­dren to walk, cy­cle or scoot to school.

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