City’s lollipop patrols may be at end of road
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.