Consultation on patrols launched

PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 December 2015

Zebera crossing

Zebera crossing

Archant

Schools could be asked to foot the bill for lollipop patrols outside their gates, under proposals by county chiefs.

Devon County Council (DCC) has launched a consultation reviewing how school crossing patrols are funded and provided.

The council is asking schools for their views on paying for their own crossing patrols, as it explores ways to maintain the service while looking to save £250,000 from the service’s budget in the coming financial year.

The move comes as part of £110million of savings required from its overall budget during the next four years.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC’s cabinet member for highway management, said: “We are looking to strike a balance between achieving the required savings while ensuring that a crossing patrol service remains in place for the benefit of schools wishing to have a patrol.

“Following initial consultations with schools that currently have patrols, and also with the Devon Association of Primary Head Teachers, we’re proposing that school communities pay for school crossing patrols, with the patrols and administration employed by a separate organisation.

“However, DCC would retain the legal duty to ensure adequate support and training is provided to patrols to maintain appropriate standards.

“We want to hear from all schools and parents, especially those who may use a school crossing patrol, so that we can explore all of the alternative options available to us before any decision is made on how the future service will be run.

“We know how highly school communities value the crossing patrols. The county council holds them in equally high regard and we want to do everything possible to help the service continue.

“However, the difficulty we’re facing is further cuts being imposed upon us by central Government and services which are not statutory are those coming under the closest scrutiny.”

Crossing patrols are not a statutory service, and DCC says if the provision was to change, schools currently with a patrol would be under no obligation to continue using them.

Its consultation closes on Friday, January 8, 2016. For more information, go to https://new.devon.gov.uk/crossingpatrol

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