It made front page news on the Echo back on March 18th. Plans by Essex County Council to start cutting back on lollipop people.
Rodney Bass, the highways boss said that, whilst no decisions had yet been made, the authority should no longer have to pay for a lollipop person where there was already a ‘perfectly satisfactoryt crossing’. According to the Echo report, Mr Bass suggested that volunteers, such as teachers, could run the patrols and parents could pay for them.
I’m on my crossing every day. After several years of playing chicken with the traffic, I now have a zebra crossing to help to keep both me and the children safe.
But it’s not just about helping children to cross the road.
It’s about shepherding and marshalling the stray three to six year olds who find their way out of the playground without their grown up.
It’s keeping an eye on who is going home with whom.
It’s watching out for bullying or children who are not their normal cheerful selves – which might signify a problem at home.
And it’s about looking out for strange people who are hanging around the crossing.
My job is to give children an adult that they can trust who is immediately available and not judgemental right outside the school gates.
I’m lucky – Southend Borough Council have not said they will be cutting back as yet. But my heart goes out to all the other lollipop people whose jobs are at risk.
If you would like to sign the petition against the cuts, you can go to https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/save-our-lollipop-men-and-women