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“If Lesley wasn’t there… you know what would happen”

March 24, 2011

Keep them close, don't watch them close

As budgetary pressures quickly start to filter through from the national debate to the local level, the human face of service cuts is becoming increasingly obvious – and rarely more so than in the case of lollipop people. With their earnings at or just above the minimum wage, many are questioning the financial logic behind cutting lollipop patrols.

Marie, from Gateshead, is campaigning with a group of other mums to save their local lollipop lady Lesley, who works in the Highfield area. It has been announced that some of the school crossing patrol workers will be made redundant, but they don’t yet know who.

Marie said ‘I don’t think Lesley should lose her job – I don’t think any lollipop ladies and men should go because they’re very important. It can be dangerous at the crossing, sometimes the older ones just run out into the road and Lesley nearly got hit by a car herself recently. The children and parents walk past Lesley and they say good morning to each other, it teaches the kids to be polite and respect other people. They’ve got new orange and yellow coats so you can see them from ages away and slow down – if Lesley lost her job, you know what would happen.’

There are huge amounts of passion around this issue: people clearly care what the everyday experience of their neighbourhood is like. At a time of huge upheaval in the planning system, we need to come together to ensure that issues as fundamental as the walk to school are addressed by the government.

– Majeed

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 4, 2011 5:34 pm

    The threat to the safety of our children across the country with removal of school crossing patrols as a result of local government cutbacks is something that should concern us all. Without any shadow of a doubt if school crossing patrols go because LAs won’t fund them and schools and communities cannot fund them then children will die. Unfortunately we are so used to deaths on our roads that even the death of a child hardly causes a ripple in local media let along national. What sort of a society does that make us that children are put a risk to save money. I am running a campaign at http://www.save-lollipop-people.blogspot.com I have listed the campaign with 38 Degrees who won over the public to save the forests. Children’s safety and safe streets and communities are worth just as much national concern as forests.

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