Thousands sign petition to save Staffordshire school crossing wardens
More than 2,000 people have signed a petition opposing Staffordshire County Council’s plan to stop funding school crossing patrols.
The 248 patrols in Staffordshire are under threat after the council said it would stop paying for them under next year’s budget as it attempts to bridge a £35 million funding gap.
Instead, the authority is calling on businesses and communities to pick up the task, offering uniform, lollipop stick and training.
But the move has been criticised by some community leaders, including Stafford Central Councillor Maureen Compton.
WATCH: Council leader explains need for cuts
And a petition against the move, launched by Biddulph councillor Jill Salt, has gathered more than 2,300 signatures.
Councillor Salt said: “I was completely shocked when I discovered the proposal, it is such a vital service I couldn’t believe they are putting a price on children’s safety.
“I think the leader of the council needs to speak to Theresa May and call on her to stop the drop in Government funding so we can keep such valuable services.
“School crossing patrols should be statutory. It is not an excuse to get rid of them by saying they are non-statutory.”
Councillor Salt will be handing the petition to the council ahead of a decision by councillors on the budget proposal in February.
Council leader Philip Atkins said the authority had no option to cut non-statutory services when faced with the rising cost of adult social care.
As well as stopping funding to patrols, the council is to make redundancies from a review of ‘back office support staff’.
Grass cutting will be reduced and concessionary bus travel will only be allowed after 9.30am.