U-TURN: Lancashire County Council to continue funding crossing patrols

Crossing: Longridge lollipop lady Irene Reid, MBE
Crossing: Longridge lollipop lady Irene Reid, MBE
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County Hall bosses are “back to square one” following a U-turn over funding to school crossing patrols.

Leaders had intended to ask schools to share the cost of lollipop men and women from September this year, but the County Council will now carry on funding the entire £1.5m.

Last year, it was decided that £500,000 would be pulled out of the funding for crossing patrols, with schools having to find half of the £4,000 annual cost from September this year.

Then the cash-strapped council said it could remove all of the money available, believing the funding could be found elsewhere through the Schools Forum.

Read the full story here - Lancashire’s school crossing patrols under threat

But it has now emerged that Lancashire County Council will continue to fund the whole cost of school crossing patrols.

County Coun Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “We came up with a scheme that said Lancashire County Council would give schools £2,000 towards every school crossing patrol they want, and then they can find the difference.

“That was decided at last year’s budged but now we have pulled out of that.

“My latest understanding is for next year, the county council will pay for it all.

“There was an amendment in the budget on Thursday that said we would put £500,000 back into the school crossing patrol budget as an added item and that went through.

“So after a lot of confusion and different people saying different things, the end game is the County Council will continue to support school crossing patrols in their entirety.

“We are back to square one really.”

County Coun Mike Otter, who represents Farington, said their were six crossing patrols in his division and said he was worried when the service was under threat.

He said: “Obviously I am pleased that we are getting another 12 months, but I am concerned the funding is not guaranteed for the future at the moment.”