Wednesday, 23 November 2011
THREAT TO SCHOOL CROSSING PATROL FUNDING
The safety of our children travelling to and from school is PARAMOUNT and school crossings are a vital road safety service.
I was appalled to learn recently that Manchester City Council plan to cut the School Crossing Patrol service. When my colleague Matt Gallagher and I learned about this we contacted the Manchester Evening News who have joined us in asking the City Council to think again. I’m joining the Manchester Liberal Democrats in calling on the Council to change their mind at the next City Council and I am proposing the motion that funding is found for this vital service.
Manchester City Council has cut the budget for the School Crossing Service by 80%; much higher than the City Council’s overall 15% budget reductions. They are now asking local schools to fund this service themselves. As you know schools are already under enormous financial pressure.
The Liberal Democrats in Government have obtained extra money through the Pupil Premium (over £500k for Chorlton alone) to ensure all children have an equally good start to their education. This money cannot be used to fund the School Crossing service. We are concerned that Heads may be forced to find the money by cutting other essential school programmes or staff. We don’t think this is acceptable and we believe there are other ways to fund this vital service.
We think there is so much Council waste and confused priorities that should be addressed in order to save our lollipop men and women. Just last week the Manchester Evening News reported that the City Council was paying almost £7,000 a WEEK to NCP to allow their staff to have free parking. £7000 would pay the salary of a crossing warden for MORE THAN A YEAR. The City Council has to decide what they feel is more important; the safety of our children or parking for their staff.
Please join me in calling on the City Council to drop this dreadful proposal. If you agree that the Council should think again please sign this petition (bit.ly/savemcrcrossings) or contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a hard copy of our freepost return petition.
Lib Dem Motion to Manchester City Council (proposed by Chorlton Lib Dem Cllr Victor Chamberlain):
This Council notes:
1. The safety of children travelling to and from school as paramount.
2. The good work done by school crossing patrol personnel in keeping the country’s children safe since 1954.
3. With regret the Council’s decision to cut the school crossing patrols budget.
4. The concerns of Parents, Head teachers, Governors and Crossing Patrol staff at the lack of consultation about changes to service provision.
5. That school crossing patrols are an important road safety service.
6. Its role as corporate parents and resolves to take all necessary measures to maintain the School Crossing Patrol at its current level of service.
This Council believes:
1. That school crossing patrols should be retained.
This Council instructs:
1. the Chief Executive, in consultation with the relevant Executive Members, to prepare a report for the Executive identifying funding to maintain school crossing patrols across the City.
Posted by Chorlton LibDems at 12:42