School’s crossing patrol plea

Fears over cuts to school crossing patrols.

Fears over cuts to school crossing patrols. - Credit: Archant

VILLAGE leaders in Wraxall are fighting plans to cut school crossing patrols next year.

North Somerset Council voted in favour of cutting manned patrols to save £27,000 from the budget at this month’s full council meeting.

One of the schools which will be hardest hit by the proposal is Wraxall Primary as it is situated on a blind bend on a busy road.

Councillors and teachers in the village are now urging the authority to reconsider. Headteacher Ben Tucker said: “It’s something we are very concerned about because it’s a dangerous place for the children to cross and we would want to keep it if possible.

“Without it I would feel very uncomfortable and we are looking into it to see what our options are.”

The school’s head of governors and Wraxall and Failand Parish Council have written to the authority to appeal for the crossing patrol to remain.

Council chairman David Robinson said: “It’s one of the places we can least afford to have no crossing patrol and there’s no alternative.

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“The document suggested school crossing patrols could be done by volunteers, which is not an ideal situation, or the school could pick up the cost.

“That’s fine if you are a large school, but if you’re a small school with a falling roll then your budget is extremely tight.

“We have written to the council expressing our concern and the response we’ve had back is that they hope to find the money elsewhere. The good news is the council is reconsidering the position.”

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Mike Bell, leader of North Somerset Council’s Liberal Democrat Group, said cutting £27,000 from the budget for manned crossing patrols meant the authority was ‘gambling with the lives of young children’.

North Somerset leader Nigel Ashton promised support for schools if needed.