Schools earmarked to lose crossing patrols

MORE details of which schools are set to lose their crossing patrols have been revealed this week.

Between November and February, a review of all sites designated for lollipop men or women was carried out by North Somerset Council as part of cost-cutting efforts.

In a report due to be discussed by councillors on Thursday, it has been unveiled the unitary authority plans to scrap 15 of the current 41 sites with the hope of saving �31,898 by March 2014.

The review assessed which still meet the national criteria for a crossing patrol and which are at locations where there is also a zebra crossing or traffic calming measures.

Among the sites where they meet the criteria but there is a zebra crossing or traffic calming in place, patrols are set to be scrapped at locations serving Hannah More Infants and Grove Junior schools in Whiteoak Way, Nailsea, which is currently vacant, St John the Evangelist Primary in Fosseway, Clevedon, St Peter’s Primary in High Street, Portishead, and Yatton Junior and Infants schools in High Street.

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Staff currently employed at St Peter’s Primary, Yatton Junior and Infant schools and St John the Evangelist Primary could be redeployed to vacant sites which will remain.

Both vacant sites serving Crockerne Primary in Pill, at Heywood Road, where there is a zebra crossing, and Westward Drive, do not meet the criteria and will be scrapped.

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One of the three patrol sites serving St Nicholas Chantry Primary in Clevedon, in Chapel Hill, and the patrol site serving Yeo Moor Primary in Clevedon, in Kenn Road, also do not meet the criteria and will be disestablished. Both are vacant.

At Highdown Infants and Junior schools in Down Road, Portishead, the crossing patrol will remain, despite the fact there is a zebra crossing, due to the volume of traffic which uses the road. Other schools which will retain their crossing patrol sites are Backwell Junior, Court de Wyck Primary in Claverham, Kingshill Primary and St Francis Primary in Nailsea, St Andrew’s Primary in Congresbury, Wraxall Primary and Wrington Primary.

In their report, council officers explain: “Members of the local communities surrounding the sites that are due to be disestablished may express concern that their school crossing patrol service may be withdrawn.

“The council has a duty to review its use of public funds and, in making considerable savings, difficult decisions have to be made.”

Where filled posts do not meet the necessary criteria but have the support of the local community, the council will invite other organisations to fund them. For this, public comments and suggestions will be welcomed until September 28.

The report is due to be discussed at a council scrutiny panel. If given approval, its recommendations will be put to executive member for children and young people’s services, Cllr Jeremy Blatchford for the final go-ahead.

After this, from October, efforts will be made to permanently fill any vacant posts.

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