Wirral headteachers urged to object over council 'pay up or lose your lollipop patrol' letter

Wirral head teachers urged to object over council 'pay up or lose your lollipop patrol' letter

Wirral head teachers urged to object over council 'pay up or lose your lollipop patrol' letter

First published in News
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Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A SENIOR politician says Wirral Council is “holding a gun” to the heads of schools over plans to pull out of funding crossing patrols.

A letter from the council’s environment and regeneration department has been sent to headteachers and governors of the 92 schools that have crossing patrols asking them to hand over money to keep their lollipop patrol.

The letter, signed by chief officer Mark Smith, calls on heads to make a contribution towards the cost of running the crossing service for the year – each school being asked to pay £4,706.

Senior Lib Deb councillor Stuart Kelly told the Globe is calling on schools to object to what he described as a “gun held to their heads” approach.

Schools have been given until February 5 to respond , those who do not will be assumed to not support the proposal.

The letter states: “If a collective agreement cannot be achieved for all schools then this would either lead to the remainder of schools incurring greater charges to keep the service running or the removal of school crossing patrols from the points no longer supported by the schools concerned.”

Councillor Kelly said: “I am shocked at the threatening tone of this letter to school headteachers and governors,” he said.

“Last week the council were telling us children’s safety was paramount, this week they are threatening schools with withdrawing their crossing patrols.”

The proposal to cut funding was discussed in recent budget deliberations as Wirral Council tries to reduce spending by £27.5m.

Councillr Kelly believes the legal duty to provide and fund "lollipop" crossing patrols rests with the council and not school governors.

But council chief executive Graham Burgess told the Globe legal advice had assured him the move would be lawful.

He said: “Wirral Council's grant will have been reduced by central government by over 50% by 2014/15 at the same time as demand for critical services is increasing.

"Given this massive funding reduction, some really tough decisions have to be taken.

“The choice that headteachers are being asked to make in response to this letter is based on options identified by the Schools Additional Services Management Board.

"Their suggestion that we seek to come to a collective agreement is one that we are very hopeful that all 92 schools will be happy with and initial feedback so far has been that they are.

“With regard to legalities, the advice we have received means we are confident that what we are doing is legal.

"The safety of children is paramount and we will continue to work with the schools affected.”

Councillor Kelly concluded: “Putting aside the legality issue, I think it is morally wrong of the council to write to schools in this manner threatening to take away from children a safe means of crossing busy roads if they don’t pay up.

“I think schools need to question the legal and moral basis behind this and object to this gun being held to their heads approach.

“I do not believe the council would dare remove more than 100 school crossings and put children in danger.”

Comments (3)

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12:13pm Thu 23 Jan 14

bigfoot says...

What can you where expect bullying is the norm, where the abnormal is normal.
What can you where expect bullying is the norm, where the abnormal is normal. bigfoot
  • Score: 0

2:24pm Thu 23 Jan 14

JimmyMercury says...

Where does it end with these people? Special schools being closed, street lights being switched off, potholes in roads all over the Borough, litter not being cleared etc and they will still put up Council tax.

One thing is guaranteed apart from expensive staircases and other luxuries at the town hall, and that is Hoylake will be swamped with cash at the expense of the rest of us, just so Councillors and other hangers on can enjoy the freebies that go with the Open Golf. Plus slap themselves all on the back when it is over.

Strange how they can always find the cash for things like this!
Where does it end with these people? Special schools being closed, street lights being switched off, potholes in roads all over the Borough, litter not being cleared etc and they will still put up Council tax. One thing is guaranteed apart from expensive staircases and other luxuries at the town hall, and that is Hoylake will be swamped with cash at the expense of the rest of us, just so Councillors and other hangers on can enjoy the freebies that go with the Open Golf. Plus slap themselves all on the back when it is over. Strange how they can always find the cash for things like this! JimmyMercury
  • Score: 2

3:24pm Thu 23 Jan 14

JTBERRY says...

How anyone has the audacity to call something "morally wrong" when they belong to the very party that are enforcing these ridiculous cost cutting measures upon Wirral is beyond me. Might want to have a look at the word 'hypocrite' and 'irony' in the dictionary Cllr Kelly;

Who is demanding cuts - Conservatives and Lib Dems.
Who is criticising the cuts - Cllr Fraser and Cllr Kelly.
What party do these Cllrs represent - Conservatives and Lib Dems.

eeer...that doesn't add up does it...??...

Every single one of these cuts completely goes against the council idea of 'providing a safe environment for all its residents' - for which we pay council tax. An expensive, increased, council tax i might add.

We are paying more, for less.
How anyone has the audacity to call something "morally wrong" when they belong to the very party that are enforcing these ridiculous cost cutting measures upon Wirral is beyond me. Might want to have a look at the word 'hypocrite' and 'irony' in the dictionary Cllr Kelly; Who is demanding cuts - Conservatives and Lib Dems. Who is criticising the cuts - Cllr Fraser and Cllr Kelly. What party do these Cllrs represent - Conservatives and Lib Dems. eeer...that doesn't add up does it...??... Every single one of these cuts completely goes against the council idea of 'providing a safe environment for all its residents' - for which we pay council tax. An expensive, increased, council tax i might add. We are paying more, for less. JTBERRY
  • Score: 3

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