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Should cash windfall be used to save school crossing patrols?
A SENIOR politician says Wirral Council should use an unexpected cash windfall of more than £400,000 to save the borough’s school crossing patrols.
Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) is due to meet today, January 31, to discuss freezing the amount of money each council on Merseyside has to contribute.
Wirral Council’s contribution is due to be set at £15,085,409 - £487,980 less than last year’s contribution.
Senior Lib Deb councillor Stuart Kelly is urging the council’s leader, Councillor Phil Davies, to use the unexpected reduction to save the lollipop school crossing patrol service, which is at risk of being cut.
He told the Globe: “This windfall should be put to good use and my first suggestion would be to remove from the savings proposals the £415,000 saving from school crossing patrols.”
The proposal to cut funding was discussed in recent budget deliberations as Wirral Council tries to reduce spending by £27.5m.
Earlier this month, the council wrote 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, called on heads to make a contribution towards the cost of running the service for the year – each school being asked to pay £4,706.
Schools have been given until February 5 to respond, those who do not will be assumed to not support the proposal.
Council leader Phil Davies said discussions are still taking place with schools and no formal announcement would be made until both the ruling cabinet and council had set the budget in February.
He said: “I will read the report and find out what the MWDA are proposing and we will decide what we do with any windfall.
“We are in consultation at the moment with schools with a view for them to pay for the service.
“We know that a number of schools have financial reserves and are able to pay for the service so those discussions are ongoing.
“The time to make any announcement about any windfall is when we set our budget with our budget cabinet on February 12 and budget council on February 25.
“It would be inappropriate for me to make any announcement before those dates.”
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