Save Our School Crossing Patrols
The Leader of Newcastle’s community based political party will this week call on Newcastle City Councillors to withdraw proposals to end school crossing patrols in all but two parts of Newcastle.
At Public Question Time, Jason Smith will highlight the importance of school crossing patrols and argue that recent council decisions do not fit with an organisation trying to save money. The council claims it has no statutory requirement to provide school crossing patrols and wants cash strapped schools to pick up the costs instead.
Jason will say: “There are roads that would be almost impossible to cross in morning rush hour traffic without a crossing patrol. Is a single child’s life worth the money councillors are trying to save?
“The proposed saving of £212,000 [in school crossing patrols] is the equivalent of 24 councillor salaries. Had the council supported a reduction of just 24 councillors, when it had the chance, school crossing patrols could have been saved. Labour shielded councillors’ jobs by putting our most vulnerable citizens at risk.
“I am told that the Leader’s and Cabinet Offices have a combined budget of just under £178,000. I am not aware of any ‘statutory requirement’ for senior councillors to employ spin doctors.
“A Leader's Office, the Opposition Office, the Cabinet Office, the Labour Group Office and Members Services is a luxury this council can no longer afford.”
The decision to raise the issue at full council in November rather than waiting until the budget meeting is because of the serious concern that the proposal to remove the school crossing patrols has caused amongst parents of children in many local schools.
Jason said: “Councillors must immediately withdraw these proposals. I doubt many councillors have to do the school run but anything that drives parents off the pavements and into their cars will have a significant impact on congestion and pollution.
“Our school crossing patrols were introduced many years ago when car ownership was much lower. Lolipop men and women do a fantastic job and the decision of Labour councillors to protect their own jobs at the expense of school crossing patrols is nothing short of a disgrace.”