'Don't make same mistake twice' plea to Hartlepool council boss over lollipop patrol cuts

The chair of an academy trust which is set to lose three school crossing patrols has urged council chiefs not to make the same mistake twice.

By Newsroom
Sunday, 30th January 2022, 3:40 pm

Hartlepool Borough Council is planning to axe nine lollipop patrols across town from April to save £32,000 as part of a wider £2.6m series of cuts.

Its chair, Chris Simmons, has now written to the council to argue how the “astonishing” and “immensely disappointing” decision can be reversed.

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School trust chair Chris Simmons outside Barnard Grove, Primary School. Picture by FRANK REID.

In a letter to Councillor Shane Moore, who is the council leader, Mr Simmons said: “It beggars belief that the decision to cut this service comes at the same time that the council is planning to spend hundreds of thousands on large cultural events.

“The council has stated on numerous occasions in recent years, that its priorities, in terms of service users, are children and vulnerable adults. A position which we entirely support.

"The action you are currently proposing flies in the face of that statement.

“It is our belief that the school crossing patrol service should be fully protected as part of those priorities. The safety of children at all times is paramount.”

Hartlepool Borough Council leader Councillor Shane Moore. Picture by FRANK REID

The council withdrew its beach lifeguard service to save £100,000 nearly two decades ago.

The letter continues: “I am sure that you are aware that some years ago the council withdrew its lifeguard service on local beaches, and that shortly afterwards a young boy was washed out to sea and lost his life at Seaton Carew. Subsequently the council reinstated the beach lifeguard service.

“It is impossible to put a price on a child’s life. We are determined to argue that we should have learned from the lessons from the past and that key council safety measures remain in place to help to protect the lives and well-being of our children and young people."

A www.change.org petition called Keep school crossing patrol in Hartlepool has attracted more than 1,000 supporters.

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