Hartlepool school lollipop patrols saved from the axe thanks to extra government cash

Councillors have backed plans to save nine school lollipop patrols in Hartlepool just weeks before they were due to be axed.

By Nic Marko
Monday, 14th February 2022, 4:44 pm
Updated Monday, 14th February 2022, 4:44 pm

But the proposed cuts have been given a stay of execution after borough chiefs claimed a cash windfall from the government had provided the funds needed to keep the service going.

Council leader Shane Moore told the council’s Finance and Policy Committee: “I don’t believe there will be anybody who will disagree with the proposals.

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“I’ve sat here for the past couple of years and complained when we didn’t get anywhere near enough just to stand still.

“It would be wrong if I didn’t say that it is nice to be getting a little bit more money from the Government this time round.”

Government funding for 2022/23 is expected to exceed the minimum forecast requirement by more than £1.48million and reduce the need to dip into savings.

Shane Moore, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council

Councillors also backed calls to consider installing more pelican and zebra crossings, along with 20 mph zones, near schools.

As well as keeping the crossing patrols, the funding could also postpone an £86,000 cut to the Local Welfare Support fund by one year.

Labour representatives had initially called for the amount councillors can claim in special responsibility allowances (SRAs) to be reduced by 50%, to continue funding school crossing patrols.

They claimed this would free up £32,000, which could then be re-invested into the Local Welfare Support fund, which provides discretionary support for households in need.

Hartlepool Borough Council

SRAs are available to councillors of any party who undertake specified additional duties as part of their role, such as chairing a committee.

Labour councillor Pamela Hargreaves said: “We absolutely, as we campaigned for, support not cutting the school crossing patrols.

“It’s the principle of everybody taking their part in this. We all have to share the pain.”

However the proposal to cut SRAs was rejected, with Cllr Moore noting Labour councillors had been “happy to take” the allowances when the party previously controlled the council.

The recommendation will now go before full council next week for final approval.

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