Late bid to save Hartlepool school crossing patrols from axe

Labour group bosses Brenda Harrison and Jonathan Brash.Labour group bosses Brenda Harrison and Jonathan Brash.
Labour group bosses Brenda Harrison and Jonathan Brash.
Opposition councillors have come up with a late plan to prevent school crossing patrols from being cut at nine sites in Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Borough Council agreed before Christmas to reduce the number of school crossing patrols from 28 to 19 across town to save £32,000 as part of £2.6million savings.

Hartlepool’s Labour opposition said they have now submitted a proposal to go before the next full council meeting in February to fund the £32,000 by cutting councillor special responsibility allowance payments by 50%.

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The allowances are for councillors of any party who undertake specified additional duties as part of their role, such as chairing a committee, with no more than one special allowance able to be claimed.

Cllr Brenda Harrison, leader of the Labour Group, said: “Cuts should never be made at the expense of our children’s safety and so it’s absolutely right that we make the sacrifice to ensure these school crossing patrols continue.”

Labour opposed the initial savings plans at December’s full council meeting and are now arguing reducing special responsibility allowances is the best way to reverse the cuts while still achieving the £32,000 saving.

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Councillor Rachel Creevy, who represents De Bruce ward, said: “Roads are getting busier and I genuinely fear for the safety of our young people if these cuts go ahead.

“I hope this proposal is accepted across the political spectrum for the good of the town.”

Labour have urged residents who want to see the school crossing cuts reversed to get in touch with their local councillor, adding they can find out how to do so at

Conservative councillor Cameron Stokell, the council’s deputy leader, said last week the scale of required budget savings meant “many of those savings proposals were never going to be easy decisions”.

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He added they continued to work with the schools impacted, including offering safety training and other potential alternatives.

The deputy council leader also accused the opposition of “playing politics”, adding that, when decisions were being made in committees, Labour councillors present did not propose alternative savings.