Petitions Launched to Save Aberdeenshire Lollipop Men and Women Amid Council Budget Cuts

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In light of Aberdeenshire Council’s plans to alleviate financial strains by axing 35 school crossing patroller roles, concerns regarding road safety near schools have surged, prompting the initiation of two petitions aimed at reversing the decision.

With over 2,000 signatures combined, the petitions implore Aberdeenshire Council to reconsider its move to eliminate the roles of lollipop men and women, who play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of children navigating roads outside schools.

Scheduled for cessation at the conclusion of the current academic year in July, the decision to cut these positions comes as the council grapples with a substantial budget deficit amounting to £35.45 million. Fears loom that failure to address the financial shortfall could exacerbate the situation, potentially ballooning the deficit to a staggering £67 million.

Expressing profound concern over the implications for road safety, one petition initiator stated, “Children’s safety is paramount, and this is an absolutely essential service that should not be cut; there is more traffic on the roads now than ever before. They are putting children at risk with this decision, and I hope we can get enough support to overturn it.”

Echoing similar sentiments, a second petition spearheaded by Buchan Live has garnered close to 400 signatures. The petition asserts, “We, the residents of Aberdeenshire, demand that this decision be reversed and the future of our crossing patrollers be protected for the sake of our children’s safety and well-being.”

In response to queries regarding the petitions, Aberdeenshire Council disclosed plans to conduct a staff consultation process. Additionally, the council pledged support for community-led solutions in areas where the presence of a crossing patrol is deemed necessary.

A spokesperson for Aberdeenshire Council stated, “We will be carrying out a staff consultation, and work will commence to facilitate community-led solutions in areas where a crossing patrol is desired. Currently, we have patrollers assigned to 35 of our 149 primary schools, and this provision will cease by the end of the current school year in July.”

Emphasising the non-statutory nature of school crossing patrol provision, the council reiterated the responsibility of parents and carers in ensuring the safety of children during their commute to and from school. Nonetheless, Aberdeenshire Council affirmed its commitment to ongoing road safety educational programmes within schools.

As the petitions gather momentum and public outcry intensifies, the fate of Aberdeenshire’s lollipop men and women remains uncertain. With stakeholders advocating for the preservation of these vital roles in safeguarding children, the debate surrounding budget cuts and road safety obligations is poised to persist, underscoring the delicate balance between fiscal prudence and the well-being of the community’s youngest members.

Danielle Trigg
Danielle Trigg
Journalist Danielle is a skilled journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With her wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge, Danielle dives into the stories that matter to local communities. Her meticulous research and engaging writing style captivate readers, providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic business landscape. Danielle's commitment to delivering accurate and thought-provoking news sets her apart, making her an invaluable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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