Green bid to protect lollipop crossings knocked back

A Green bid to reject controversial cuts to school lollipop crossings has been knocked back by the council’s finance committee today.

Green councillor Gavin Corbett argued that the proposed removal of lunchtime crossings to save £104,000 in 2 years, should be taken off the table. His proposal, at Finance and Resources Committee, was backed by all opposition councillors but the ruling Labour-SNP coalition decided that the proposal should remain.

Cllr Corbett said:

“This proposal to cut lunchtime lollipop services has come late in the day, 2 months after consultation on the budget started. The very least I would have expected is that the proposal would have clear evidence of the case for cutting the service. But there is no attempt to estimate the number of children using the crossings. Nor is there any assessment of what it will mean for hiring and keeping lollipop staff if current workers lose £120 a month off their already meagre pay packets.

Lothian Green MSP Alison Johnstone added:

“I’m astonished that Labour and SNP councillors did not seize the opportunity to kick this cut into the long grass. Rather than waiting until late January when the council sets its budget, the council could have spared staff and parents 2 months of anxiety and made a clear decision now.

“Road safety for school children must be a top priority.”

The Finance Committee voted 9-4 to keep lollipop cuts on the table.