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Labour tries to defeat the lollipop axe

Friday, 4th February 2011.

Labour councillors on Suffolk County Council think they can force the Conservative majority to do a U-turn over axing school crossing patrols.

Suffolk County Council Labour Group has put in an amendment to the council’s budget proposals to save the school crossing patrol service in its entirety.

The amendment reads: "To retain the school crossing patrol service as a county council provided service," and goes on to detail the exact wording in the proposed budget.

The county council budget identifies £174,000 savings from the deletion of the service, but the Labour group claims there are also £55,000 management savings embedded in the cuts proposed to the entire road safety budget.

By calling for the budget to be adjusted by £229,000 the management of the service would also be preserved, which is essential in order to be able to replace and recruit patrols when and where needed.

The group's amendment would see the required £229,000 being found from the council's contingency fund.

It says this amendment would have no effect on the overall budget or on council tax. The amount would be found from £2million which has been earmarked as an addition to the contingency fund.

Labour Group leader Cllr Sandy Martin said: “We think the entire budget is full of drastic cuts to services, many of which are not necessary, and risks plunging Suffolk into a fresh recession with massive unemployment.

"But the school crossing patrol service is probably the most gratuitous cut of all, risking danger to thousands of children in order to make a negligible saving to the ouncil’s costs.

"We believe that there is a real chance that the Conservative administration will see their mistake and re-instate the service as we demand, which is why we have put in this amendment.”

There are two crossing patrols in Haverhill, one in Burton End and one in Wratting Road.

Haverhill Town Council have been pursuing ideas for maintaining the service by paying for all or part of it themselves in some way.

Haverhill Online News

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