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New school crossing patrol vital - but who will pay?

Wednesday, 4th April 2012.

A new school crossing patrol in Crowland Road will be essential when the rear entrance to Place Farm Primary School is opened up, town councillors agreed - but they don't want to pay for it.

The council had been asked by Suffolk County Council, which is responsible for providing school crfossing patrols, if it would consider paying the 3,000 a year for a new one for Place Farm.

When the expanded school opens its rear access later this year, parents and children would have to cross Crowland Road on the brow of a hill.

Town councillors felt a crossing patrol there was necessary, but that it would set a dangerous precedent to pay for something which was essentially a county council responsibility.

The county council is to investigate other funding sources as well.

Last year, when the county council threatened to remove the two existing crossing patrols in the town, the town council offered to pay the cost of keeping them.

Town clerk Will Austin told members: "There is no indication that they would not provide the crossing patrol if we don't come uip with the cash."

Cllr Phillip French, who is also a county councillor, said: "Parking at Place Farm School has been a thorn in our side for a very long time, but I think it would set a very, very dangerous precedent indeed for the town council to pay for this."

Town mayor Cllr Maureen Byrne said: "It is imperative we have a crossing patrol there, although the long-term solution would be a traffic light crossing."

She also indicated objection to an idea she said had been put forward to create some hardstanding on the recreation ground opposite the school for parking.

"I am totally opposed to doing that just so people can park cars for the school run," she said.

Cllr French said the problem, which has become a police priority in recent weeks, was 'caused by the parents themselves'.

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