“Since the Budget meeting on February 18, I have been contacted by hundreds of parents and grandparents – far more than took part in the two public consultations last year.
“I have listened to these families and all the other people, including schools, who have been in contact to say: ‘Please keep our patrols’.I have heard from a lot of mums and dads who were deeply worried about their children’s safety and obviously that is paramount.
“On reflection, I believe this was the wrong decision. Our budget is extremely tight but we will now find the money to fund the lollipop ladies and men. And I want to reassure all the people who have been in contact that – whilst I remain leader of this administration at County Hall – I will not re-introduce this measure.”
This is excellent news for Ottery and Feniton in my ward, which desperately need the service. Both primary schools would have really struggled to fund it as budgets are so tight, with the government’s squeeze on education.
Ottery in particular has an extremely dangerous crossroads with poor visibility at Tip Hill. It would have been unthinkable to scrap the patrol here. Only last year the patroller was knocked over by a car and had to take time off work to recover.
I am absolutely delighted that DCC’s leader, John Hart, who has obviously been inundated with messages, has listened and pledged never to revisit the plans.