Divide and rule council’s lollipop cuts affect north hardest

Lollipop ladiesParents and pupils at the following schools need to approach their lollipop lady, or “school crossing patrol officer”, on Monday, shake them by the hand and thank them.

  • Elmwood Junior, Lodge Road
  • Oasis Academy Shirley Park, Long Lane
  • St John’s/Shirley High, Shirley
  • Park Hill Junior, Stanhope Road
  • Broadmead Junior, Sydenham Road
  • Broadmead Junior/The Crescent, Northcote Road
  • Woodside Junior, Morland Road, Woodside
  • All Saints CofE Primary, Upper Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood
  • Aerodrome Primary, Goodwin Road

In the latest sign that the Conservatives who are in charge of Croydon Council simply don’t care about the needs or views of residents, they have served redundancy notices this week to 10 school crossing officers at these schools (there are two at Woodside).

This in the very week when a lollipop lady in Wales put her own life on the line to try to save some children on their way to school who were at risk from an out-of-control car.

Croydon’s local papers, predictably, focused on the redundancy notice handed to June Rixson within days of her receiving the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. This is something of a red herring: Rixson is 80 years old and was about to retire from her duties in any case. Her BEM is the epitome of a long-service medal.

The real issue is how the Tory council regards so lightly the safety of school pupils  – and especially those in wards that don’t usually vote Conservative. Seven of those crossing patrols being axed are in Labour wards, which are often areas of the busiest road traffic.

Notably, no cabinet member responsible for this decision had the courage of their convictions to speak to the local media this week. Instead, some poor sap from the Taberner House press office was put up to comment on the redundancies.

This nameless functionary said, “We didn’t take this decision lightly and it was only after thorough examination of the results of the risk assessments that we finally reached our conclusions.” No mention of the geographical distribution of these cuts to children’s safety being predominantly in non-Conservative wards.

Cynical? Callous? Calculating?

After all, this is the same Croydon Council that has taken your money in Council Tax and is spending

£140 million

on new council offices for themselves and council staff

£3 million

on furnishing those offices with desks and comfy chairs

£67,354

on “allowances” to the Pollard household, Tory councillors Helen and Tim, who is also the cabinet member for children, families and learning

and

£53,223

on “allowances” to the Tory group leader, Mike Fisher

So what is the savings that Croydon’s Tory-run council is seeking to make from making the school crossing patrol officers redundant?

According to the council’s own figures, it is no more than…

£60,000

Cynical, and callous, and calculating Croydon Council.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Aerodrome Primary, Croydon Council, Education, Oasis Academy, Park Hill Junior, Schools and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Divide and rule council’s lollipop cuts affect north hardest

  1. davidcallam says:

    Many borough councillors are only in it for themselves: the allowances, the jollies, the influence, the possible career prospects as they shin up the greasy political poll.

    They vary in their publicly stated beliefs from deepest blue to deepest red, but the obfuscation, half-truths and other tricks of the trade they employ are exactly the same.

    And the interests of the electorate come a long way behind their own selfish aims.

    So what’s new!

  2. We can all make broad brush criticisms of our civic leaders and I’m sure that some are deserved.

    I am concerned for the young families of Croydon North – Working 24/7 to keep their heads above water, their children clothed, fed and schooled. Is it too much to ask Council to provide road crossing staff to keep our children safe when on those busy approach roads to the schools.

    I think not.

    Perhaps this issue will be remembered at the ballot box.

  3. mraemiller says:

    Who’s the teacher outside the Oasis Academy who always stands on the corner of the road shaking hands with the pupils on their way to school. I want to shake his hand.

  4. blath8 says:

    Many residents and parents objected when our lollipop chap retired and we were told that he would not be replaced. We signed petitions, wrote letters … care to guess the outcome?

    Even though it is not part of their job to marshal traffic or stop illegal and dangerous parking, the sight of some official in fluorescent garb is often enough to make most people reconsider their behaviour. Without a crossing officer, we now suffer from numerous counts of dangerous driving and parking at Parish Church Junior and Infants schools, as parents jostle to park or drop children off at the T-junction on the brow of a hill on a curve.

    Efforts by parents to get the council to send traffic wardens at appropriate times of the day have met with very limited success – they did turn up one day (two of them) but seemed more interested in chatting to each other while avoiding any kind of contact with the motorists.

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