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Ipswich: Schoolchildren join battle to save lollipop lady

PUBLISHED: 08:15 28 January 2011

Dale Hall School are fighting to keep their Lollypop lady, Margaret Conway,

Dale Hall School are fighting to keep their Lollypop lady, Margaret Conway,

Archant

ipswich: Children at a primary school in Ipswich have joined more than 500 concerned parents in their bid to save their lollipop lady.

For six years Margaret Conway has manned the crossing outside Dale Hall Primary School.

But as Suffolk County Council look to make million-pound savings the axe is hanging precariously over the school crossing patrol service.

Mum-of-two Sue Miller is among those organising the petition, which she plans to hand to the county council on Monday.

So far 540 worried parents have signed up, and the petition will be available to sign at the Post Office and Co-op in Dales Road over the weekend.

Ms Miller said: “It is an essential service, they ensure our children get to school safely as well as reducing disruption to the traffic in the area, by encouraging people to cross in one place.”

And the pupils are today making their own pleas to county chiefs, in a bid to save their treasured lollipop lady.

In class pupils have been designing posters to highlight their feelings. On one a student said: “Don’t risk our lives for money. Save a lollipop lady, save a life.”

Another pupil added: “If you take away our lollipop lady you are taking our safety away too.”

Mrs Conway, 66, of Dales Road, grandmother-of-two, said: “It is going to be a disaster if they get rid of us. The way the cars come along Dale Hall Lane, it is a nightmare. “Sometimes cars don’t see me and I am wearing high visibility gear.

“It is frightening to think they are going to axe these patrols.

“We don’t do this for the money, it is for the safety of the children. Children will sometimes come along and just walk out.

“If there is no one to cross them, it doesn’t bear thinking about. The amount it costs to keep the schools crossing patrols is just a drop in the ocean. I do understand they have to save money but putting children’s lives in danger is not the answer.”

Staff at the school in Dale Hall Lane have also expressed their concerns. Alison Beckett, head teacher at Dale Hall Primary said: “I hope people will take notice of the petition. “It is a vitally important role they play to ensure children stay safe on a very busy road.

“She does a really great job and I don’t want to think about what will happen if she is no longer there.”

County councillor Guy McGregor portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning said the future of the school crossing patrol service will be discussed by full council on Februrary 17. He said: “No decisions have yet been taken. The county council appreciates the dedication and commitment of all school crossing patrol staff.”

n What do you think? Call the newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@evening
star.co.uk.

8 comments

  • What a sad, short-sighted comment to make, that "500 parents 50p each week she is saved". It's not just Dale Hall but all lollipop services throughout Suffolk that need to be maintained to ensure the safety of children both now and into the future. The funding for this should not depend on the vagaries of local activism, but should be a right enjoyed by all. We all grew up with this right - why shouldn't the next generation???

    Report this comment

    Andyroo

    Saturday, January 29, 2011

  • Children making posters about saving lollipop ladies... Maybe it would have been more useful for them in the long term to make posters about road and cycle safety, I accept it is an emotive subject but ultimately it is the parents responsibility, not the councils. Parents want it... parents pay for it.

    Report this comment

    Fat Lady Sings

    Friday, January 28, 2011

  • Are you sure the Council will not be liable? If it has provided a service for over 50 years and stops and there is an accident, do you not think some no fee no win legal claim will make a test case? After all most councils are keeping their patrols and i dont know of any yet that have given them up and faced that scenario. That is how the law gets changed. Please dont get personal it really isnt about people not bothering to walk kids to school. We are fighting to save a good service and lots of jobs.

    Report this comment

    ruby

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

  • Am i missing something. Dont we pay Council Tax and taxes to cover these public health and safety issues. What next- if you need traffic lights get sponsorship? Pay extra to have your bin emptied? Lollipop patrols were introduced in the 1950`s because cars and children dont mix. How much more will it cost us in legal fees if a child is killed and our Council taken to court or if we pay for lots of zebra crossings.

    Report this comment

    ruby

    Friday, January 28, 2011

  • I was also at Dale Hall School when there were two lollipop ladies but no way was the through traffic as fast as it is today along Dale hall Lane. The "Fat Lady Sings" is very much out of tune with her remarks, most parents accompany their children to and from school, including myself and my two children and are glad of Margaret to see us safely across this busy road. The bottom line is What price do you put on a childs life?

    Report this comment

    Andrea Rumsby

    Monday, January 31, 2011

  • I don't know what the situation at Dale Hall is now but certainly when I was there Dale Hall had two lollipop ladies in two locations along Dale Hall Lane. Whilst they are certainly good at their jobs Dale Hall Lane is not one of the busiest roads in town in comparison to say Sidegate Lane or Britannia Road. Surely this money would be better spent elsewhere. Most of the traffic at that time of day is from the parents of the pupils anyway who can't be bothered to walk their kids to and from school.

    Report this comment

    Sarah Ipswich

    Friday, January 28, 2011

  • "How much more will it cost us in legal fees if a child is killed and our Council taken to court"... the council would have no case to answer for, the responsibilty for a childs safe arrival and return from school rests solely with the parentsguardians of that child, not with the council. And no we don't pay council tax to cover these things... you don't pay council tax as a parent so you can wash your hands of the responsibility for your kids on their journey tofrom school, only to pick that same responsibility up when they walk though the door and you place them in front of the tele with a microwave ready meal.

    Report this comment

    Fat Lady Sings

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

  • 500 parents 50p each a week she is saved

    Report this comment

    lee chelsea mundy

    Friday, January 28, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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