Ipswich: Campaign launched to save primary school lollipop man

IPSWICH: Angry parents have backed a campaign by two councillors to save a popular school lollipop man.

The Star reported last week how Suffolk County Council (SCC) agreed to axe its entire army of lollipop men and women as part of sweeping budget cuts.

The move has already met with heavy criticism amid fears it could result in children being injured or even killed.

Now, two town councillors Bill Knowles and Jon Le Grys, have started a petition to save Murrayfield Primary School’s lollipop man.

Yesterday scores of parents signed the petition outside the Nacton Road school.

Mr Knowles (Lab, Priory Heath), a governor at the school, said: “This is one of the busiest roads in the Ipswich area.

“To think that there might not be a lollipop man helping the school pupils to cross the road each day is terrible.

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“Everyone realises that cuts have to be made but this is one area that shouldn’t be touched.

“It’s common sense and piece of mind for parents to have a lollipop man outside the school.

“We realise this may be too late to change things.

“However, the strength of feeling we’ve gathered on this has been so strong that we felt we had to act.”

Mr Le Grys (Lab, Priory Heath) added: “The response we’ve had this morning has been very encouraging.

“So many parents have told us they are appalled by what the council has decided to do.

“We’ve also heard tales of several near-misses in the road over the years.

“This makes you wonder how long it will take for an accident to happen in the future.”

Parent Daniel Bridges who signed the petition added: “I’m fully behind this campaign.

“My son is a pupil at the school and having a lollipop man here gives me real reassurance.”

Last week SCC confirmed that its entire �230,000 budget of the school crossing patrol service was to be axed.

The council needs to find savings of between �110 - �115 million over the next four years.

Launching he cuts, the council’s deputy leader Jane Storey said: “We realise many people will be concerned but we have looked at many different options.”

n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk