Ipswich: Schoolchildren join battle to save lollipop lady

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.

Most Read

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.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter