Ipswich: Sponsor hits out at cuts to lollipop patrols

An estate agent who is thought to be the country’s first sponsor of a school crossing patrol has hit out over spending cuts which put the service under threat.

Jonathan Waters, director of Jonathan Waters Estate Agents, has put up the cash to ensure children get to Sidegate Primary School safely.

Mr Waters said: “It is the county council’s job, but they’re not doing it so what other choice is there?

“It should not come to this stage when other people are having to fund something as fundamental as this.

“I have got strong feelings on it and I was frustrated when it was announced patrols were going to be abandoned.”

Earlier this year the Suffolk County Council’s (SCC) entire school crossing patrol service was under threat as it battled to make budget savings. But when new leader Mark Bee was elected in April he immediately said patrols would be saved in the areas that needed them most.

Cabinet member Councillor Judy Terry said it was the UK’s first sponsorship of a crossing patrol as far as she was aware.

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She added: “They’re not digging us out of a hole. The county council said it would sustain funding school crossing patrols but we’re also pleased to have sponsorship.

“I think it’s an opportunity for people to show their public support.”

As part of the deal the estate agent will have its logo on the high-visibility crossing patrol jacket and a small advert near the school gates.