Now school crossing patrols under threat in Harlow

News / Sat 15th Mar 2014 at 09:03am

schoolcrossSCHOOL crossing patrols may become a thing of the past as Essex County Council are set to review them

Essex County Council continues to review its spending as part of its current financial challenge. The reduced funding from the Government together with the impact of inflation and increasing demand for services mean the Council needs to save in excess of £235m by 2016-17. Achieving this will require Essex County Council to take tough decisions. All areas of the Council are therefore being reviewed to see where changes could be made and how services could be delivered differently, including the School Crossing Patrol (SCP) service.

Essex County Council currently provides a School Crossing Patrol Service across 203 sites and wants to develop long-term sustainable plans for the whole service. The Council will be entering into conversations with schools in Autumn 2014 with a view to a more equitable funding arrangement. Essex County Council acknowledges the value of the service and its importance to the schools, pupils and communities that it serves, hence the current work to assess how to deliver these sites in an alternative way.

Essex County Council has an initial proposal to work with schools to explore opportunities for them to fund the 55 school crossing patrols located on zebra or pelican crossings. The engagement period for this initial proposal started is underway and closes on 24 April 2014.

In accordance with the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, only appropriate authorities are allowed to put in place School Crossing Patrols to help pupils get to schools. The proposal therefore outlines Essex County Council’s role in continuing to manage the service on behalf of schools which will allow the service to remain.

The emphasis will be on schools to decide if they wish to fund the retention of their School Crossing Patrol on zebra and pelican crossings. Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, School Crossing Patrols on these sites could be removed from Summer 2014. Later on in Autumn, there will be a conversation about more equitable long term funding arrangements.

Parents and other interested parties will be invited to share their views on these proposed and potential changes. This will be available on Essex Insight at www.essexinsight.org.uk. The outcomes of the responses will inform the future decisions.

County Councillor Rodney L Bass, Cabinet Member for Highways & Transportation said: “Due to the current economic climate and the pressure on local authority budgets we are reviewing the delivery of many aspects of public service delivery, particularly non-statutory services. In relation to any changes to the School Crossing Patrol, no formal decisions have been made.”

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