Wandsworth Council axes funding for lollipop people
Councillors voted to axe funding for lollipop ladies and men on Wednesday, without debating the issue in full council.
Ditching the school crossing patrol (SCP) service, which operates outside 44 schools in Wandsworth is making the council a saving of £198,000 a year.
The decision affects 29 lollipop ladies and men, with the council claiming most children are walked to school by their parents.
The council's stance was condemnded during a rowdy meeting which saw mums and dads fill out the public gallery, while policemen even had to give an elderly heckler a talking to.
Before the meeting parents demonstrated outside the town hall holding placards made of lollipop signs.
The leader of the council, Councillor Ravi Govindia, told the meeting the council will retain the management role of the service and help schools who wish to retain it.
In a questions to the council paper he said: "The council will retain and fund the management role for the SCP service.
"The outcome of the consultation with schools and stakeholders would determine the number of SCP sites to be retained and this is scheduled to be reported back to committee."
But the majority party voted to decline debating the issue, as the meeting was drawing to a close.
Landy Slattery, who has three children who go to Fircroft Primary School, in Fircroft Road, Tooting, said she is concerned that the redevelopment of Springfield Hospital will increase traffic in the area and make it even more dangerous for her children to get to school.
She said: "I won’t let them walk to school on their own if there is not someone supervising them on the street.
"It doesn’t say where they will help. It will take a child to die before they bring them back."
The council have been responsible for the SCP service since 2000 after taking it over from the Metropolitan Police.In 2010 to 2011 Wandsworth Council spent £283,410 on road safety education, training and campaigns.