‘Delight’ as Brentwood lollipop people escape the axe

Parents and teachers across Brentwood are “delighted” that lollipop patrols at five primary schools will no longer be scrapped after Essex County Council (ECC) made a dramatic U-turn.

Parents and teachers across Brentwood are “delighted” that lollipop patrols at five primary schools will no longer be scrapped after Essex County Council (ECC) made a dramatic U-turn.

St Peter’s Primary in South Weald, Ingrave Johnstone Primary in Ingrave, St Joseph the Worker Primary and All Saints Primary in Hutton, and Long Ridings Primary in Shenfield, were all at risk of losing their crossing patrols.

Cllr Rodney Bass, who is responsible for highways and transportation in Essex, announced on Tuesday that the Brentwood services would not be axed.County Hall had proposed earlier this year that the schools would lose their services unless they could find alternative funding, in a bid to save £320,000.

The decision was met with a significant backlash from councillors, teachers and parents.

All Saints deputy headteacher Emily Penkett said of the U-turn announcement: “Teachers and parents were all thrilled and delighted at the news.

“The safety of the children is paramount. Everybody has campaigned very hard to keep the lollipop ladies and I am grateful that their hard work has been rewarded.”

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St Joseph the Worker headteacher Bernadette Rossiter said: “The crossing patrollers are very valued members of the community and we are delighted with the decision.”

Cllr Bass has asked that future funding options be examined by a scrutiny committee.

He said: “This announcement proves ECC listens. Representations have been made during an extended period of consultation and we have examined and analysed them.

“The financial position of ECC is better than it was when we started this consultation as we have been single-mindedly engaged in transformation which has made our financial position strong.

“I can now assert that the school crossing patrols are safe in our hands.”

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