Fears for children after lollipop man is removed

PARENTS at a Romford primary school fear for their children’s safety after a lollipop man was taken off a busy main road crossing where there are “near misses daily”.

Popular Alf Wheatley, 67, has been temporarily transferred from a pelican crossing outside The Mawney School, in Mawney Road, to St Edward’s Primary School, Havering Drive, Romford - where there is no crossing at all - following the sudden illness of its lollipop man.

But Mawney parents have slammed the decision by Havering Council.

Mum Kelly Flade, 31, whose son Jamie, four, attends the infants’ class, said: “It’s terrifying to think that the kids won’t have Alf there. Cars already go through red lights - what chance do they stand if there’s no-one to help them?

“All the parents are saying it’s a matter of time before someone is run over.”

She added: “Children’s safety should be the highest priority for the council.”

The council is currently in the process of finding an interim replacement for the sick lollipop man, but it could be weeks before a suitable candidate is found.

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The Mawney School headteacher Craige Brown said: “The parents are understandably upset. I have been assured the lollipop man will only be moved temporarily.

“Parents are obviously concerned about safety, because Mawney Road is a very busy and dangerous road and there are near misses on a daily basis with vehicles driving through red lights.”

Parents will meet with Romford MP Andrew Rosindell on Friday, October 15, to discuss the situation, as well improving safety on the road generally.

Cllr Robert Benham, cabinet member with responsibility for road safety, said: “One of our lollipop men at St Edwards Primary school fell suddenly and seriously ill. We wish him well.

“With the headteacher’s agreement we have temporarily moved the lollipop man from The Mawney School, which has a pelican crossing, to provide cover at St Edward’s Primary school which has no pedestrian crossing.”

“We have already invited one candidate for interview and hope to appoint a suitable temporary replacement at the earliest opportunity.”