‘Moral duty’ to protect West Norfolk lollipop patrols, county council told

gv lollipop stop sign PPP-160112-113753001
gv lollipop stop sign PPP-160112-113753001
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County roads chiefs have a “moral duty” to protect vital lollipop patrols from funding cuts, community leaders in one affected village say.

Consultations are continuing on measures which, if approved, would see all but three of West Norfolk’s existing school patrols withdrawn.

Officials say the affected sites do not meet revised safety criteria for a patrol to be employed.

But parish councillors in Heacham, who formally objected to the plan at a meeting last night, claim assessments of the patrol sites there have not been done properly.

In a letter to County Hall officers, their chairman, Michael Williamson, said: “Norfolk County Council should not be even considering budget cutting proposals which affect the health, safety and welfare of our parishioners .

“Whilst we can understand that you have no legal responsibility for the provision of these patrols, we strongly believe that there is a moral duty to safeguard the lives of school children.”

Heacham is one of seven communities in West Norfolk where lollipop patrols face the axe under the current proposals. Both its infant and junior schools would lose their patrols if the plans are implemented.

The other borough schools affected are the Nelson Academy in Downham, Dersingham Primary, Hilgay Primary Academy, the All Saints Academy in Stoke Ferry, Walpole Cross Keys Primary and West Winch Primary.

And residents in the affected areas are being urged to take part in a public consultation on the proposals, which runs until January 8.

Officers have previously said assessments carried out under new national guidelines showed the sites did not meet the criteria for a patrol.

They said the examinations considered criteria including the numbers of children and vehicles passing over the crossing points, nearby hazards, such as junctions or bends and the provision of other safety measures.

But critics in both Heacham and West Winch have claimed the assessments did not properly establish the full extent of current or future use.

West Winch county councillor Alexandra Kemp said: “With rises in council tax expected year-on-year to 2020, the public will be very angry to see the loss of basic services that keep children safe and will be asking just what the county council is here for.”

Visit https://norfolk.citizenspace.com to take part in the consultation.