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Lollipop axe threat will 'put lives of Redbridge children in danger'

PUBLISHED: 16:32 16 September 2010

kids with the lollypop man Peter Green

kids with the lollypop man Peter Green

Archant

THE "life and death" ­proposal to axe lollipop men and women will put children's lives in grave danger if cash-strapped town hall chiefs agree the plans, a school says.

Belt-tightening Redbridge Council is preparing to wield the axe on all of the borough’s school crossing patrol men and women in what has been dubbed a “critical” decision.

Bosses at Coppice Primary School, Manford Way, Hainault, fear the lack of a nearby crossing point and drivers who “hurtle” past the primary will combine to turn the walk to school into running a dangerous gauntlet.

“Without the lollipop man it would be extremely dangerous,” said Christine Whellams, healthy schools leading teacher at Coppice.

She added: “It’s life and death. We’re very concerned.”

Children in the school’s oldest year group have started designing banners urging politicians to reverse their proposals, with a petition to be delivered to the town hall soon.

Under the plans, drawn up to stave off the impact of a £5.8million grant being clawed back by the government, £128,000 will be saved each year, with a saving of £60,000 anticipated for this financial year.

Mrs Whellams said: “We have buses that stop in front of the school and we have people who park their cars right on the pavement and the zig zag lines. So many people hurtle down towards our school.

“The majority of our children walk to school. We need a lollipop man, there’s no question of that.”

She added: “He’s out there come rain or shine. He knows the children and he brings a great community feel to the school.”

The council’s cabinet will look at the proposals, one of more than 50 put forward, next month before full cabinet votes on them.

l WHAT DO YOU THINK? Write to Letters to the Editor, Ilford Recorder, 539 High Road, Ilford, IG1 1UD, or email letters@ilfordrecorder.co.uk.

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