Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Council U-Turn on School Crossing Patrol cuts?

Has the Council performed a U-turn on it's proposals to cut the number of school crossings in the Borough. The other week we asked whether the Council was lying or stating a change in policy after it said there would be no reduction in the number of lollipop ladies in the Borough, and now, in a new response, the Council appears to clarify that position further.

In the original budget cut proposals the intention was to cut back school crossing patrols by 15% to 49. However, in response to a question from one half of the Lib Dem dynamic duo, the Cabinet member for Environment and Community Safety, Cll O'Mara said,
"There are 60 School Crossing Patrol sites across the borough. 12 sites are currently vacant, of which 4 are awaiting patrols to be posted to the sites following recruitment in August 2006. A further recruitment exercise is to be carried out in New Year and it is hoped that the eight vacancies can be recruited then".
At first glance that appears to be a total about-turn on the original "efficiency savings", however, there does appear to be a little bit of spin here.

According to O'Mara's answer, 4 of the 12 vacancies have already been filled and are "awaiting patrols to be posted". However, apparently these were recruited in August, some four months ago. Why such a long wait? Is there four month intensive training for lollipop ladies? Further more, if the other vacancies are to be recruited in the New Year, then on the four month rule basis, we must assume that it will not be until at least May before they are in place.

Call us cynical if you will, but we think that this is one of those answers that the Council hopes no one follows up in four months time. We shall of course post a reminder when the time comes.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are required to train, plus spend some time supervised. Don't forget that a new recruit cannot be posted until they have been police checked.

11:22 pm  

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