Victory to help children cross road safely

Tim Scargill, head at Windmill Primary, Jo Cox MP and Devan Simon-McBride, head boy.
Tim Scargill, head at Windmill Primary, Jo Cox MP and Devan Simon-McBride, head boy.
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Worried parents’ wishes were answered when Kirklees Council announced it would employ new staff to help children cross roads outside school.

The council said it would appoint three crossing patrol staff at three schools after listening to concerns about unsupervised crossings.

Tim Scargill, head at Windmill Primary, Jo Cox MP and Devan Simon-McBride, head boy.

Tim Scargill, head at Windmill Primary, Jo Cox MP and Devan Simon-McBride, head boy.

Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox (Lab) lobbied the council to take action after requests from Lydgate Junior and Infant School in Batley, the head boy from Windmill Primary in Birstall and parents at Headlands Junior and Infant School in Liversedge.

She said: “When Kirklees talks about having its budget cut by the Government to the tune of £152m per year, this is exactly what it means.

“This is the human face of what the Government’s cuts mean for communities such as ours. Kirklees has funded these in the past because it had the money but now that money has been taken away.

“Many councils, such as neighbouring Calderdale, don’t fund crossing patrols at all and as the cuts bite harder schools and parents in Kirklees will need to look at other options.

“Moving forward I will continue to work alongside the council, schools and parents to find a sustainable way to make sure local children can cross the road safely.”

The council, which has no statutory duty to provide crossing patrols, had written to all three schools to say their crossing patrol vacancies would not be filled.

But Mrs Cox lobbied the council for six weeks, leading to the announcement this week that it would advertise for new crossing patrols and continue to fund them until April 2016.

The campaign began when Kirklees Council said it would not replace the lollipop lady who helps the pupils outside Windmill Church of England Primary School in Upper Batley Lane, after she retires this month.