Britain is so broke councils start demaning parents pay for lollipop ladies
Council tells parents it will cost £55,000 for a lollipop lady outside primary school… and THEY have to pay
Worried parents face huge bill for a lollipop lady outside Tollesbury Primary School in Essex
Parents agreed to pay the cost after Essex county council said traffic levels around the school did not meet the criteria for a crossing patrol
The request follows a series of near misses outside the primary school
PUBLISHED: 14:12, 27 October 2012 | UPDATED: 15:02, 27 October 2012
Shocked parents have been told to stump up a staggering £55,000 for a lollipop lady outside a primary school.
A group of concerned parents asked Essex County Council for a crossing patrol after a series of near misses at 210-pupil Tollesbury Primary School in Tollesbury.
When parents agreed to foot the bill themselves, the council said it would require a £46,842 set-up fee and a further £8,342 a year to cover the running costs for a lollipop lady.
Sarah Case, whose five-year-old son Fraser attends Tollesbury primary school, said: ‘We were flabbergasted by the costs, and it’s all for someone who is paid in the region of £7.50 an hour and works 7.5 hours a week.
‘We really just want to make people aware of the ridiculous sum of money the county council wants to protect our children.
‘We had people volunteering to help the children cross the road, but they said the general public aren’t allowed to do it. I have been pushing for a lollipop lady for a year – as soon as my son started at the school.’
Lollipop lady bill broken down
Safety audit: £2,000
Recruitment costs: £3,000
Salary, including National Insurance and pensions: £3,800
Management costs: £2,692
Infrastructure (a crossing): £15,000
Redundancy costs: £4,500
Decommissioning infrastructure: £15,000
The worried parents agreed to hire the lollipop lady after the council said traffic levels around the school did not meet the criteria for a patrol. It follows a series of potential accidents, including one last Tuesday.
Mrs Case, from Tolleshunt Major, hopes that the publicity and the intervention of MP Priti Patel could persuade the council to slash the initial set-up fee.
Campaigners are also appealing for donations from local businesses and residents.
A county council spokesman said: ‘We have sought to listen to local residents through introducing a facility for local communities to self-fund school crossing patrols where a site does not meet our policy.
‘We sympathise with parents regarding the costs, although these represent the financial commitment required for this type of activity. These costs include installation, any necessary safety enhancements, recruitment and training costs.’
Headteacher David Milligan said: ‘We have 210 children who cross the road twice a day. We believe action is needed.’