Applications fly in to keep schoolchildren safe on Portsmouth streets

Portsmouth City Council is seeking new lollipop patrol wardens
Portsmouth City Council is seeking new lollipop patrol wardens
Forest School Leaders Dawn White and Sue Evans with their pupils outside the school

Picture: Habibur Rahman (180146-338)

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APPLICATIONS have flooded in for lollipop people after The News revealed the city’s chronic shortage.

Portsmouth City Council has 22 vacancies as almost a third of school crossing patrols across are empty.

But in just 10 days, 23 applications have come in.

Assistant head of transport at the council Marc Griffin said: ‘Thanks to The News’ story we’ve had 23 enquiries from residents interested in becoming lollipop people.

‘This is great news and very encouraging.

‘We’ll do all we can to get suitable applicants out on the streets working as soon as possible.

‘It can be difficult to encourage people to come forward to be lollipop patrols, but The News’ front page story obviously had a big impact and prompted a lot of interest.

‘We’re still keen to hear from more people interested in the job.

‘We have vacancies all over Portsmouth.’

Councillor Neill Young, cabinet member for children and education at the council, said: ‘It’s fantastic.

‘We have struggled in the past to get school crossing patrols so if we can fill these vacancies it’s fantastic and it will ensure that our children are safe crossing the road.

‘It’s very important. Often these are busy roads which children are crossing.

‘It’s also important that we are looking out for children and making sure they are being mindful when they are crossing too.’

Councillor Donna Jones, council leader, added: ‘I’m pleased with the number of applications that have come in from people across the city.

‘I was in doubt at all that there were people in the city that wanted to help children get to and from school safely.’

The positions are for 10 hours a week, offering wages of £7.33-£8.01 per hour.

If you could fill one of these positions, contact Sue McDermott at the council on (023) 9284 1155.