Crossing help needed

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SCHOOLchildren could soon be able to cross the road safely again, as a council has put forward a motion to hire a spare lollipop person.

The move comes as police cutbacks mean no officers are available to step in, as they had done in the past.

That meant that for the past few weeks, the children of Orchard Lea Infant and Junior School in Fareham, have been left without a lollipop person, after their long-serving crossing helper was sick and had to take time off.

There are 12 lollipop people in the borough of Fareham but no provision for a spare.

A motion was put forward at a Fareham Borough Council meeting to call on the county council to provide a spare when situations like this arise.

Fareham North ward Cllr Peter Davies put forward the idea. He said: ‘The lollipop lady on Highlands Road does a superb job, but just like everybody else, she does get ill sometimes, so we need to have cover.

‘We have asked the police but they do not have the resources to cover.

‘We are now asking the county council if we can have one spare lollipop person to cover the area.’

The motion was agreed and will now go up to the county council to make a decision.

Executive member for transport at the county council Cllr Sean Woodward said that Hampshire has more crossing patrol points than any other county, and the council struggle to find people willing to do the work, despite a good package, benefits and the ability to job share.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘Even if I say yes to this motion, the priority is to man the crossing patrol points that we already have.

‘I have just created a new post over in Whiteley and as yet we have been unable to recruit somebody.

‘There are jobs going and we need to fill those first.’

Cllr Davies said the role would be ideally suited to a retired person, who only wants to work occasionally.

He said: ‘Perhaps there is somebody who may be very pleased to be on the spare list. We just cannot leave these busy roads without a lollipop person.’