What is ‘criteria’ for axing school crossing at Denton County Primary?

I wish to comment regarding the axing of the school crossing patrol at Denton County Primary School?

Three times in your front page report, there was mention that the school “did not meet the criteria” for funding.

It has vulnerable children aged 4 years to 11 years crossing Denton Road, which is a bus route.

People park on grass verges opposite Acacia Road, causing ‘blind spots’ to traffic from both directions. Children cannot be expected to cross unassisted. There was a death on that road in 2000, and that is why the crossing patrol is there.

What more of a ‘criteria’ do we need ... another death of a child?

Town councillor, and governor of Denton School, Cllr Pat Ost wrote to the lead member of ESCC, before Xmas, asking for the ‘judgement criteria’, making the point that a child was killed very near the crossing in 2000.

At a meeting at the school with one of the county assistant directors of T&E, Pat Ost requested again (in front of witnesses) full details of the judgement criteria.

Both requests have been ignored, which is extremely discourteous, in response to valid requests from council tax paying residents.

To add insult, ESCC see fit to suggest “volunteers or sponsorship by local companies and organisations” to fund this crossing patrol.

Perhaps ESCC need reminding that they have £900,000 Section 106 monies from Veolia, for granting planning permission for the incinerator. That money has been in ESCC’s bank account for 5 years, and is being spent, (not on anything tangible and worthwile for Newhaven residents) on landscaping and trees.

Some £25k is allocated for Mount Pleasant, and £5k for Denton Drive Wood (Rupert Clubb’s letter and map of July 2011, in response to my letter, via Norman Baker).

I pointed out at a Newhaven Town Council meeting, that proposed tree planting on the edge of The Crescent, Mount Pleasant, would not hide the incinerator from anyone’s view. Instead of adding more trees to a wood, and about 10 trees at the top of Mount Pleasant, (which have not been done following my remark) that leaves £30k unspent in those areas, which could fund the school crossing patrol for 10 years.

Veolia have already given funding to Newhaven Town Football Club and other groups, and they are also funding £70,000 for a skate park in Peacehaven.

Much as we didn’t want an incinerator in our midst, we cannot blame Veolia. They are already giving back to the community in funding projects.

The bad guys are ESCC ... they have kept the money, given a nice contract to someone to plant hundreds of trees, and maintain them for 5 years (they didn’t water any of the trees planted throughout a very hot, dry Summer 2013).

So, someone has done very nicely out of that contract!

What have Newhaven got? Trees and a very much needed and valued school crossing patrol to be axed, unless ‘someone’ volunteers, or a sponsor can be found.

Shame on you ESCC – come clean and tell us what the criteria is for axing this school patrol.

Cllr Diane Hall

Newhaven