Video: Cost of Newhaven school lollipop lady questioned by councillor

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A fresh row has erupted over the cost of retaining a lollipop lady at Denton Community Primary School.

East Sussex County Council told the school it would have to find £3,750 to keep its crossing patrol after the county council pulled the plug on the service in a bid to save money.

Diane Hall concerned about loosing lollipop lady at Denton School.

Diane Hall concerned about loosing lollipop lady at Denton School.

Newhaven Town councillor Diane Hall is questioning the cost of the service, saying she believes it would be possible to retain the lollipop lady for between £2,000 and £2,500 a year.

Cllr Hall said: “This seems very wrong and expensive.

“Denton School is the only school in Newhaven with a school crossing patrol but we have got a school crossing patrol because a child was killed in Denton Road in 2000.

“It is a very very dangerous road. People park up on the grass verges. It is a blind bend. There is nowhere for you to go.

“To expect children to cross that road to get home safely is unthinkable.”

The school in Acacia Avenue secured £500 from Veolia Environmental Services and a further £2,000 from Newhaven Town Council to pay for lollipop lady Maureen Hood to continue.

What baffles cllr Hall is how it can cost so much money, when Maureen works for about an hour a day during term time.

She said Maureen already has a uniform, has already received training for her job and fails to see how this can stack up to £3,750.

She also pointed out the annual cost per child to the county council for keeping Maureen on was just 40p.

A spokesperson for the county counci said: “The savings we’re having to make mean it is not feasible to continue to fund all crossing patrols which do not meet nationally accepted criteria, which are based on factors including the number of cars present at the location and the number of pupils crossing the road.

“We don’t want to see crossing patrols taken away from schools where staff and parents want them, and we will do whatever we can to assist schools who want to continue their crossing patrol by means of securing sponsorship or recruiting volunteers, as well as supporting and managing such patrols.

“Sponsorship of £3,750 will cover the officer’s salary, National Insurance, pension, uniforms, equipment, personal liability insurance, supervision, monitoring, training and providing relief cover if available.

“Clothing and equipment to suit all weathers is provided and is replaced on a regular basis.”