Reprieve for lollipop patrol

THE FUTURE of a school crossing patrol which had been under threat through council budget cuts has been secured.

Fears had been raised that the crossing, at the junction of the High Street and The Moor in Melbourn, would be axed after the crossing patrol officer left the post earlier this year.

A new Cambridgeshire County Council policy requires vacant crossing patrol positions to be reassessed, as the authority looks to save money after its funding from central government was cut.

But following a review of the site carried out earlier this month, council officers have decided the post will continue.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “Following a detailed assessment of this site, the decision to continue funding a school crossing patrol was made on the basis of poor visibility.

“We will start advertising for the vacancy after half-term.”

Cllr Susan van de Ven, county councillor for Melbourn, welcomed the news.

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“I’m so delighted we got the right outcome,” she said. “There is not a lot of money available, but the safety of children is pretty fundamental.”

Though the road does not meet the nationally agreed criteria for school crossing patrols, Cllr Van de Ven praised officers for making an exception.

She said: “It was great to have an officer who knew the area very well and really paid attention to the feelings of local people.

“It’s very reassuring that funding is being given to something that needs it.

“The way the road goes round to the right means that people of all ages take a risk when crossing the road and I’m sure that made an impact.

“Now we just need to find the right person for the vacancy, as last time we were looking it took a while to fill.”

The crossing patrol officer role will be advertised on the Cambridgeshire County Council website.