Council urged to fill vacancy for a lollipop person in Durrington.

Friday, 4 March 2022 19:42

By Karen Dunn - Local Democracy Reporter

A councillor has urged the Council to fill the vacancy for a lollipop person at a popular crossing near a school in Durrington.

Noel Atkins (Con, Durrington & Salvington) submitted a written question during a meeting of the full council, calling the lack of a crossing patrol on Salvington Road ‘an accident waiting to happen’.

He said: “The schools at present have no lollipop person to cross the parents and children over the busy Salvington Road – this is in spite of frequent adverts the schools have placed to recruit such a person. Salvington Road is a 30mph semi-main road, which can be dangerous at any time due to fast moving traffic. At present the parents and children cross Salvington Road without a lollipop person and in an uncoordinated manner in different places both at the same time and at different times. This needs an urgent solution as it is an accident waiting to happen.”

Mr Atkins said he had tried without success to have a pelican crossing installed. He also recalled an incident in late 2019 which saw a young lad airlifted to hospital with serious injuries when he was hurt crossing the road. The accident happened after 4pm, when there would have been no crossing patrol. He added: “Fortunately, he later made a full recovery. However next time the outcome may not be so fortunate.”

Figures presented to the meeting showed that, of the 104 school crossing patrol jobs in the county, 49 are vacant.

Eight of the vacancies are in the south of the county, 28 in the north and 13 in the west. Interviews are currently being held to fill the posts. In his response to Mr Atkins, Nigel Jupp, cabinet member for learning & skills, said the Durrington position had been vacant since the new year and had been advertised via the school newsletter and on a large banner. He added that there had been some interest but the council would continue to advertise until the position was filled.

He said: “We work closely with local schools when vacancies arise as they help us find suitable candidates from within their communities such as parents, grandparents, friends, or relatives.

“We have also been pro-actively publicising staff who have been long-serving patrols and this has generated interest in this very worthwhile role.”

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