Lollipop patrols in Fenland saved

School crossing patrols in Fenland have been saved
School crossing patrols in Fenland have been saved
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Lollipop patrols in Fenland have been saved from the axe.

Cambridgeshire County Council had considered cutting school crossing patrols as it tries to save £41 million this year.

The Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee met today (Tuesday 12 January) and voted to remove School Crossing Patrols from the budget savings proposals to be recommended to General Purposes Committee.

Councillors took the decision following feedback from schools and community groups.

Chairman of Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee Roger Hickford said: “In October last year, the council announced the extent of the financial challenge it faced in order to balance the budget for 2016/17.

“Since then councillors as well as communities across the county have had their chance to evaluate, discuss and debate the range of proposals which have been put forward. This has been a difficult process as we have sought to balance the needs of residents with the demands of our financial situation.

“During this time we have heard from many groups offering to help to cover the cost of some of the services which were being proposed as a saving. One such example has been school crossing patrols where there has been interest from parish councils, community groups and schools to help save their local lollipop lady or man.

“We need time to consider this and get it right, and so we agreed today to remove School Crossing Patrols from our budget savings proposals. This is just one example of how members have listened to our residents to keep a service which is a vital part of their community.”

This vote now means the following proposals are being sent to the General Purposes Committee to help the authority produce a balanced budget:

• Generate income by charging utility companies for the time they spend on the network rather than fine them for staying longer than scheduled

• Reduce winter maintenance on the highways to save £650,000 - this will reduce the road network treated from 45 per cent to 30 per cent

• Rising bollards in Cambridge to be replaced by CCTV to save £50,000

• Withdraw funding from some libraries and seek community assistance to run them this is in addition to reducing opening hours of retained libraries to save £375,000 over two years

• Introduce 24 hour bus lane enforcement in Cambridge

• Remove non-statutory concessionary fares to save £125,000

• Create a shared planning service with district councils

• Increase on street car parking fees in Cambridge to cover costs and thus raise over £300,000

These proposals plus others aim to save £5.2m from the Economy, Transport & Environment Services’ budget which is £95m.