‘Children’s lives will be lost’ says lollipop man

b11- 953 Lollipop man Peter Leonowicz, Maulden. JE wk 32
b11- 953 Lollipop man Peter Leonowicz, Maulden. JE wk 32

A LOLLIPOP man has expressed fears that children’s lives will be lost if funding for school crossing patrols is axed.

Last week we reported that Central Beds Council is now approaching local town and parish councils and businesses asking for their help with funding school crossing patrols.

Last year the authority announced it would be axing the service, but did a u-turn and saved it after protests from local communities.

Peter Leonowicz of Kings Road, Maulden, has been a lollipop man in Harlington for four years, and says if the service is axed then children’s safety will be put at risk.

Peter, 64, said: “I travel 120 miles every week to do my job in Harlington in all kinds of weather and put up with abuse from motorists on a regular basis, but I do it because of the children.

“I understand that cuts need to be made, but why should children’s lives be put at risk. When the council first announced they would be withdrawing the service I couldn’t believe it.

“I challenge the councillors to come out and spend time doing the job we do, and then they might realise how vital this service is.”

The council wants to assure people the service will not be withdrawn, but it is looking for alternative ways to find the patrols including a sponsorship scheme.

Councillor Budge Wells, deputy executive member for sustainable communities services at Central Beds, said: “The council does not intend to remove school crossing patrols at this time. But to help reduce the burden on this service area, we have developed a sponsorship scheme where we are looking to town and parish councils and local businesses to potentially support local school services.”