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A decade of dwindling budgets has seen councils halve the number of lollipop men and women employed across north Wales, new figures have revealed.

While there were at least 147 school patrol staff employed across the region in 2008/09, this figure has been slashed to just 72 in 2019/20.

While some schools have closed over the past decade it is also a result of dwindling budgets at town halls across north and mid Wales, with the cost of a single part-time lollipop man or woman varying from £2,500 to £9,000 a year.

Anglesey Council employed 17 in 2013/14 but will have none at all from September 2019 following a decision to scrap the service.

A spokesman for the council said that such staff were “not mandatory”, with the move saving taxpayers £58,000 a year.

But the authority has come under criticism from one councillor who has accused decision makers of “penny pinching”, adding that such staff provide a safety aspect as well as helping children avoid traffic.

“School crossing patrol did far more than cross children over roads,” said Cllr Shaun Redmond of Holyhead.

“They were eyes and ears looking out for unsavoury characters and possible other dangers to children. With that gone, children are at greater risk.

“Generally the decision to scrap school patrols is based upon flimsy excuses, a extremely poor impact assessment and putting the onus for child safety at road crossings on parents just to save a puny sum.
“Lots of children naturally go to school without their parents, as I did, so the council is suggesting this practice stops and parents will probably use more cars bringing greater danger.”
“School crossing patrols are being scrapped as a sacrifice to budgetary and financial incompetence. The council should urgently rethink this crazy policy.”
But a spokesman for Anglesey Council blamed severe funding cuts, adding that such staff were “not a mandatory provision.”

“As part of investigating the impact of ending the remaining School Crossing Patrols on Anglesey, our officers have assessed the sites in line with guidance,” added the spokesman.

“None of the remaining school sites met the criteria for a School Crossing Patrol or any formal crossing to be recommended, with the exception of Ysgol Kingsland.

“We are therefore investigating the possibility of a zebra crossing at this location and will also be investigating any other potential improvements required at the other sites.

“The last remaining eight school crossing patrols finished at the end of the last academic year. We are, of course, extremely grateful for the service our School Crossing Patrol attendants have given over the years.”

Meanwhile a spokesperson for Gwynedd Council, which has seen the biggest drop – from 40 in 2008/09 to just 15 in 2019/20, said:  “Pedestrian safety is a priority for Gwynedd Council and when a crossing patrol post becomes vacant the Council considers all possible safety measures in accordance with national road safety guidelines.

“We would also note that the recruitment of new school crossing patrol officers can be challenging.”

School crossing patrol staff 2008/09: 17 (2013/14 are earliest figures available)
School crossing patrol staff 2019/20: 8 (0 from September 2019)
Locations no longer patrolled compared with 10 years ago: 
Llanfairpwll, Llanfachraeth, Llanfair-yn-neubwll, Corn Hir Llangefni, Y Parc Holyhead, Rhosybol, Esceifiog Gaerwen, Amlwch, Y Graig Llangefni.


School crossing patrol staff 2008/09: 40
School crossing patrol staff 2019/20: 15

Locations no longer patrolled compared with 10 years ago: Llanelltyd, Deiniolen, Penisarwaun, Tremadog, Llanllyfni, Penygroes, Caernarfon x 3, Bangor x 4,  Blaenau Ffestiniog x 2, Trawsfynydd, Y Ffor, Bala, Friog, Bontddu, Minffordd, Dyffryn Ardudwy, Llwyngwril, Rhostryfan, Llanrug.


School crossing patrol staff 2008/09: 30
School crossing patrol staff 2019/20: 16
Locations no longer patrolled compared with 10 years ago: Rhuddlan Ave Abergele, Henryd Rd/Llanrwst Road Gyffin, Park drive/Pentywyn road, A470  Dolwyddelan, Clarence drive/Clarence Road Llandudno, Dyffryn Road Llandudno, Bryniau Road Llandudno, Ronal Ave Llandudno junction, Victoria drive Llandudno junction, Denbigh road Llanrwst, B4407 Ysbyty Ifan.


School crossing patrol staff 2008/09: 16 (permanent) 6 (relief)

School crossing patrol staff 2019/20: 11 (permanent) 5 (relief)

Locations no longer patrolled compared with 10 years ago: 
Old Rhos Street School site  / Ysgol Pen Barras, Rhos Street, Ruthin.
Waterfall Crossroads, Dyserth
Puffin Crossing, Rhuddlan Road, Rhyl
A494 – Gwyddelwern.  Serving Ysgol Gwyddelwern School


School crossing patrol staff 2008/09: No information supplied
School crossing patrol staff 2019/20: 17 (permanent) 1 (relief) 3 (vacant posts)
Locations no longer patrolled compared with 10 years ago: No information supplied.
School crossing patrol staff 2008/09: 30
School crossing patrol staff 2019/20: 22
Locations no longer patrolled compared with 10 years ago: N/A
(Whilst there are currently fewer employed School Crossing Patrols in employment, this is due to the number of vacancies and not due to the removal of School Crossing Patrol sites.)
School crossing patrol staff 2008/09: 14

School crossing patrol staff 2019/20: 8 (permanent) 1 (relief) 1 (vacant post)

Locations no longer patrolled compared with 10 years ago: 

Llanarth, Ciliau Parc, Llechryd, Penrhyncoch, Talybont, Llanwnnen

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