22 June 2011

The people and communities of Northamptonshire have come together to assist with delivering the school crossing patrol service in the county.

So far a total of 11 communities have stepped forward to finance school crossing patrol officers after being approached by the county council to see if they could facilitate such a service. In addition, six other community groups have indicated a strong interest in taking part.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, said: “I’d like to applaud local communities for reacting to this proposal in such a positive way and this shows just what can be done when people come together and work towards something they really want.

“Because of basic recruitment, administrative and training costs, the more communities which take part in the scheme the more cost-effective it becomes per site.

“We said we’d need at least 10 communities to take part so we’re delighted to now have 11 which have signed up.

“However, this doesn’t mean we’ve drawn a line under the scheme. If at a later date other communities wish to take part, they’d of course be very welcome.”

In December last year it was announced that the county council would withdraw its school crossing patrol service as part of having to make £73million in-year savings.

The authority received feedback on this decision and was approached about finding an alternative way of continuing to provide patrollers.

Letters were written to schools and parish, town, borough and district councils in areas where there were sites to see if they could provide funding.

Legally, school crossing patrol officers have to be employed by the county council so that they have the powers to stop vehicles at crossings.

The scheme will mean the patrollers are employed by the council and the school crossing patrol service will be cost neutral to the county council, being paid for by the communities themselves.

Communities have signed up for the following sites:

  • Blisworth – High Street
  • Corby Old Village – High Street
  • Deanshanger – The Green
  • Higham Ferrers – Wharf /Saffron Road
  • Irchester – High Street/Co-op
  • Kislingbury – High Street
  • Middleton Cheney – High Street
  • Oundle - Milton Road
  • Ringstead – Church Street
  • Rothwell – Rushton Road
  • West Haddon – The Green