Union Warns 180 Lollipop Warden Could Go In Birmingham

3 February 2016, 17:24 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

school crossing lollipop

There's a warning 180 lollipop wardens outside Birmingham's schools could be lost.

Birmingham City Council is set to make a decision on funding lollipop ladies and men later this month, saying it was trying to find different ways to finance patrols.

But the GMB union said the 180 staff have already been told they will be made redundant unless schools pay £5,100 a year towards the cost.

Gill Whittaker, of the GMB, said: "We ran a campaign last year to save the jobs of the lollipop wardens. The successful campaign gathered huge support from the public resulting in Birmingham City Council agreeing to keep wardens at priority sites.

"The council pledged to continue to directly employ around 180 school crossing patrol wardens working on sites where there is an identified high risk.

"It is disappointing that they now appear to have done a u-turn, so the wardens are again at risk of redundancy."

Councillor Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children's services, said: "What we are trying to do is find different ways to fund school crossing patrols. That could be money that comes from schools individually paying for them. It could be businesses paying for them and we are looking at setting up a school safety trust whereby businesses and other local employers would be able to put money towards the safety of our children locally.

"We are also not just looking at school crossing patrols when it comes to road safety - it's important to realise that they are just one piece of a massive jigsaw of road safety. We have put over #400 million the last few years into other measures like 20 mph zones, improved cycle ways and safer routes to school schemes, that are there 24/7 to protect people.

"We are going to be looking at every individual site to look at the existing road safety measures that we have invested in and also whether there are additional things we could be putting in before any decision on withdrawing any individual patrols will be made."

"But hopefully we will be looking through different ways of funding them differently and we may even be able to fund an increase in school crossing patrols through the new school safety trust idea."