School crossing patrols axed as Suffolk saves £40m in budget cuts
By NickRichards | Friday, February 18, 2011, 09:56
Council tax will stay the same in Bury St Edmunds – yet last night Suffolk County Council voted through a raft of cuts to save the authority upwards of £40million.
School crossing patrols will be cut across Suffolk. Picture: Vertigogen/Flickr
After a six-hour meeting in Ipswich yesterday the council voted to operate with a reduced budget – this was approved by 43 votes to 18 with no abstentions.
The reduced operating budget will see the end of school crossing patrols. The budget for the whole county is £230,000 per year and that’s first to go. Local arrangements will need to be made to replace the axed school patrol crossings.
During the consultation meeting yesterday Tania Johnson, head teacher of Horringer Court Middle School in Bury St Edmunds, told the council that she had to help patrol the road after the school lost its crossing patrol.
County councilor with responsibility for transport Guy McGregor told the speakers there was no doubt that school crossing patrols were valuable – but it was felt it would be better for them to be run by the communities they served rather than the council centrally.
Also going are the eXplore cards which give half-price bus and train travel for young people under 19. They’ll no longer be funded by the council saving £1.7million.
Seven of the county’s 18 household waste recycling centres are expected to close saving £800,000. This is not expected to affect the centre in Bury St Edmunds, but it is likely it will continue to operate with reduced opening hours.
Rural fire services, bus services and the management of county parks are also set to see savings made.
What do you think of the cuts made by Suffolk County Council. Do you think Council Tax should have been cut or are you sympathetic with the need to reduce running costs. What about school crossing patrols? Would you help your local school for free in the name of child safety?