Parents forced to pay up

Wandsworth Council’s policy, as of this Easter, is not to fund school crossing patrols.  Its previous SCP budget was £198,000 pa; this has been reduced to £28,000, which is the overhead cost relating to managing the service, insurance, training, etc. From Easter, the service will be provided on a ‘cost recovery’ basis, i.e. SCPs will only be provided where schools or sponsors fund them, but the Council will continue to employ and manage patrollers for whom funding is provided. 

There are currently 36 SCP sites in Wandsworth, but only 28 of these are staffed.  From Easter, this number will be reduced to 21: 14 funded by schools; 5 funded partly by schools and partly by Talk Talk sponsorship; 2 funded by Honeywell parents and partly by Savills Estate Agents sponsorship.  There will therefore be 7 redundancies.

The following private schools are providing funding: Newton Prep; Broomwood Hall; Thomas’s; Parkgate; Eaton House; and Hornsby House. The following state schools are providing funding: Roehampton Church; Furzedown; Graveney; Westbridge; Franciscan; Fircroft; Penwortham; Smallwood; Allfarthing; Gatton; Swaffield; and Highview (there are more schools providing funding than there are crossings because some crossings are shared).

Talk Talk is providing sponsorship amounting to £13,059 over 18 months (£8,706 pa).  This has been split between five sites which are shared between two or more schools where only one school was also prepared to pay its ‘share’.  For example, the crossing on Hearnville Road is shared between Hornsby House and Chestnut Grove.  Hornsby House was willing to pay but Chestnut Grove was not, so the balance has been covered by Talk Talk. The other part-sponsored Talk Talk crossings are (i) Swaffield Road (also part funded by Swaffield); (ii) Plough Road (also part funded by Highview); (iii) Beechcroft Road (also part funded by Fircroft); and (iv) Clapham Common Northside (also part funded by Eaton Manor).

Parents at Honeywell School feel strongly about the importance of the crossing patrols. Initially they campaigned for council funding for all Wandsworth Crossing patrols. 444 signed an online petition and parents emailed councillors and the local MP, and even took a deputation to a council meeting. It became clear, however, that the council would not alter its position, not least because Cllr Russell King, the cabinet member for transport, stated that he does not believe that crossing patrols improve road safety. At this point, parents pledged donations of £10,000 and sponsors Savills also pledged £10,000. This will fund the two crossings at Honeywell Road for two years.

 

Honeywell Parent
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11 Mar 2013, 07:07
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