Dollis Hill campaigner Alison Hopkins has welcomed a successful conclusion to the campaign to bring back a school crossing patrol to Our Lady of Grace Junior school – but Labour-run Brent Council faces criticism for the length of time the process has taken.
A new crossing patrol to replace the previous post-holder was promised to Dollis Hill Liberal Democrat councillor Javaid Ashraf by the Labour councillor in charge of school crossings at a council meeting in July 2011.
The new crossing patrol was meant to be in place for the new school year in September but Brent Council’s internal bureaucracy led to recruitment delays. The crossing patrol finally started work today (Monday 27 February) a full term-and-a-half overdue.
Councillor Ashraf, who collected petition signatures along with local campaigner Alison Hopkins and other residents and parents said:
I am shocked at how long it has taken Brent Council to put in place a new crossing patrol. Why has there been such a long delay? Pupils have been without their school crossing patrol through the darkest days of winter. I am pressing for an explanation and apology to be sent to the school.
The school crossing patrol service was under threat last year from Brent Labour’s plan to axe 30 school crossing patrol across the borough. However a campaign led by parents and local Liberal Democrat councillors forced Labour councillors to think again. The council agreed not to sack any existing school crossing patrol staff.
However if Labour’s proposed budget is passed at Brent Council tonight (27 February), the council will maintain Labour’s policy of not replacing crossing patrols at so-called low-priority sites if existing post-holders leave. Over time this will mean fewer and fewer school crossing patrols in Brent.
Local campaigner and council candidate Alison Hopkins said:
Dollis Hill Lane is one of the busiest roads in the area, with heavy lorries and speeding cars. It’s potentially lethal. Children at our Lady of Grace Junior School need their crossing patrol. If elected as Dollis Hill’s new councillor I will be in a strong position to fight to keep it.
Published and promoted by R Wharton 19 Roe Lane London NW9 9BH on behalf of A Hopkins (Liberal Democrats) 9 Humber Road London NW2 6EH. Printed (hosted) by Automattic, Inc. 60 29th Street #343 San Francisco, CA 94110-4929 United States of America
Cllr Javaid Ashraf and the Dollis Hill Liberal Democrat team sent this letter to the Willesden and Brent Times. They were responding to claims made by Labour’s Cabinet member in charge of cutting school crossing patrols.
Labour councillor Jim Moher, who is in charge of the council’s plan to axe school lollipop patrols, used your pages last week to claim his consultation exercise was genuine.
If so, why did he withdraw the school crossing patrol from Our Lady of Grace RC Junior School before the consultation period even started and without carrying out the site visit and observation that he has promised?
For the last few weeks Our Lady of Grace pupils have had to cross the busy Dollis Hill Lane without the support of a lollipop person. The Labour-run council refused to replace the school’s crossing patrol when the existing member of staff resigned. As ward councillors for the school we are extremely concerned at the extra risk local school pupils are now exposed to.
It is appalling that the council assumed the consultation would change nothing and that it started removing crossing patrols early. Jim Moher should immediately reinstate the missing lollipop patrols. He should then listen to and act on the results of the consultation.
Councillors Javaid Ashraf, Jack Beck and Alec Castle
Liberal Democrat Councillors for Dollis Hill
Posted in Campaigns, Community Safety, Education, Transport, Young People
Tagged Alec Castle, Dollis Hill, Jack Beck, Javaid Ashraf, Jim Moher, Our Lady of Grace RC Junior School, School Crossing Patrols
Councillors Jack Beck, Alec Castle and Javaid Ashraf (pictured at Dollis Hill station) are outraged at Brent Councils refusal to replace Our Lady of Grace RC Junior School's school crossing patrol
Liberal Democrat Dollis Hill councillors – Javaid Ashraf, Jack Beck and Alec Castle – have slammed Labour-run Brent Council for refusing to replace a lollipop lady who is leaving – despite the fact that the School Crossing Patrol consultation is still underway.
Our Lady of Grace RC Junior School was informed by Brent Council that the council would not provide a replacement school crossing patrol after the resignation of the previous post-holder. Pupils now have to cross the busy Dollis Hill Lane with any assistance from the crossing patrol.
Liberal Democrats recently slammed Labour for the flawed “risk model” used to justify the axing of up to 30 school crossing patrols in Brent and the poor consultation the Council is conducting on the issue.
Speaking about the news, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dollis Hill, Cllr Javaid Ashraf said,
“This is just terrible. The consultation hasn’t even finished yet and already Labour has cut school crossing patrols. The council should not pre-empt the results of the consultation. needs to ensure that children at this school have a safe way of crossing the road until the results are back in expressing what people really think about this issue.
“Labour’s argument in favour of axing so many crossing patrols is based on the assumption that most of them are located at low-risk sites. Any parent who uses local roads could have told them that this isn’t the case. These proposals should be scrapped immediately: they are only causing concern and fear.”
The consultation can be found on Brent Council’s website here. Parents and other residents have until Tuesday 21st June to respond.
You can sign the Liberal Democrat Petition opposing the cuts here.
Posted in Campaigns, Education, Labour Failure, Liberal Democrats, Transport, Young People
Tagged Alec Castle, Dollis Hill, Jack Beck, Javaid Ashraf, Our Lady of Grace RC Junior School, School Crossing Patrols