Please sponsor our school crossing patrols

THE woman who has led the fight to save Lowestoft's school crossing patrols vowed this week to continue her road safety campaign.

Lian Shepherd and her lollipop men and women colleagues were left in dismay when Suffolk county councillors agreed to axe their posts in the summer.

She is now writing to Waveney District Council to see if it will take over the town's 14 crossing patrols.

Mrs Shepherd, of Carlton Colville will also be asking businesses in and around Lowestoft if they would like to sponsor lollipop men and woman. Each school crossing patrol person earns up to �2,232 a year.

The posts across the whole of Suffolk have been axed to save the county council about �174,000 in 2011/12 as part of its �42.5m package of cuts.

Mrs Shepherd, who spoke at the budget cuts meeting, told The Journal: 'Last Thursday was absolutely devastating for us. 'We were all very down for a few days.

'But we won't give up hope. We just hope there is somebody out there who can help us.

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'I will be writing to the district council asking if they will fund crossing patrols. I am also trying to draw up a list of businesses whom I will ask if they want to sponsor the patrols.'

Before the budget meeting, Mrs Shepherd and her colleagues handed over 4,301 letters of support from Lowestoft people, hoping it would change councillors' minds.

Seven Tory rebels voted against plans to axe the crossing patrols. But only one of Waveney's 12 Conservative councillors, Chris Punt, who represents the Beccles division, was among them.

Mr Punt supported an amendment, tabled by the council's Labour group, to keep the patrols and use the council's contingency funds to support them. He was joined by Bill Mountford, UKIP councillor for South Lowestoft, in backing calls to safeguard the service.

But the Labour amendment was defeated and the cuts were voted through at the six-hour meeting at Suffolk's Endeavour House HQ in Ipswich.

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