A lollipop lady axed due to council cuts has set up an online fundraising page so she can carry on working to protect children.
Lorraine Robinson, 63, says she cannot leave children to ‘risk their lives’ on the busy main road in Clevedon, Somerset.
She has vowed to keep working but has launched a JustGiving internet appeal to pay for her £142-a-month wages, as well as the £1,900 insurance policy she requires.
Lorraine Robinson, 63, says she cannot leave children to ‘risk their lives’ on the busy main road
She has vowed to keep working but has launched a JustGiving appeal to pay for her wages
Mrs Robinson has been patrolling the road every morning and afternoon for three years
Mrs Robinson has been patrolling the road, which is near two primary schools and a secondary school, every morning and afternoon for three years.
She was axed by the district council a year ago. The local town council agreed to pick up her wages, but today they too pulled the plug.
Mrs Robinson, a mother-of-two, said today: ‘This is a very dangerous road, without anyone here it is an accident waiting to happen.
‘If they don’t do something about it down there somebody will get killed. Lives are at risk if my job goes. The parents have been up in arms.
A lollipop lady axed due to cuts has set up a fundraising page so she can carry on working
Her patrol helps Nicholas Chantry Primary School, All Saints School and Clevedon School
‘They keep saying we need somebody here. There is not going to be any speed cameras or traffic calming measures introduced.’
Mrs Robinson works 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon
Mrs Robinson’s patrol on Old Street helps Nicholas Chantry Primary School, All Saints School and Clevedon School.
Two years ago her job was thrown into jeopardy as North Somerset Council withdrew funding.
Her wages were then paid by Clevedon Town Council, which was due to stop funding her today, but has now extended that until the New Year thanks to a generous donor who contributed £1,500 to keep her working until the February half term.
Wearing her hi-vis waterproof coat, Mrs Robinson works 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon.
The total cost of employing her to the council is £3,340 per annum including insurance, uniform and additional costs.
Mrs Robinson said: ‘They’re always on about health and safety but what’s more important than children crossing roads safely?
The total cost of employing her is per annum including insurance, uniform and additional costs
Last year Mrs Robinson had a hip replacement operation and took three months off to recover
‘I’d continue to do it voluntarily, it does need somebody there.
Protecting our children since 1953
Lollipop men and women first appeared on the streets of London in 1953.
Their job is to walk to the middle of the road and hold up their sign when children want to cross the road.
It is a legal requirement for traffic to stop at this command.
A typical shift as a lollipop lady might last three hours a day, split between morning and afternoon.
The job is popular with retirees who take on the small number of hours to supplement their income.
In 2000 responsibilities for lollipop ladies were handed over to local authorities and the legal requirement to provide them was removed.
‘It gets very busy between 8.20am and 8.45am – I get abuse all the time but I just ignore it now.
Last year Mrs Robinson had a hip replacement operation and took three months off to recover, and she said that during that time two children were hit by cars.
‘By all accounts, two of the older children got hit by two different cars,’ she said. ‘If I’d have been there it wouldn’t have happened.’
Councillor Graham Watkins believes it was a mistake for North Somerset Council to remove funding.
He said: ‘Lorraine is one dedicated lady. She wants to keep going. It is not easy to find people that want that job.
‘I think we should never have got into this position. There are two other crossings that have been sponsored in North Somerset.
‘But again they are for limited periods. We have got to find something else to keep it going.
‘It is not a satisfactory situation. The best solution is that a sponsor comes forward to pick up the cost.’