Corby MP hits out at loss of school crossing patrol staff

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The number of school crossing patrol officers helping children get safely to and from schools has dropped by 992 across England since 2010 – and one of the worst hit areas is Northamptonshire.

The figures were compiled through Freedom of Information requests to all upper tier councils by Andy Sawford, MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire and Labour’s Shadow Local Government Minister.

Of the 121 local authorities out of a total of 152 who responded to the request for information, 69 per cent said they have cut the number of school crossing patrol officers.

In May 2010, there were 7,741 crossing patrol staff and there are now 6,749.

Some of the worst cuts were in Northamptonshire which has lost 60 staff, Devon which has lost 33 and Hertfordshire where 28 crossing patrol jobs have gone.

Mr Sawford said: “Over this Parliament the biggest cut to any part of the public sector has been to local councils, which are increasingly having to cut back on frontline services, as well as making efficiency savings in their back offices.

“Unrepaired potholes, streetlights being switched off and cuts to bus services are already making it more dangerous for children to get to school.

“Parents will be alarmed that these cuts have also led to the loss of almost 1,000 crossing patrol officers since 2010.”

A few councils have managed to increase the number of patrol officers despite the cuts to their funding, including Leicester and Leeds.