School wins fight to keep lollipop lady on dangerous road

Children at Northiam Primary School will have a lollipop lady next year after the village rallied around to come up with funding.

The crossing patrol outside the school, on the busy A28 road, was one of 11 across the county to be axed by East Sussex County Council as part of cost saving measures.

Northiam’s lollipop lady Pat Brabon has been doing the job for the past 35 years.

She said: “I really do see the need for a crossing, whether it is me or someone else doing it.”

Northiam School head Matthew Montebello launched an appeal earlier this year in a bid to come up with the £3,700 needed to provide the crossing patrol.

He said: “I am delighted to say that thanks to a vert generous response from the village we have now raised enough funds to allow Mrs Brabon to continue in her role as lollipop lady next year.

“Our special thanks go to AHS Ltd; The Spar Shop; Jempsons; the parish council; Mr and Mrs Hinds and Mr and Mrs Swainbank.

“Their generosity is very much appreciated by everyone at the school including staff, children and parents.

“The Friends of Northiam School and the parish council continue to search for a long term solution to enable Mrs Brabon to carry on her important work beyond July 2015.”

Commenting on the crossing cuts, the county council said it had to “make very difficult decisions” and that it was “simply not feasible to continue to fund crossing patrols which do not meet nationally accepted criteria based on the number of cars and the number of pupils crossing the road.”

But critics of the cuts, including two schools which have been affected in Bexhill, say the safety of school children should take priority over savings.

Rye Labour candidate Sarah Owen has launched a campaign for improved road safety outside primary schools in the area.