Disappointment Over Hazelwood Academy Crossing Petition

Councillors Steph Exell, Kevin Small and Jim Robbins

The Mannington & Western Councillors, representing the Toothill community, have expressed their disappointment that the Cabinet on Swindon Council have decided to ignore the wishes of the Toothill community and refuse to look in to reinstating a loliopop person (school crossing patrol officer) for Hazelwood Academy or insert a pedestrian crossing for the school.

Hazelwood Academy contacted Mannington & Western’s Councillors about the council withdrawing the school’s lollipop person (school crossing patrol officer), the school and parents have called for this person to be reinstated as it became dangerous for young pupils to cross the road. Following this communication Mannington Western Councillor, Steph Exell, started a petition attracting 429 signatures for the lollipop person to be reinstated. The petition read:

“We, the undersigned, call on Swindon Borough Council to reinstate the crossing patrol officer for Hazelwood Academy, to keep pupils safe in their journey to school.”

As the petition had more than 350 signatures, this triggered a debate at the April Full Council Meeting.

Mannington & Western Councillor, Steph Exell, said:

“It is sad that yet again the wishes of the Toothill community are being ignored by Swindon Borough Council. After more than 400 local people signed a petition calling on the Council to reinstate a lollipop person for Hazelwood Academy, the Mannington & Western Councillors proposed that the Council look at either reinstating a lollipop person or inserting a crossing for the school.  The importance of a lollipop person to raise awareness about road safety with children should not be underestimated.

The Cabinet Member said he didn’t believe this needed to be looked at as he wasn’t sure the investment was needed. The petition organisers who were both a school governor and a parent spoke powerfully about the safety of school pupils being at risk if nothing is done. With so many residents signing the petition and sharing the petition organisers’ views, what more information does the Cabinet Member need?

I hope on reflection the Cabinet Member might reconsider his decision yesterday and listen to the residents of Toothill who desperately want the Council to take action.”  

Mannington & Western Councillor, Jim Robbins, said:

“We will be following this up as a matter of urgency with the Cabinet Member.  Our priority is and will always be child safety.”

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