A recruitment drive is underway for school crossing patrols in Liverpool.
It follows a decision by the city council to no longer ask schools to pay for their own patrols, meaning the local authority is investing an additional £300,000 per year into the running costs of the service.
Liverpool has 72 school crossing sites, helping guide children across the road at the start and end of the school day – but there are 16 vacancies, meaning some schools are currently without a permanent member of staff.
Cabinet member for highways, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “Other areas of the country have cut their school crossing patrols but in Liverpool we have chosen not to do that because we recognise that they do a terrific job helping keep our children safe.
“We are extremely grateful to the 60 schools who have helped us out by paying for their own school crossing staff over the last year, but we recognise that it would not have been fair to expect them to continue to do this when they are being hit by the Government’s budget freeze and changes in the national funding formula.
“We are now on the lookout for sociable people with a bit of spare time on their hands who enjoy the outdoors and want to earn some extra money.
“Many people affectionately remember their own lollipop man or woman from their time at a school. They are an integral part of the community and it is an extremely rewarding job.
Shirley McConville, aged 73, has been a school crossing patrol for 36 years and works outside The Beacon Church of England Primary School on Heyworth Street in Everton.
Shirley said: “I started out in June 1980 when the lady who was doing it previously told me that there was a vacancy.
“A lot of adults remember me from when they were youngsters and can’t believe I am still doing this. But I wouldn’t have been doing it as long as I have if I didn’t enjoy it – the kids are wonderful.
“As long as you get well wrapped up and waterproof boots the weather isn’t a problem.
“I have 165 children that I cross every morning and evening and I’ve only ever had two or three incidents of irate motorists.
“I’d be lost if they ever came to me and said I couldn’t do it any more as it gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.”
School crossing patrol staff have to work seven hours a week (1 hour, 24 minutes per day) during term time, and earn between £8.35 and £9.19 an hour.
Applications can be made online at www.liverpool.gov.uk/jobs, or an application form can be requested by calling 0151 233 3003. The closing date is 18 April.
THE 16 LOCATIONS WHERE PERMANENT PATROLS ARE NEEDED
1 St Domingo Road / Beacon Lane L5
2 Storrington Avenue / Lowerhouse Lane L11
3 Beloe Street / South Hill Road L8
4 Walton Breck Road / Outside All Saints Catholic Primary School L4
5 Dovedale Road / Herondale Road L18
6 Cedar Road / Hunslet Road L9
7 Scarisbrick Drive / Strawberry Road L11
8 Booker Avenue / Greenhill Road L18
9 Woolton Road / Mosspits Lane L16
10 Prince Edwin Street / Outside Faith Primary School L5
11 Goodison Road / Gwladys Street L4
12 Queens Drive / Townsend Avenue L4
13 Woolton Hill Road / Wood View Road L25
14 Teilo Street / High Park Street L8
15 West Derby Road / Green Lane L 13
16 Rocky Lane / Score Lane L16