Council drops plans to cut funding and leader admits they got it wrong

School lollipop patrols have been saved after plans to cut their funding were shelved.

Devon County Council leader John Hart has ditched intentions of asking schools to pay for their own crossing patrols, which would have saved £250,000 a year.

There had been huge opposition to the move, with campaigners fearing child safety was at risk and condemning Conservative and UKIP councillors for voting it through at the last full council meeting.

Mr Hart said today (Tuesday) he now believed this was the wrong decision: “Our budget is extremely tight but we will now find the money to fund the lollipop ladies and men,” he said.

“And I want to reassure all the people who have been in contact that – whilst I remain leader of this administration at County Hall – I will not re-introduce this measure.”

He added: “Since the budget meeting on February 18, I have been contacted by hundreds of parents and grandparents – far more than took part in the two public consultations last year.

“I have heard from a lot of mums and dads who were deeply worried about their children’s safety and obviously that is paramount.”

Fremington independent county councillor Frank Biederman welcomed the news and said ‘common sense had prevailed’.

“I realise the Conservative administration have an impossible job with the savage cuts being forced on us by central government,” he said.

“But this cut to save such a relatively small amount of money, that clearly was going to put lives at risk, was a step too far.

“Well done to all those that campaigned against this and made them listen and well done to John for finally listening and being brave enough to admit they got this wrong.”