HAVERHILL Town Council has pledged to help to ensure the safety of the town’s schoolchildren by committing the funding for school crossing patrols.
Councillors agreed on Tuesday to stump up the £9,000 needed to continue the patrols in Haverhill for the after Suffolk County Council’s (SCC) decision in February to withdraw its funding countywide to enable savings totalling more than £160,000.
At the town council’s community first committee meeting, clerk Gordon Mussett said: “I have opened up discussions with Cambridgeshire County Council, who have also been approached by Northants, and they are looking at expanding their own internal services and spreading out across the border.
“We are reasonably sure it’s a service they could offer to Suffolk County Council from Cambridgeshire, however, someone has to guarantee their continued funding.”
The town council’s agreement to provide the £9,000 would keep the crossing patrols in Wratting Road and Burton End going from July for another year, buying time to secure other sources of funding to continue the service longer term.
Monday’s arrival of Mark Bee as the new leader of Suffolk County Council has also muddied the waters somewhat, as he has intimated a possible backtracking on the decision to scrap the funding for school crossing patrols — although nothing has been confirmed yet.
This development has led the town council, at the suggestion of Mr Mussett, to add a proviso that it would only provide the £9,000 in the event SCC doesn’t decide to reverse its own funding decision.
Cllr Maureen Byrne said of the patrols: “Nine thousand pounds to me is not a lot of money if it saves children and their lives. You cannot put a figure on that.”