School crossing patrols are to continue to be funded by Staffordshire County Council – as final budget plans are drawn up.
The council was considering moving to a community funded service as part of measures needed to close a £35m budget shortfall in 2019/20.
After listening to public and staff feedback, Cabinet members have decided this is not the right time to pursue this option.
Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:
We all know crossing patrols do valued community work and it was clear from the consultations that members of the public hugely value the role their patrol plays in the community.
We have listened and acted on what people have told us and although it will cost £1.4m per to continue to fund the service, we have taken the decision not to progress with these proposals and our patrols will continue as before to serve their communities.
I would like to thank everybody who took the time to take part in the consultations and also parish councils and local businesses which stepped forward to offer a local community solution.
I would also like to say a huge thank you to the school crossing patrols themselves for their continued hard work and their total professionalism during this unsettling time.”
The county council secured one off additional funding for care and highways as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement and aims to deliver a balanced budget for next year. An update on proposals will be presented to Cabinet on January 30, before going to Full Council in February.
Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said:
We have faced unprecedented financial challenges, but after taking early, decisive action we have managed to close the gap and deliver a balanced budget.
After successfully reducing our own running costs by £240m in the past nine years this has meant we faced making some tough decisions across all services.
Together with our MPs we are continuing to lobby Government on the need for a long-term solution for the funding of care for rising numbers of vulnerable adults and children, but in the meantime, with less money to go around, we are being honest about what we can continue to fund.
While councils can no longer do or fund everything they once liked to do, we remain hugely ambitious for the county and are committed to empowering communities to take a stronger role in delivering their own affordable solutions wherever possible.
We will continue to support people helping people through our work with the voluntary sector and a revised Local Community Fund to help members support their local communities.”
The Cabinet paper will be available here from 4pm today.