Lancashire County Council’s finance chief has confirmed that schools will not be asked to fund the full cost of crossing patrols from their individual budgets.
Speaking today, County Councillor David Borrow, deputy leader and finance portfolio holder explained:
“It is not, and never has been, Cabinet’s intention to ask schools to fund the full cost of school crossing patrols from their own budgets. It is unfortunate that there has been some confusion amongst those who have not been close to ongoing discussions on the best way to fund these services.
“The Council’s current policy, as agreed at Full Council in February 2014, is that schools will receive a grant from the Council towards the cost of school crossing patrols, and that the County Council would continue to provide the school crossing patrol service. This policy has not yet been implemented.
“As part of work to set the council’s budget, an alternative proposal was discussed which considers the funding of the school crossing patrol service from the central resources available to schools; a proposal which is very much subject to consultation with the Schools Forum. It was on this basis that the proposals from Cabinet were put forward to Full Council – there is no intention that schools should fund this from their individual budgets.
“Discussions remain ongoing, and further work is being undertaken with schools to ensure the proposals are properly considered. It is important to stress that there will be no change in the Council’s approach until the consultation with the Schools Forum has been fully, and properly, undertaken.
“Lancashire schools are an important partner, and we will work with them to make sure any proposed changes to the funding of school crossing patrols are properly considered and consulted upon and no proposal will be implemented without this.
“I will be proposing a budget adjustment on Thursday at the meeting of Full Council to clarify for all members that we propose to set aside funds from reserves to ensure that we can take the appropriate time to consult properly with the Schools Forum. I will therefore be recommending that there is no change in the current position in 2015/16 and we will not be asking schools to share the costs of crossing patrols from September 2015.”