Lollipop man is still needed

TWO Morpeth schools are still on the lookout for a new crossing patrol officer to help pupils get across a busy road safely.

A large number of students at Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools and Technology Colleges off Mitford Road walk across the B6343 to get to and from school.

A lollipop man, who lives in Ashington, had been in place to stop traffic before they crossed. But he was redeployed to an area nearer his home in June following Northumberland County Council’s cost-cutting drive on car mileage allowances.

Concerns were raised by staff and parents and then executive headteacher of both schools, Paul Lawrence, who retired in the summer, said the situation was ‘an accident waiting to happen’.

Morpeth Town Council’s planning and transport committee has discussed the issue and it wrote to the county council to say that the matter should be urgently addressed.

A spokeswoman for Chantry and Newminster said a learning support assistant took on the role at the start of the new school term in September, but she is only willing to do it on a temporary basis until half-term.

This means that they are hoping to have someone in place doing the job full-time from November 4.

Those interested are advised to call Natalie McGrath at the county council on 01670 622323.