THE LEADER of Suffolk County Council has given his support to a proposal that could help to recruit lollipop attendants in Bury St Edmunds.
Despite re-advertising posts for two busy school crossing patrols in the town, Suffolk County Council has as yet been unable to recruit anyone.
On Monday, during an Our Place meeting at West Suffolk House, Cllr David Nettleton asked the county council’s leader, Cllr Mark Bee, if he would been interested in working with Bury Town Council to lift the rate of pay for the posts, currently being advertised at £6.38 an hour.
“The important thing is that the service has been saved,” said Cllr Bee, who agreed there had been difficulty with recruitment.
“For those children seeking to cross the road, the school crossing patrol hasn’t been saved,” replied Cllr Nettleton, vice-chairman of the town council.
“What I’m suggesting is that the town council tops up that amount so they get paid more,” he said.
Cllr Bee stressed that the county council would be unable to ‘throw money at it’ but gave his support to Cllr Nettleton’s proposal.
“I would like very much to take up the opportunity to do that,” he said.
The vacant posts are in Glastonbury Road, which serves Horringer Court Middle School, and Westgate Street, which serves St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School.
Cllr Nettleton has proposed a ‘top-up’ of £3.19 which would bring the hourly rate to £9.57 and, if approved, is likely to also be applied to the pay of existing lollipop attendants.
He said the increased wage was fair because it related to posts with limited work hours, which were also restricted to the 38 weeks of the school term.
Its funding would come from the £17,500 the town council set aside to continue the service when Suffolk County Council decided it would not fund replacements for current attendants when they retire.