St Paul’s Church of England Primary School pupils are taking action against government cuts by declaring their upset at the prospect of losing, Helen Dempsey, their beloved lollipop lady.
The children wrote a letter to Sarah Owen, Labour MP Candidate for Hastings and Rye, when they found out that the lollipop lady might not be around much longer to get them safely to school.
Ms Owen said: “I was moved to act when primary school pupils first wrote to me, expressing their concerns about speeding traffic outside schools.”
According to the candidate, cuts to safety budgets will mean that schools across Hastings and Rother will find that “their lollipop attendants under threat or vital road safety improvements delayed.”
The thought of not having someone to guide them to school is especially upsetting to brother and sister, Ian and Isabella. Their school’s lollipop attendant is also their grandmother.
Ian, aged 10, said: “Our lollipop lady provides safety to us. We don’t want to say goodbye.”
“We’ve made posters of our nan for the campaign,” added Isabella, 6.
“We would really miss having her at our school.”
Mother of the youngsters, Marie Dove, explained: “Now Ian is older, we’ve started to let him walk to school on his own.
“I don’t think we could let him have that independence if my mum or any other lollipop men or women aren’t there to keep an eye on him.”
Helen, who’s been keeping children safe for 20 years, said she’s very concerned: “If we’re all taken away from our posts, the children will be at risk.”
“I feel so close to all of them, it’s a very personal campaign.”
Today, Richard Burden MP, Shadow Roads Minister, visited St Paul’s Primary School to show his support for the campaign.
He announced: “This is an issue about the future of our kids. Every child going to school has the right to do so in safety.”
Mr Burden also added: “This road is extremely busy, having Helen here is a must.
“This is a nationwide problem. Councils are facing very heavy cuts and whilst I understand the problems they’re having, it’s a question of priorities here.
The MP concluded that, “government could help”.
He said: They’ve scrapped national targets for casualty reductions which is wrong because targets raise awareness to a problem.”
Amber Rudd, Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye, was unavailable to comment about the campaign but for the parents, children and local councillors the fight to keep Helen and other lollipop attendants will continue.