Fresh appeal for ‘lollipop person’

A fresh appeal has been launched looking for local residents to volunteer to become school crossing ‘lollipop’ people.

Aberdeenshire Council has tried without success to recruit for patrollers’ posts at two primary schools in Newtonhill and Portlethen.

Local councillor Ian Mollison said: “Appeals to parents, posters, and adverts on the council’s website have all drawn a blank.

“Meanwhile, our youngsters are having to be taken to school by parents, friends and neighbours. Teachers also continually alert the children and young people to the potential dangers - particularly regarding the wearing of head phones while walking to and from school.

“At Portlethen, with an increasing roll, it is even more important to have a patroller there every day to help the children cross safely. Unfortunately there are too many reports of some drivers not prepared to give a little consideration to others, even children. Council officers tell me they have found it exceedingly difficult to recruit to the vacancy at Newtonhill. The position has been advertised and re-advertised with no success. It is being advertised again on the council’s website with an extended closing date to July 2014 … but so far no applicants.

“Officers have circulated an advertisement for the Newtonhill post to the village primary school, the library and the Bettridge Centre to see if this drums up any interest.”

The posts are for 6.67 hours per week and the rate of pay is £6.92 per hour, although Aberdeenshire Council applies a Living Wage supplement to all council employees earning less than £7.50 per hour. There is also a vacancy for a relief lollipop man or woman at the Mackie Academy in Stonehaven.

Councillor Mollison added: “There must be some people in our communities who can help ensure our kids cross the roads safely. Anybody interested in a school patroller position should contact the Support Services Coordinator at the local academy for more information.”