FAMILIES will march on County Hall this Saturday in a show of strength against plans to cut lollipop patrols.
Protestors carrying placards, including anxious parents from Upton, Ferndown, Christchurch and Purbeck, will make their way through Dorchester and deliver a petition to Dorset County Council vice-chairman Cllr David Crowhurst on the steps of the authority’s headquarters.
This family-friendly event, to which children are especially welcome, is the last big push to try and persuade councillors to rethink plans over school crossing patrols.
The county, which needs to make savings of nearly £60 million to balance its books, is looking to stop funding patrols in a bid to claw back £200,000.
Scores of angry readers bombarded the Daily Echo website after we reported on the county’s plans to ask communities to take over responsibility for the roles, either by seeking alternative funding sources or getting volunteers to do the job.
Opponents, including Wool First School headteacher Lesley Craze, claim the move will put lives at risk because there will be no funding or a lack of volunteers available.
Dorset County Council has extended consultation on the plans until the end of March.
Lollipop patrol campaigner Helen Toft, who has organised Saturday’s march, said: “The march won’t be a rabble. It will be a peaceful orderly gathering.
“I have no idea how many we will get but I’ve spoken to the police and they will close the road.
“I hope it’s a decent showing and that people care enough to turn out.”
Wool First School has also organised a petition, which will be added to the signatures handed in by Mrs Toft.
Mrs Craze said: “She (Helen Toft) kindly forwarded this information to schools across the county.
“I think it is great that someone has come forward to co-ordinate all of this. I am sure some of our parents will attend the march.”
Marchers should meet at 11am on Saturday at the Fairfield Road car park in Dorchester.
People wishing to attend are asked to contact Mrs Toft through her blog page, save-lollipoppeople.blogspot.com, so she has an idea of numbers.