Friday, 3 February 2012

Council savings: school crossing patrols face cuts

SCHOOL crossing patrols are facing the axe under a council savings drive.

Click the headline or link below to read the rest of this story.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has proposed “reprioritising” its 52 crossings to save £75,950 in the next three years.

No further details are given. The Silhillian asked the council for the current priority list on Monday but had not been provided with it at the time of going to press.

The most recent publicly available list ranks the crossing at Station Road, Dorridge as second highest priority.

The others in Knowle and Dorridge are: Poplar Road, Dorridge (23); Widney Road at Mill Lane (29) and Widney Road at Widney Close (31).

All serve 569 children a day, council documents say.

In 2010, the council proposed cutting four patrols to save £12,000. It has to cut £12m to balance its £145 budget, which starts on April 1.

Other cuts include:

• Ending all yearly replacement of flower beddings over the next three years, instead using “more sustainable plants” and returning smaller parks and open spaces to grass. This will cut the £56,000 budget by £30,300.
• Removing the stray dogs out of hours service to save £12,000. The council says: “Outside these times the public may be able to take the dog to the RSPCA if it is injured or would keep it until the following day.”
• Moving management of Solihull Arts Complex to a trust to exempt it from business rates and, the council says, help it to attract more external cash. This would allow it to “offer wider, more diverse programme likely to generate more income”. The move will net £200,000, the council says.
• Removing a vacant domestic violence co-ordinator post.

Click here for previous stories about how the council is intending to save cash, including changes to car parking charges and parking and waste recycling opening hours.

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