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Village school’s bid to keep lollipop patrol

Blisworth Community Primary School are trying to raise �3,000 to keep 50-year-old Clare Dunkley patrolling Courtenhall Road.

Blisworth Community Primary School are trying to raise �3,000 to keep 50-year-old Clare Dunkley patrolling Courtenhall Road.

A village school hosted a sponsored walk in a bid to raise £3,000 and keep its long-serving lollipop lady patrolling a busy road in Blisworth.

Three years ago, Northamptonshire County Council cut funding to crossing wardens in a bid to save £201,000.

Since then Blisworth Community Primary School has relied on outside sponsorship to keep 50-year-old Clare Dunkley patrolling Courtenhall Road, which bears the brunt of a lot of traffic leaving the A43 and A508.

But now a three-year agreement with Milton Keynes-based company, TMX Recruit, has come to an end, the 220-pupil school needs to pay for Clare itself.

Yesterday the school held a sponsored walk round its playground.

Now head teacher Celia Irwin said they were hoping to find other sponsors in order to keep its lollipop lady.

She said: “This is for the safety of the children.

“We don’t qualify for a zebra crossing because we are not busy all day.

“But if we want to keep Clare on, we’ve got to pay her wages somehow.”

Mother-of-two Clare is also the site manager of Blisworth’s primary school and said pupils would have to risk ‘life and limb’ to cross the road without her. She has been lollipop lady for the past 17 years and went to the school as a child.

“I’m chuffed to bits that they are raising the money,” she said. “When the council said it was going to scrap lollipop ladies three years ago I was more than prepared to stand out there, whether I was paid or not.”

Blisworth Parish Council has also agreed to provide £1,000 to the school to keep Clare’s patrol.

 

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