Urgent hunt for new Wheathampstead lollipop person

PUBLISHED: 16:39 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:39 20 January 2020

Cllr Annie Brewster and MP Bim Afolami with pupils from St Helen's C of E Primary School in Wheathampstead, who are in need of a crossing patrol. Picture: St Helen's C of E Primary School

Cllr Annie Brewster and MP Bim Afolami with pupils from St Helen's C of E Primary School in Wheathampstead, who are in need of a crossing patrol. Picture: St Helen's C of E Primary School

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A Wheathampstead primary school is on the hunt for two vital school crossing patrols to help pupils cross the road safely.

Cllr Annie Brewster with pupils from St Helen's C of E Primary School in Wheathampstead, who are in need of a crossing patrol. Picture: St Helen's C of E Primary SchoolCllr Annie Brewster with pupils from St Helen's C of E Primary School in Wheathampstead, who are in need of a crossing patrol. Picture: St Helen's C of E Primary School

Two lollipop ladies at St Helen's C of E Primary School - described as playing an "enormous role" in the life of the pupils - have moved on to new roles within the school, leaving the crossings unmanned.

Staff and parents are now worried for the safety of more than 300 pupils who use the crossings on a daily basis.

In a joint statement, co-headteachers Kaye Healy and Katherine Taylor said: "We are gravely concerned about the safety of our children, staff, parents and carers, who are doing their very best, but swift action needs to be taken before someone is seriously hurt."

The school is urging parents to tell children who walk to school on their own to cross with an adult until a new crossing guard is in place, as well as campaigning for a zebra or pelican crossing to be installed on the busy roads outside the school.

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Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami and Wheathampstead county councillor Annie Brewster are both backing the campaign. Bim tweeted: "This is a serious issue. I am working with Herts County Council to improve road safety around St Helen's."

Cllr Brewster said: "Both crossing points on The Hill and Brewhouse Hill are heavily used vehicular through-routes to St Albans, Harpenden and Welwyn Garden City.

"While I am doing everything I can to secure a zebra crossing at the school, any new infrastructure on our highways takes some time to deliver and the school needs help immediately.

"I still remember the name of my lollipop lady from my primary school days, Mrs Johnson. She was constantly smiling, always had something nice to say and made us all feel very safe. I am really hoping there are some wonderful villagers in Wheathampstead, or beyond, who would relish this role.

"I applaud St Helen's on its Green Travel Policy with so many children walking to school, so it is even more important their journey is made as safe as possible."

School crossing patrols are paid £9 per hour, and the role can be split into a job share. Anyone interested should call Janet Fairhead on 01992 556815 or email annie.brewster@hertfordshire.gov.uk.


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