Plans to chop lollipop heroes condemned

Milton of Campsie Lollipop man Thomas Craven having his working hours cut by council 4.2.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes
Milton of Campsie Lollipop man Thomas Craven having his working hours cut by council 4.2.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

CONTROVERSIAL cost cuts could see the hours of school crossing guards slashed across East Dunbartonshire.

East Dunbartonshire Council intends to reduce the hours of all its crossing patrollers to 13 hour a week, as part of its budget cuts.

However, lollipop man Tom Craven (61) says cutting his hours from 16 and a half to 13 means he will no longer qualify for tax credits and it will leave him with just £100 a week to pay his bills.

Mr Craven, who has worked as a lollipop man on Redmoss Road, in Milton of Campsie, for six years, said: “I don’t know how I am going to get by. I will lose £28 in wages a week and I won’t get any tax credits.

“It means I will only have £100 wages to pay £93 rent and £20 council tax.”

Mr Craven (pictured) was sent a letter by the council in January giving him 90 days notice of the termination of his contract and offering him a job under the new 13 hour conditions. If he does not accept the cut his employment with the council would come to an end on Sunday, May 8, and he would not qualify for redundancy pay.

A council spokesperson said the decision to standardise school crossing patrollers’ hours to a maximum of 13 per week was one of many taken at a special meeting in December in order to achieve the £8million savings required for 2011/12.

The spokesperson added: “The standard 13 hour week represents the hours necessary to cover the morning, lunchtime and afternoon crossings. However, 45 of the school crossers were being paid more hours than this, even though they do not work the hours. This was a historic situation and clearly needed to be rectified, especially from an equality perspective, but also because we cannot possibly continue to pay employees for hours they do not actually work.”

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