GMB Welcomes Continued Investment In Birmingham Crossing Wardens
It is imperative that we do not let the issue of school safety be kicked into the long grass says GMB
GMB, Britain’s general union, has welcomed an announcement from Birmingham City Council that it will continue its provision of crossing wardens, investing £750,000 annually in the service for 2 years from 2017/18 onwards.
The council also announced proposals to create a new charitable trust to improve school children’s travel to and from school in the city.
Gill Whittaker, GMB regional organiser, said “GMB cautiously welcomes this announcement that will ensure the safety of Birmingham’s children, securing funding for a further 2 years for this low-paid, hardworking workforce. However, the council has pushed forward with this announcement without properly discussing how the money will be distributed with the recognised trade unions.
"The council has said that schools will be able to apply for up to £1000 of this funding for additional safety measures but the cost of a school crossing warden is in excess of this by about 5 times this amount. The council has also said that it is looking at introducing speed limits of 20 mph around schools but has not said what additional measures will be put in place to enforce the new restrictions.
"Whilst any announcement of extra funding is welcome, the council must sit down with the trade unions to work through how best to spend this money and not just give it away to whoever may apply. The council must also ensure that the school cost for patrols is secured for much longer than 2 years.
"GMB considers it imperative that we do not let this issue of school crossing wardens be kicked into the long grass and that the Government provides appropriate funding across all local authorities to secure this vital service for the safety of children everywhere.
"GMB will continue to work with Birmingham City Council to fulfil this aim.”
Contact: Sam Jones on 07939 874272 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or firstname.lastname@example.org