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Regional daily saves lollipop ladies

Lollipop ladies in Manchester will continue to help children across the road safely thanks to a campaign by the city’s flagship newspaper.

The Manchester Evening News’ Save our Crossings campaign was launched just weeks ago after the city council threatened to axe patrols in areas such as Levenshulme.

This week the authority backed down after almost 2,000 people signed a petition started by the paper calling on the council to safeguard funding for dozens of dangerous crossings used by the city’s schoolchildren.

The paper celebrated through an article headlined ‘We’ve won! Council U-turn after hundreds join MEN campaign to save Manchester lollipop school crossing patrols.’

The front page of the M.E.N on Tuesday

The paper revealed a fortnight ago how all 156 of Manchester’s school crossings had been placed under review and rated red, amber or green according to whether they are considered high, medium or low risk.

The patrols budget faced an £800,000 cut unless money could be found elsewhere.

In response the News called on the council to ensure a lollipop lady or man at every medium-risk or high-risk crossing in the city.

This week it reported that the money has now been found through the education budget to guarantee that the 38 most dangerous ‘red’ sites will continue to be patrolled in 2012/13.

The council has also promised they will find funding for 51 medium-risk crossings and only a handful of low risk sites will be scrapped in addition to 60 that have already gone.

Parents and local authority figures who supported the campaign have praised the newspaper.

Mum Cheryl Twomey said: “For them to come back to us so quickly after the handing over of the petition is a great result. We couldn’t have done it without the MEN.”

Councillor Paul Andrews, the Manchester City Council’s executive member for neighbourhood services, said: “We would like to thank the Manchester Evening News for highlighting the importance of high and medium risk crossings. I am glad we are now in a position to reassure parents and children that these highly valued patrols will be maintained.”