A SCHOOL lollipop patrol in Blackwood is set to be axed by Caerphilly County Borough Council.

Blackwood Primary School’s former lollipop lady is not being replaced, despite the school having had a crossing patrol since it opened in 2001.

Cllr Kevin Etheridge, who represents Blackwood, described the situation as “totally unacceptable”.

The leader of the Independent Group said he has “major safety worries” for the children in the community.

Cllr Etheridge said: “The council has said it will monitor the situation, but once it is gone it is gone – and all because it does not meet their assessment levels. I am appalled.”

Fellow-Independent councillor Andrew Farina-Childs is calling on the council to re-do the assessment, describing it as an “essential” service to the 400 pupils that attend the school.

Cllr Farina-Childs, who also represents Blackwood, said: “The safety of the children is of paramount importance. I think the assessment is wrong, especially with pupils using different entrances due to Covid.”

Cllr Jamie Pritchard, the authority's deputy council leader, said: “Independent, Plaid Cymru and Labour councillors on the Education for Life Scrutiny Committee fully endorsed the current policy and in fact, recommended the benefits of school travel plans to headteachers and encouraged governors to endorse it.”

The assessment of school crossing patrols in the borough was approved at an Education for Life Scrutiny Committee meeting in January 2014.

Cllr Pritchard said there was a “strong agreement” for the policy at the time, but said he would be happy to meet with councillors to discuss the matter further.