Joy for Chesterfield 'dancing lollipop man' as plans to cut school crossing patrols are shelved
A well-known school crossing patrol in Chesterfield says he is 'over the moon' after plans to scrap the role have been shelved.
A Derbyshire County Council consultation asked schools whether they could fund the crossing patrols themselves, in a bid to save £300,000.
But the majority of schools told the council they would not be able to find the required funds, and so the proposals will not go ahead.
Reacting to the announcement, Alan Filbee, more commonly known as the ‘dancing lollipop man’ on High Street, in Old Whittington, Chesterfield, said: “I am over the moon, absolutely over the moon. When I heard the news on the radio I was nearly in tears. It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt 7ft tall.”
Alan, who helps pupils and parents across the road to Mary Swanwick Primary School, has been in the role for about 10 years.
No matter what the weather is, the lovable personality can be seen busting his Elvis moves out - something he started doing years ago to keep warm during the winter.
On his job, he said: “I love it - it is my passion. It makes you feel happy doing something for the community and for the people.
“My main priority is the safety of the children. Many parents said this road is dangerous.”
Deputy leader and cabinet member for transport, highways and infrastructure at Derbyshire County Council, Councillor Simon Spencer, said: “We wrote to schools, parish and town councils where there is a crossing patrol and asked them if they would be willing to fund the service or help find the money from local businesses or sponsorship.
“The feedback was that while they valued the service very few of them were able to help find the funds for their crossing patrol.
“I have decided that because it is clear that this is a service that is valued across the county we will keep the service as it is. We will not make cuts to the service.
“Our officers will now look to find the savings planned, £300,000, from elsewhere in the economy, transport and environment department."