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Why I quit: Hope lollipop lady who spoke out over safety

Published date: 18 March 2014 |
Published by: Robert Doman 
Read more articles by Robert Doman  Email reporter


 

A LOLLIPOP lady who spoke out over road safety concerns at her school has quit her job after being called in to explain her actions by the council.

Wendy Ellis, 49, spoke to the Leader last week to highlight what she called “horrific” dangers on the road she patrols outside Ysgol Estyn in Hope.

She claimed speeding drivers could cause an accident unless action is taken on the stretch, which has 20mph advisory speed limit signs.

But after her worries featured in the pages of this paper, she was asked to a meeting with Flintshire Council and resigned during a “heated” phone call, where she claims to have been told to detach herself from the issue.

“I was just trying to ensure the safety of the children and my own,” she said.

“But in Flintshire Council’s eyes it is the wrong thing to have done.

“I received a letter from the council on Friday asking me to attend a meeting. I phoned up but I wasn’t happy with the way I was being spoken to.

“They said I should detach myself from the issue and the conversation got a bit heated so I resigned and put it in writing.

“They said I should have gone to the police but I have done that before and the issue is still there.

“I’m very disappointed with the way things have turned out. It’s a terrible, horrific road – it’s dangerous.”

Mrs Ellis, of Leeswood, began as a lollipop lady at the school on Hawarden Road in 2009 and has reported speeding motorists during her time on duty there.

She previously told the Leader that the dangers speeding motorists present were increasing and said campaigners hoping for a speed camera to be installed, wanted to be heard.

Parents of children at the school have rallied to support Mrs Ellis after news of her resignation.

Mark Robinson, who takes his children to Ysgol Estyn and is chairman of the school’s Home School Association (HSA) fundraising group, said: “I find it incredible.

“Ultimately she has highlighted the danger of what is happening there.

“She is a concerned member of staff. Parents are sticking by her.”

The HSA is set to discuss the issue at a meeting later today and another parent and member of the group, who asked not to be named, said: “A lot of us feel very strongly about it.

"She should be thanked for highlighting the problem.

“Someone who cares about the children is exactly what I want from a lollipop lady.”

Neal Cockerton, the council’s head of assets and transportation, said: “Mrs Wendy Ellis was invited to attend a meeting at County Hall, Mold with Road Safety staff to discuss her concerns at the traffic conditions at Ysgol Estyn, following recent press coverage with regard to this issue.

“Unfortunately, Mrs Ellis declined this invitation and has now tendered her resignation.

“The authority will now advertise this vacant post through the normal channels.

“In the interim we will seek to appoint a relief patrol.

“It remains the parents/ guardians responsibility to ensure the safe passage of their children to and from school.

“A ‘Safe Routes in Communities’ bid has been submitted to the Welsh Government for funding to assist with the conversion of the zebra crossing, situated outside Ysgol Estyn, to a controlled puffin crossing. It is anticipated a decision on the bid will be made before the end of March.”

Anyone interested in the vacancy is asked to contact the Road Safety Unit on 01352 704497.
 

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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  1. Posted by: sheefag at 16:02 on 18 March 2014 Report

    'Just one picture, last one, honest' 'Now, do that sad, hard done by face again for me.....'

  2. Posted by: Sue.caergwrle at 17:26 on 18 March 2014 Report

    The crossing is a joke, it's as if it wasn't there, possibly because it has no flashing lights. Wendy has reported the problem over and over again, if anything it's got worse. She has the gratitude of every parent and grandparent of every child who's used the crossing since she's been there.

  3. Posted by: Sue.caergwrle at 19:08 on 18 March 2014 Report

    The crossing is a joke, it's as if it wasn't there, possibly because it has no flashing lights. Wendy has reported the problem over and over again, if anything it's got worse. She has the gratitude of every parent and grandparent of every child who's used the crossing since she's been there.

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