Safety row lollipop lady from Leeswood gets parents' backing

Published date: 19 March 2014 |
Published by: Robert Doman 
Read more articles by Robert Doman  Email reporter


PARENTS have come out in support of a lollipop lady who quit her role over a road safety row.

Wendy Ellis, a lollipop lady at Ysgol Estyn in Hope, resigned after Flintshire Council called on her to explain herself after she spoke to the Leader to highlight her fears over dangers posed by drivers speeding outside the school.

The 49-year-old from Leeswood said she could not detach herself from the issue of child safety.

Yesterday, parents of children attending the school on Hawarden Road said Mrs Ellis puts her own life at risk to help pupils cross the busy road and want her to return.

Wendy Stockton, of Caergwrle, whose eight-year-old son, Jake, attends the school, said: “She does a really good job and really looks out for the kids.

“Parents love her and I am disappointed she has gone.”

Mrs Ellis served as lollipop lady for the school since 2009 but quit during a telephone call to the council after receiving a letter asking her to attend a meeting in the wake of a story appearing in the Leader on March 10.

Parents want to see safety measures increased outside the school and Mrs Ellis spoke out in order to help raise the profile of their campaign.

Lynne Byrne, of Summerhill, was walking her 10-year-old son Sam to school on Tuesday. She said: “Wendy only had the children’s safety in her mind and it is a shame it has come to this.

“We were all supporting her and the speeding issue is one that needs to be addressed.

“We would like to see her come back because the children love her.”

Sam added: “She always looked after me when I crossed the road.”

Ray Barnes, the grandfather of five-year-old pupil Finley, said: “The road is dangerous.

“I had a near miss myself only the other week when the lady stepped out into the road and I went to follow, but the car didn’t stop.

“She has been putting her own life at risk and I am disappointed she has resigned.”

Susan Henry, 54, takes her grandchildren to the school twice each week and added: “I don’t blame her for resigning, I think all of this is absolutely appalling.”

In Monday’s edition of the Leader, Mrs Ellis said she was ‘very disappointed with the way things have turned out’ and described the road concerned as ‘horrific’.

A statement from Neal Cockerton, the council’s head of assets and transportation, issued on Monday, 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’ and/or 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.”

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