PARENTS, teachers and schools in Dorset are uniting to save their lollipop men and women.

Dorset County Council announced plans last week to cut 65 lollipop men and women’s jobs across the county in a bid to make £200,000 in savings.

Now schools across the area are joining a campaign to get the council to think again.

Mum Helen Toft started a petition for parents and children at Holy Trinity Infant School and sent out emails to all the other schools in Dorset.

She said: “The campaign is going well so far, we have had some great responses.

“I think we need a show of strength to try and make a change.

“We have to fight to get the decision reversed.”

She added: “If the lollipop people are removed it will lead to children being injured and possibly dying, that is the totally unacceptable bottom line.”

Petitions have been started at Brackenbury Infants School and Underhill Junior School on Portland.

A spokesman for the schools said the petition had gone across the federation as the school stands to lose two lollipop people.

St Andrew’s School in Preston has three crossings. Iain Stone, chairman of governors, said that if crossing staff went that the school’s walking bus would also be jeopardised.

He said: “We have almost 400 children at our school and safety is of paramount importance.”

He added that he would be supporting the petition and writing letters to Dorset County Council and the government.

St John’s Primary School in Weymouth has also started a petition in support of their lollipop man James Wickens.

Headteacher Diana Mason said: “We campaigned to get a crossing put in and we have had it for two years now.

“Before that we had concerns about safety issues and we had had a few near misses. And now because of the cuts it looks like it will go.”

She added that Mr Wickens had been involved in giving talks to the children on road safety, but that if funding was taken away the school would not have the budget to self-fund the crossing scheme.

James Wickens has been the lollipop man at St John’s for 18 months and said he really enjoyed the job but there had been times when cars had not stopped when he had asked.

He said: “I’m not very happy about the plans but I can see the point of saving money. I have had a couple of people drive past me when I’m in the road.”

Other Weymouth schools that stand to lose their lollipop people are Radipole Primary School, Conifers Primary School on Radipole Lane and St Nicholas and St Laurence School in Broadwey.