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Last Updated:  Friday, 7 March, 2003, 16:31 GMT
Drive to find lollipop staff
Wendy Jenkins and Rose Owens
Lollipop ladies Wendy Jenkins and Rose Owens at Carmarthen's Johnstown Primary School.

There are fears of an increase in accidents on busy school roads because of a shortage of lollipop men and ladies.

Fewer people are applying for jobs and some schools in south west Wales are having to go without.

In Swansea one headmaster has taken on the job himself because of a shortage of relief cover.

Road safety mangers say crossing patrol staff play a vital role in keeping youngsters safe.

This week Carmarthenshire council launched a new drive to reverse the falling numbers.

The authority has vacancies at 12 schools and is appealing for people to come forward to fill the posts.

Crossing patrol attendants do a vital job in keeping children safe as they arrive at and leave schools every day.
Pam Palmer

It says it cannot pinpoint why fewer people apply for jobs but claims it is a national problem.

At Hendrefoilan Primary School in the Killay area of Swansea head teacher George Thomas has been out in all weather to ensure youngsters come and go safely.

He said: "Finding people willing to do the job is a problem because it ties them up for two periods in the day and takes away some of their free time."

Carmarthenshire's assistant road safety officer Cynthia Jenkins said there were benefits to the job.

"The posts are ideal for people with children because they have all the schools holidays off with pay," she said.

Crossing officers work between six and sixteen hours a week.

Vital job

They are given training and are provided with uniforms.

Environment executive board member Pam Palmer said: "Crossing patrol attendants do a vital job in keeping children safe as they arrive at and leave schools every day.

"The council is committed to road safety and these jobs are very rewarding.

"We provide training and ongoing support and I would urge people to come forward."


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