TOWNSFOLK have demanded a public apology on behalf of a school crossing patrol warden. An online petition has been launched after comments were made about the lollipop man in Tean Road, Cheadle at a meeting of the town's council. Now more than 220 people have signed to support calls for a public apology.
Launched by Terri Lovatt, 32, from Cheadle, the petition states: “As a community we all agree that Tom is a brilliant lollipop man and you Cllr Martyn Tighe should make a public apology to him after your comment at the meeting of the town council’s development services.
“Tom is a very important part of our community, particularly when we want to encourage more children to walk to school.
“Tean Road is an extremely busy road and we need Tom to keep everyone safe on their way to and from school.”
It follows a meeting of Cheadle Town Council’s development services committee on Monday, June 3, when members debated concerns about drivers ignoring the lollipop man in Tean Road and potentially putting children’s lives at risk.
During consideration of the issue, Cllr Martyn Tighe, said: “I take it that Tom has been trained? In the Highway Code he’s supposed to put the head of the lollipop out to warn drivers that he’s about to step out.
“I also think that sometimes there’s too much time spent letting people cross, which creates the backlog.
“I’ve seen him stand there in the middle of the road with nobody crossing, but there’s someone 15 yards away and he waits for them. It could be six of one and half a dozen of the other.”
The comments angered parents who regularly use the crossing and prompted the lollipop man to resign his position.
Terri, whose seven-year-old daughter Ruby-Mai attends Cheadle Primary School, said she set up the petition in hopes of persuading Tom to change his mind and remain as the lollipop man in Tean Road.
She said: “We think he is amazing. He is an asset to the community and without him our children wouldn’t feel so safe walking to school and crossing that busy road.
“Tean Road is one of the busiest in Cheadle and they do fly down there – he puts the children’s safety before his own.
“I spoke to him and I think he feels forced out. I hope an apology for those comments would make him change his mind. We don’t want him to leave.
“I don’t think he realises how much the mums and dads appreciate him being there.”
Yesterday, Cllr Tighe said: “I am due to have a meeting with the Staffordshire County Council’s manager responsible for school crossing patrols on July 5.
“I would not wish to make any comment until after that meeting.”
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