Lollipop men and women: the difference seven years makes
What a difference seven years makes. In 2001 lollipop men and women in Liverpool were getting a 400% increase in the retainer paid to them, now 25 face the axe.
I am of course referring to the recent coverage of Liverpool Council's proposal to save ÃÂ£200K by getting rid of 25 lollipop jobs.
Deputy council leader Flo Clucas has been getting flack over this decision.
Dale Street Blues has been made aware of some quotes attributed to Cllr Clucas made back in 2001 when lollipop retainers were being increased from ÃÂ£5.50 per week to ÃÂ£19.08:
"School crossing patrols have a vital role in assisting the children of Liverpool to get to and from school.
"They perform a difficult job all year round and this initiative is aimed at demonstrating how much we value their work."
Then last week defending the move to replace lollipop men and women with unmanned crossings she said:
"Obviously it is safer if you've got crossings because you can never guarantee people are going to turn up. With crossings, you've got 24-hour coverage."
Issues are never as simple as they first seem, and no doubt more detail will emerge.
Clearly the city has had trouble hiring enough (or hanging on to enough) lollipop men and women if back in 2001 it was increasing their retainer by 400%.
Cllr Clucas has a reputation for being thorough and thoughtful, and it may be on paper, at least, this decision makes financial sense.
But regardless of this lollipop men and women are great British institutions, like post offices, and when threatened there is always a huge uproar.
Some how I don't think a debate at tonight's full council meeting will be the final word on the matter.