Shadow minister visits town to support campaign

Richard Burden MP, Sarah Owen, local Labour councillors, and pupils from St Paul's School
Richard Burden MP, Sarah Owen, local Labour councillors, and pupils from St Paul's School

A SHADOW minister visited schools in town last Thursday (January 30) to show his support for a campaign to make roads safer for children.

Richard Burden, MP for Birmingham Northfield, met with pupils from St Paul’s School and Sandown School as part of the Safely To School campaign.

Sarah Owen, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Hastings and Rye, set up the campaign in order to work with teachers and children for better road safety measures in the area so contacted Mr Burden, who is Shadow Roads Minister, to ask for his support.

At Sandown Primary School pupils and teachers are calling for a 20mph speed limit, safety barriers and a new crossing to be put in place, while at St Paul’s School they want to save lollipop men and women from losing their jobs.

Sarah said: “I was moved to act when primary school pupils first wrote to me, expressing their concerns about speeding traffic outside schools.

“With more cars on our roads and cuts to road safety budgets, schools across Hastings and Rother will find their lollipop attendants under threat like St Paul’s, or vital road safety improvements delayed.

“There should be no price on a child’s head and we must act now, before it’s too late.”

East Sussex County Council is looking to make savings of £445,000 over the next two years by reducing road safety education activities. The authority has to save £60 million overall by 2017.

Mr Burden said: “I was very pleased to have been able to meet in person with staff and parents at St Paul’s and Sandown Schools in Hastings.

“At St Paul’s I had the chance to meet the school’s lollipop lady, who has been there for 20 years, and whose job is now threatened by cuts from East Sussex County Council. At both schools I heard directly their concerns about children being able to get to school safely. I am delighted to join Sarah Owen in giving my full backing to their campaigns to improve road safety for children around their schools. Sandown School is currently collecting signatures for a petition on this issue and I would urge everyone to support this effort.” The petition can be viewed and signed at Sarah’s website at