PARENTS battling to save school lollipop crossing patrollers have been told it is their responsibility to get kids to the classroom safely.

The blunt message has been delivered by Argyll and Bute Council as part of a budgeting pack which will be debated by the authority’s policy and resources committee on Thursday, February 14.

Subject to approval, it will go before the full council the following Thursday.

The proposal to remove the service has been met with widespread opposition from parents since it was first revealed in December.

The parent council at Hermitage Primary School in Helensburgh collected nearly 250 signatures on a paper petition, and had roughly the same number of respondents to an online survey.

A paper produced as part of the council’s budgeting pack, by head of strategic finance Kirsty Flanagan, also warns of risks to the authority’s reputation arising from removing the service.

READ MORE: School 'lollipop' patrols could be axed to save cash

Ms Flanagan said: “Argyll and Bute Council provides dedicated school crossing patrollers to primary schools throughout the full area. This is not a statutory requirement.

“A recent policy change removed lunchtime crossing cover. This policy change also included the removal of school crossing patrollers from locations in and around Argyll and Bute where there are controlled crossing facilities. Cover is now only provided in the morning and at school closing times.

“This is a non-statutory service and the proposal is to withdraw it completely. Parents are responsible for accompanying their children to school and roads are designed to provide pedestrians with safe routes.”

But the report states that there is a “reputational risk to the council where communities have come to expect the council to deliver this service”, and warns of a “reduced contribution to the objective for the area that people live in safer and stronger communities.”

READ MORE: 500 sign petition to save Argyll and Bute's school crossing patrols

The report also warns that the closure of the authority’s road safety unit – another ‘savings option’ which was revealed before Christmas – would mean a risk of no road safety education being delivered to pre-school, primary and secondary pupils.

It is proposed that as part of the unit’s closure, one full-time post and one part-time post may face compulsory redundancy.

Ms Flanagan added: “[There is a] risk of no tailored delivery of road safety education to specific categories of road user e.g. motorcyclists with production of Biker Magazine and training/advice events, child car seat checks for members of the public.

“iCycle training to volunteer trainers at primary schools would not be delivered. Streetfeet pedestrian training would not be delivered to primary schools.

“[There would be] no partnership working with Road Safety West of Scotland, community emergency services partners, Road Safety Scotland to jointly work on various road safety initiatives.

“[The] proposal does not affect the significant work the Roads and Amenity Service team do to further road safety in partnership with Transport Scotland.

“Following the last review the current 1.7 FTE [full-time equivalent post] was considered the bare minimum to deliver a credible service.

“There is therefore no scope for scaling back staff other than removing the service with the loss of 1.7 FTE.”