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Lollipop jobs are lapped up at last; SANDWELL: Relief as new school crossing patrol staff sign up to fill vacancies.

Byline: By Dale Williams

ROAD safety bosses in Sandwell have expressed delight that vacancies for lollipop wardens have hit an all-time low.

Council chiefs hailed latest successes in recruiting for the "vital" job and are calling for even more men and women to consider taking it on.

Sandwell currently has 99 positions for patrols, a service organised by the council's Traffic and Road Safety team.

Only seven are vacant at the moment compared to a peak of 26 four years ago.

Coun Mahoob Hus-sain, Sandwell's cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said he was delighted with the improvement in recruiting figures.

"School crossing patrols are incredibly important and carry out a vital service across the borough.

"I couldn't be happier that we have so few vacancies and I look forward to the service's continued success. Ideally, we want zero vacancies."

One possible reason for the increase is the rise in hourly pay. Patrols now get pounds 6.05 per hour, higher than in neighbouring authorities.

People wanting more information, or to apply for a position, are invited to telephone the School Crossing Patrol Service on 0121 569 4137.

CAPTION(S):

SAFETY FIRST... Minnie Alexander shepherds schoolchildren across a busy street.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 22, 2006
Words:198
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