ST HELENS Council is to consider axing the lollipop school crossing patrol service after a review was launched.

A consultation on the service will take place this summer.

The authority operates a school crossing patrol at 39 designated school sites in the borough as a discretionary service.

A council report stated: “As part of the budget strategy of the council, a review of the service has been undertaken to provide options to deliver the savings to the budget for 2017/18 onwards”.

It was said recruitment of staff into the service is “recognised nationally as challenging”.

The average age of current lollipop patrol staff is 63 years, with the majority being pensioners.

The report added: “Whilst there is no statutory duty on the council to provide this function, the council remains committed to working with schools and parents/carers to protect children’s safety and promote road safety.

“Both locally and nationally most local authorities have already reviewed the SCP service due to budgetary pressures”.

Actions to be taken into consideration by the council include ceasing to offer a traditional SCP services, transferring responsibility of delivery to schools or to disestablish “low risk sites and those with Engineering Measures”.

The council says it will carry out a consultation with schools, governing bodies, parents and carers and members of the public regarding options for the service.