‘Teachers have quite enough on their plates’

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THEY have been a familiar sight on Edinburgh’s streets for decades.

But are the days of the traditional lollipop man or woman numbered? We report today how Stewart’s Melville teachers may be drafted in to cover the crossing because of a lack of candidates locally.

Whether this is a result of low pay and the relative wealth of the area, increasing red tape or maybe watching colleagues being chastised in the Evening News for things like giving “high fives” or sweets to children, the shortage of crossing patrollers warrants further investigation.

While using teachers appears a sensible solution for a specific problem at Stewart’s Melville, we would hope such measures do not become the norm.

For a start, teachers have quite enough on their plates without potentially feeling pressurised to give up their free time to help out.

Of course, many people traditionally do the job for the love of it but it is a fact of life that, especially in such difficult economic times, there will be fewer willing to stand out in the howling wind and rain for very little reward.

We cannot rely on the goodwill of a dwindling number of people.

Previous council plans to cut almost 80 crossing patrollers led to a furious protest from parents and schools and were rightly rejected by councillors.

If we need to look again at how we attract people to man our crossings and consider making an additional investment then it has to be worth it. After all, the accident involving Max Dunnigan only serves to highlight what a vital job our lollipop men and women do – and what can happen when they are not at their posts.

Rules and regs

It is undoubtedly the most famous car registration plate in Edinburgh. Nothing is safe in these times of austerity, however, as the next Lord Provost might be about to discover.

The Greens say that if they end up forming a coalition after the May 3 poll that they will sell off the S0 plate.

It is an interesting idea, all the more interesting when you consider that it could bring in £500,000 for the council coffers.

Do we really need to retain a vanity number plate when swingeing cuts are imposed elsewhere?

There will no doubt be arguments on both sides but can we suggest a possible replacement if the sale does go through – S01 DOFF.