Local politician backs awards for Lollipop People

A local politician has urged people in Edinburgh to nominate their local lollipop person for a nationwide award that was launched last month.

The Lollipop Person of the Year Awards- which seek to highlight the importance of suitable supervision for children traveling to school- have now been backed by Fred Mackintosh, the Liberal Democrats candidate for Edinburgh South.

Mr Mackinstosh’s call comes the week after local lollipop person, John Hunter, quit his position after being told not to ‘high-five’ local children. Mr Hunter, who had been in his position for 10 years, claimed that council officials had told him that his activities were a “health and safety risk.”

Mr Mackintosh said: “The safety of local children on roads across Edinburgh South is of paramount importance so we must make sure that we do everything possible to protect them on their way to school.

“Lollipop persons do a fantastic job and I feel sure that local people want to show their support for one of our local school crossing patrols.”

Road accidents are the most common cause of accidental death of children in the UK. Government statistics show that 1,784 child pedestrians were killed or seriously injured in road accidents in 2008.

This years awards were launched last month by TV presenter Lorraine Kelly. She said: “The Lollipop Person of the Year Awards is a real heart-warming way of recognizing the wonderful job our lollipop people do every day to make Brtiain’s roads safer for our children.

“This year the competition is bigger than ever before, with schools from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland all having the opportunity to show how their lollipop person makes a real difference to their journey to school.”

More than 15,000 applications were received for the 2008 awards. Nominations are open until 30 October, with a grand final to be held in December.