20 July 2024 07:52:17 GMT

The Third Rock Forum - Economics

Article Title
Saving the Lollypop people
Topic Section(s)
Submitted : 13-02-2011 11:15
Amended : 10-11-2014 08:12
Status : Approved:  
Likes : 0
Dislikes : 0

I have just heard on the radio that, because of the cuts in local council budgets, Dorset County Council is about to cut the Lollypop men and women that keep our children safe crossing the roads outside their school.


I can understand why this is on the cut list, namely, some may feel it is better to keep community centres open rather than keeping a service that, most of the time, helps children and their mothers/responsible adult cross the roads.


I can also see why the council decided to cut this particular tranche of individuals, reasoning that, if they were to cut one or two highly paid council executives, and use that money to pay for the service, these individuals' lives would be devasted,  It would be very hard  for them to give up the private school for their kids, the golf club  and paying a very large mortgage etc., should they have to go on unemployment benefit,  whilst because of the nature of the Lollypop men and women's work i.e. part time, low paid, etc., suddenly going on to benefit would not effect their lives quite as much.  I am not making any judgements.  I am just trying to understand why, in this instance, the Council might feel it better to cut front-line services rather than the salaries of the top council executives.


I think, however, that we could find a better solution. We could still keep the Lollypop people and still make a cut to the Council expenditure.  Why not explore sponsorship?  We already find many roundabouts sponsored by local firms, so why don't we ask Car Showrooms in the area to sponsor a Lollypop person.  The function of a Lollypop person is to stop cars in the middle of the road, stand with their back to the stopped car and wait for the children to cross.  What if, say the local car repair company or local car showroom sponsored this Lollypop person?  On their uniforms, provided by the sponsor, would be something like "Volvo Ferndown sales and repairs, taking care of your car and helping the community".  We, the car drivers, sitting there waiting for the children to cross the road, would see this "Ad" every time we stopped. Surely we might even think that the particular sponsor was an extremely good egg, maybe we would think about buying our car from them, or getting our M.O.T. done there.


This would keep the Lollypop people, save the Council money, and get business for the sponsor.


Another win win, I think.


Status: Approved
Reply Date : 13-02-2011 13:52
Author : georgebundle

Annie has just hit the nail on the head. Next time anyone asks, what is THE BIG SOCIETY we should tell them about Annie's solution. Why? Because instead of giving money to the government via our taxes, ask them to finance a whole range of services with varying degree of efficiency and cost, we, the society could create those services among ourselves; probably at a much greater cost-effectiveness. We could have fewer Chief Executives with high pay, smaller government and a satisfied society that would make us feel BIG