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Council to focus on school parking problems

A TASK and finish group will be set up specifically to get to the root of Flintshire’s school parking problems.

The authority’s cabinet has agreed to the formation of the group after last month’s joint education and environment scrutiny meeting which looked at the issue in depth.

But while the council continues to work with the police and other partners to create a blanket policy to deal with the problem the council leader, Flint Castle Cllr Ian Roberts (Lab), again called on parents and guardians to obey the Highway Code and be mindful of where they are parking.

Cllr Ian Roberts. Source – Flintshire Council.

Speaking at the cabinet’s monthly meeting Cllr Roberts said: “I am sure that everywhere where we have a school, members could very easily get into the issues of parking outside their own school and parking within their own area.

“However we need a policy which can be applied throughout the county, remembering that it’s not just an issue for large schools because they tend to be in towns and larger communities.

“Some of our smaller schools in rural areas where the road network is not quite as large as it is in urban areas also suffer from considerable problems as well.”

At the cabinet’s request, the task and finish group will feature a balance of councillors representing the whole area, urban and rural, and will be politically balanced.

Headteachers, parents and governors will be represented too and have their views heard.

Cllr Roberts added: “This was one of the biggest headaches headteachers had to deal with, on occasions on an almost daily basis.

“Regulation of parking outside a school should not be left to double yellow lines, single yellow lines, zig-zags, and enforcement officers being present.

“The requirements of the Highway Code should be considered because the most important thing is the safety of our children.”

Claire Homard, the council’s chief officer also appeals to parents to drive and park responsibly outside schools.

“It is a huge issue for our headteachers right across the county”, she said.

“There isn’t one school that doesn’t have these kinds of issues.

“I know the work schools do with their pupils in terms of keeping themselves safe when they’re exiting or entering the premises and the constant reminders they are having to make to parents during their regular newsletters or social media communications.”

Shotton West Cllr Sean Bibby (Lab) said: “This is an incredibly frustrating and difficult issue that effects nearly every school in the county.

“This is an issue that requires all who are involved to be working constructively together.”

The cabinet voted to endorse the joint task and finish group being set up.