TODAY councillors will be making their final attempt to save Southampton’s lollipop men and women.

In a final bid to save the city’s traffic patrol services from the axe councillor Jeremy Moulton will be standing in front of a full council this afternoon.

The conservative councillor is making a motion to save the services after cash-strapped council chiefs proposed slashing funding and passing the bill over to the schools.

This proposal would see 49 patrols axed and opposition leaders are planning to fight back.

Group leader Cllr Moulton will be making a motion at the full council meeting at 2pm today after telling the Daily Echo he believes it is the council’s duty to ensure the safety of parents and children.

As reported the council, which approved £21 million savings and put forward £8 million of new proposals in its budget last month, said it is only fair for schools to pay a contribution with the grant funding from government dwindling.

Now independent councillors are expected to back Cllr Moulton, as well as parents and road safety organisations.

Cllr Moulton will be proposing that if the Conservative party win the next election in May, the funding would be saved.

He said: “Not all schools will be in a position to meet the costs of having a lollipop man or woman, or feel that it’s right that they should pay them. It’s not a school’s responsibility - it’s a highways safety issue which is the council’s responsibility.

“A lot of primary schools have expanded in recent years, some tripling in size and while the council’s policy is to try and encourage more sustainable travel with walking and cycling to schools it will become less safe without traffic patrols and congestion will become a major issue or become worse in some places.”

There are currently 42 lollipop men and women in Southampton and eight posts which are vacant, costing the council £208,000 a year.

City cabinet member for education Dan Jeffery has said that the cuts are about trying to make up a £736,000 deficit in services offered to schools by the council and the council is currently in talks with schools about their contributions and a decision is due later this year.

Independent councillors Keith Morrell and Andrew Pope have confirmed they will be backing the motion and Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith has written to Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, calling for him to rethink.

The 49 crossing patrols at 46 infant and junior schools are currently offered free of charge. School crossing patrol staff earn around £5,000 per year.

Cllr Morrell, leader of the Independent Anti-Cuts Group, said: “I don’t believe the council should be expecting schools to fund this when the school budgets are already being cut.

"I will be backing Cllr Moulton with his motion, it is not fair to put the schools in this position when it is a roads issue and the safety of children should be of the highest importance.”