A ST NEOTS school is to get a new lollipop person to help children safely across the road – and it is to be funded by a private company.

The patrol, which help pupils at Crosshall Infant School in Eaton Ford cross the Great North Road, will the first privately-funded school crossing patrol in Cambridgeshire.

The county council said the move followed an approach from independent financial advisors Premier Plus Ltd, which is based at Phoenix Park, Eaton Socon.

The 12-month sponsorship deal - worth £4,000 a year - means the company's name and phone number will feature on the back of the school crossing patrol's jacket.

Premier Plus managing director, Kevin Hull, said: "We are a locally based company and wanted to make a contribution to the community. Road safety is the responsibility of us all, especially with regard to children. We are pleased that our initiative will ensure the presence of a school crossing patrol at Crosshall Road for some time to come."

Andy Swallowe, school crossing patrol service manager at CCC, said "In the current economic environment it is important that we look into ways to help secure additional funding for the school crossing patrol service in Cambridgeshire.

"By engaging with the local community and in particular local businesses I am delighted that Premier Plus Ltd are the first company to privately fund a patrol site. I am hopeful that other local companies will now come forward to help support patrol sites in their area which in turn helps the local community.

"The current budget - together with income from privately funded patrol sites - help ensure the continued funding for those patrol sites in most need."

Councillor David Harty, cabinet member for learning, added: "This is an imaginative and resourceful initiative which will help the county council save money in the difficult financial times we all face.

"I am extremely grateful to Premier Plus for their investment, which most importantly helps the children of Crosshall Infant School to cross the road safely."