Crossing patrols at two village primary schools have been named among those facing the axe.

Essex County Council wants schools to stump up £5,860 to pay for lollipop men and women where there are zebra crossings or traffic lights nearby.

If they cannot find the cash, the patrols could be stopped.

The council has now written to 55 schools affected, including Silver End Primary School and Kelvedon St Mary's Primary School, and has launched an online consultation over its proposals.

Patrols at Silver End Primary School have only returned in the last few months after a long-running feud that started when the county council decided against replacing former lollipop lady Sharon Clark when she left in February 2011 because there was already a zebra crossing.

More than 350 villagers signed a petition calling for a rethink following claims speeding drivers did not always stop at the crossing.

Silver End district councillor James Abbott, one of those who lobbied the council last time, said: “To go through all that effort to recruit and then a few months later put the community back through another period of uncertainty is quite incredible."

See this week's Witham Times for the full story