ESSEX County Council has made a U-turn on proposals to withdraw funding for nearly 50 school crossing patrols.

At a Cabinet meeting at County Hall this morning, transport supremo Rodney Bass revealed all but seven of the school crossings which could have been axed under a consultation would be saved.

However, funding will be withdrawn for crossings which have a pelican crossing – seven in the county, four of which are currently vacant.

The Gazette and Echo newspapers have been campaigning against the proposals, which would have only saved around £300,000 and which we believed would have put children's safety at risk.

Mr Bass said: “This announcement proves Essex County Council listens.

“Representations have been made during an extended period of consultation and we have examined and analysed them.”

He also announced that a task and finish group will be set up to look into future funding to expand the service.

He added: “The financial position of Essex County Council is better than it was when we started this consultation as we have been single-mindedly engaged in transformation which has made our financial position strong.

“I can now assert that the School Crossing Patrols are safe in our hands.”

Read the full story in tomorrow's paper.