FAMILIES and community leaders desperately hope to find someone to take a job that helps keep children safe during the school run.

Durham County Council is struggling to fill a school crossing patrol vacancy in Tow Law– based on the busy A68.

It was hoped to have a new lollipop person in place in time for the school term in September but not one person has applied for the role.

Parents of pupils at Tow Law Millennium Primary School said they are concerned about letting their children walk to school on their own.

Councillor Richard Manchester said: "This is something the schools and parents have been waiting many years for. It would be fantastic if we can find someone to take on the role and make our roads safer for children getting to school."

Lisa Jackson, headteacher at Tow Law Millennium Primary School, said: "We strongly support the crossing, traffic comes quickly round the bend and don't indicate. It's been a long road to get this far and fall at the last hurdle."

The working hours– 8.30am to 9am and 3pm to 3.30pm– are thought to be one reason the position and similar roles across the county have remained vacant.

Angela Redmond, acting road safety manager at Durham County Council, said: “We have been working closely with local councillors and the community to drum up interest in the position at Tow Law but sadly we’ve not had any applications.

“We currently have two sites at Spennymoor temporarily unmanned due to staff absence and lack of relief cover. These sites will be manned again as soon as possible, by the return of the absent staff or recruitment of relief cover.

“Being a school crossing patrol is a highly rewarding job which brings you into contact with friendly folk of all ages. We are often seeking to recruit permanent staff and relief cover and would encourage anyone who might be interested in this profession to contact us for an informal chat on 03000-268175.”

The council seeks applicants for other school crossing jobs in Newton Hall, Peterlee and Barnard Castle and this week filled a position in Howden-le-Wear.