Denton ‘PCSOs’ go national

A TEAM of Denton ‘PCSOs’ who clamp down on bad parking at school gates is hitting the screens.

Russell Scott Primary School took part in filming for Channel 5’s ‘Britain’s Parking Hell’ earlier this year and will now appear in the latest series, shown at 8pm, this Thursday, September 12.

Parking across entrances, on footways, on ‘keep clear’ markings and obstructing crossing points is an increasing problem nationwide.

Russell Scott initiated and funded a ‘Junior PCSOs’ scheme last year with pupils donning hi-vis vests and handing out information leaflets to warn motorists about the dangers of inconsiderate parking.

The school’s location among housing, retail and commercial units meant it was often clogged up by cars of parents dropping off and picking up youngsters.

But headteacher Steve Marsland had enough after seeing more and more pupils suffering from asthma or carrying inhalers.

He made 10 ‘PCSOs’ whose job it was to make sure people did not sit on cars with their engines running, further flooding the air with fumes.

This is the latest national appearance for the ‘PCSOs’ after the BBC featured them on the Radio Five Live breakfast show and on Radio Four show Costing the Earth.

Mr Marsland also hopes seeing what they do on the corporation’s website can lead to similar schemes popping up in other countries.

He told the Correspondent: “I think, ‘What the hell is going on? We’re gassing out kids and throwing rubbish into the rivers. This is our legacy for the next generation and it’s all wrong.’

“I’ve been a headteacher for 25 years and the number of children in schools has increased dramatically. So has the number with asthma or carrying inhalers. I ask, ‘Who’s got an inhaler?’ and lots of kids put their hands up, more than ever.

“We’ve got 10 children who go out there every morning or afternoon, whether it’s raining, sleeting, snowing or cracking the flags.”

Since the scheme’s introduction, Russell Scott has seen a significant decrease in parking problems with the model rolled out to other schools.

Tameside Council joined forces with Greater Manchester Police to help with the filming, with Head of Community Safety John Gregory interviewed.

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