Manchester

High-five lollipop man slapped with ban

Colin Spencer at work Image copyright Dawn St Clare
Image caption Colin Spencer, 83, said he has worked as a lollipop man for 14 years

A lollipop man's ban from high-fiving school children in the road has prompted anger from parents.

Colin Spencer, 83, said he has worked as a lollipop man for St George's Primary School in Heaviley, Stockport, Greater Manchester for 14 years.

Stockport Council said it told him to stop the high-fives and "concentrate on ensuring highway safety".

Dawn St Clare, whose children go to the school, said the "ridiculous" ruling has annoyed parents and upset pupils.

Image copyright Dawn St Clare
Image caption Mrs Clare's children love Mr Spencer and high-fiving him cheers them up

Mrs Clare said the council's school crossing patrol team sent a text to parents via the school on Tuesday asking them to tell their children not to high-five Mr Spencer on the road.

A text the following day said children could high-five Mr Spencer but only on the pavement.

'Lolly lolly lolly'

Mrs Clare said all of the parents she has spoken to have been upset, too.

"Some of these children are on the autistic spectrum and are in a routine.

"Since the ban, crossing the road has become a little bit confusing to the children... and they've gone to school upset because Colin hasn't high-fived them and they can't understand why."

Mrs Clare added: "I think it's ridiculous to ask the children not to do [it]; it really cheered them up in the morning."

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She said all of her five children love Mr Spencer and when they see him they shout "lolly lolly lolly".

"We explain to the children he's not allowed to high-five, but they keep trying."

Mr Spencer said some of the pupils have ended up in tears because he can no longer high-five them on the road.

"They sent a supervisor out to say I mustn't high-five because it's disrupting traffic.

"The younger children don't understand why - some of them have started crying."

A Stockport Council spokesperson said: "School crossing patrols are required to continually observe the road and traffic conditions to ensure the safety.

"The school crossing patrol at this location has been asked to stop 'high-fiving' and to concentrate on his core duty of ensuring highway safety."

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