Lollipop man under fire from council for second time in a week


John Hunter has been in trouble with the council twice in one week
John Hunter has been in trouble with the council twice in one week

By Cara Sulieman

A SCHOOL crossing guide has comes under fire from council chiefs for the second time in a week about flaunting health and safety rules – this time for having children’s stickers on his lollipop.

John Hunter was first rapped for giving out high-fives and sweet so children crossing at his junction in Edinburgh, sparking efforts to keep the 69 year old in his job after he threatened to quit.

Now he has had his stick CONFISCATED by bosses after children begging him to stay slapped stickers on the sign urging him to stay.

Angry pupils and parents at Corstorphine Primary School started a campaign to keep their favourite lollipop man after the 69-year-old threatened to quit over the ban on high-fives.


But stickesr from that campaign that led to the confiscation of the stick by a council worker on Thursday.

The council said that the stickers covering one side of the stick were “illegal” and forced John to swap his for a new one.

He said: “This was the last thing I expected to happen after all the drama. I’ve only got a week left and I wanted to enjoy it.

“I almost expect the council to send me a bill so they can get the stickers cleaned off the stick next.”

One side of the stick is covered in stickers that the kids have given him as presents over the last five years.


But John insists it isn’t a hazard as the street he works on is one-way and he only ever holds the clear side up to the cars.

The confiscation was witnessed by parent Frances Hill who was shocked by what she saw as she waited to pick up her two sons.

She said: “I saw him approach John, take away his stick and give him a new stick. I thought it was some sort of scam or joke.

“This is a man approaching 70 and this job was his life. What kind of madness is this? The council boss could have at least had the courtesy to come and collect the stick himself.

“They call giving sweets and high-fives a safety risk, but I’d say it is more of a health and safety issue to keep harassing an old man like this. It is gobsmacking.”

Gordon Mackenzie, transport leader at Edinburgh City council defended the move, saying: “The crossing stick has to be replaced as the stickers blanked out the safety warning on one side.

“There’s a safety issue with that and it’s also illegal so we had it replaced.”

See more of our pictures at our Flickr site and videos at our dedicated channel,  Deadline TV.


  1. As far as I know the ‘lollypop’ is classed as a road sign under the signage regulations so it would fall foul of the rules if it was ‘defaced’ with stickers. The ‘lollypop’ is an official piece of equipment like the yellow vest/jacket which also should not be deface as it could make it ‘defective’. It might all sound silly but we would not be happy if road signs were defaced and thus un-readable.

Comments are closed.