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Havering lollipop man, 93, made redundant from crossing job

Alfred Tollon offered to work for free after his redundancy

A 93-year-old lollipop man has said he has had his lifeline cut after being made redundant as part of council cuts.

Alfred Tollon from Romford has been helping pupils cross the road at Harrow Lodge Primary School for 24 years.

He said his job had kept him motivated after his wife died and it was “the children that make my day”.

Mr Tollon even offered to work for free but he said Havering Council told him the cost of insuring him was prohibitive.

The local authority said it was “facing unprecedented financial challenges”.

Mr Tollon’s redundancy is part of a series of cuts being made across the borough as the council tries to stave off financial ruin.

Mr Tollon’s granddaughter Bethany said the job “gets him up in the morning and gets him out of bed”.

On his last day of work the school made Mr Tollon the guest of honour at their Easter Parade, and presented him with handmade cards.

Fewer than 15% of schools in Havering now have crossing patrol officers.

Some parents at the school said they were worried about safety.

Paula Leahy said Mr Tollon “keeps everything flowing very smoothly, and I am genuinely really concerned because it’s a crossroad junction, it’s inevitable that an accident will happen”.

A Havering Council spokesperson said they were “facing unprecedented financial challenges”.

They added: “As part of this we have carried out a review of the School Patrol Service – as it stands, less than 15% of schools have crossing patrol officers as we have installed extra crossings instead.

“As a result, we have restructured the service which, sadly, has meant a number of staff redundancies.”