Children in Southampton are in tears. Conservative-run Hampshire Council have banned a lollipop man from sticking tinsel to the top of his Stop sign. This sounds to me like an example of a health and safety "risk assessment" where any sense of proportion or common sense has been abandoned. But more to the point is that Hampshire Council leader Cllr Ken Thornber seems to suspect the same thing. He tells the Daily Express:
"It’s nice to see that the lollipop man is trying to spread a little bit of Christmas cheer. They do such a vital job and it would be a shame if they could not have some festive fun.
"While I do not know the full details of this matter and I haven’t seen the stick I do know there are guidelines to ensure the safety of children using the crossings as well as the safety of motorists and our school crossing patrol staff.
"Any rules and dress codes are about ensuring the safety of children and they are there for legal and insurance reasons, but I’d want to be sure officers were not being over-zealous in their interpretation and to see if a balance can be struck between festive fun and road safety."
So will Cllr Thornber order a reprieve in this season of goodwill? I am emailing him to ask for an update.