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Lollipop man's health fears over Redbridge job axe fear

PUBLISHED: 16:57 25 September 2010

Peter Green with the children he helps across the road

Peter Green with the children he helps across the road

Archant

A LOLLIPOP man fears he will slide back into depression after a 13-year battle with the ­illness if money-saving Redbridge Council axes his job.

Peter Green, 60, has been escorting children across ­Manford Way, Hainault, since joining Coppice Primary School in 2006.

But the news that town hall chiefs are considering scrapping the borough’s lollipop men and women has left him fearing his life will go “right down the pan”.

And in a double-whammy, the mental health day centre that Mr Green said helped him find work and tackle his depression is also under threat of closure by belt-tightening council bosses.

Mr Green, of Redwood ­Gardens, Hainault, said: “It was the best thing I could have done, to became a school crossing patroller.

“It’s brought me out of my depression and it has given me so much joy.”

He added: “I wouldn’t know what to do if I lost my job.

“My life would probably go right down the pan, downhill, and back into my depression.”

Under the plans, drawn up to stave off the impact of a £5.8million grant being clawed back by the government, £128,000 will be saved each year, with a saving of £60,000 anticipated for this financial year if school crossing patrols are axed.

Another proposal would see the Redbridge Resource Centre – a mental health day centre in Ley Street, Ilford – closed to save £551,000 a year.

Mr Green, who met his wife Sandra at the centre, and found his lollipop man job thanks to centre workers, believes its axing would have a serious impact. He said: “It helped me quite a lot with my depression and finding work and I know it has helped a lot of other people too.”

The council cabinet will look at both proposals, two of more than 50, next month.

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