Parents in Great Manchester are angry after the city council told them not to let their children high-five a lollipop man because it "caused disruption".

Colin Spencer has been Stockport's lollipop man for 14 years, making sure pupils and schoolchildren crossed the road safely.

Spencer, 83, said the highlight of his day was to high-five pupils on their way to school or their way home. He was also very popular with the schoolchildren who nicknamed him "Lolly".

However, the city's council sees things a little differently, saying the frequent high-fives was causing "disruption". The authorities subsequently introduced a high-five ban.

Parents of pupils at St George's Primary School in Heaviley have since received a text message from the council which spelt out the instruction: "Please may we ask that children using the Bramhall Lane crossing patrol do not 'high-five' Colin when crossing the road. Thank you."

The move, however, did not sit well with parents and children, who said Spencer "brightens up every kid's day", reports the Manchester Evening News.

Spencer was saddened by the news, claiming he does the job because he loved the children. He said: "The money's buttons, but I do it because I love it."

He has even had eagle-eyed supervision from his manager who instructed him the high-fives was forbidden. He has not been impressed: "It's not brain surgery, that's what I told my manager.

"But she was telling me how I need to hold my stick and that I mustn't high-five the kids because it's too much of a disruption."

Some kids did not understand why they could no longer high-five their favourite lollipop man anymore: "I can try to explain to the older ones that the council won't let me, but the little ones wouldn't understand," said Spencer.

But some of the younger kids are still reaching out for Colin's hand when they cross the road.

"Bureaucracy gone mad"

A Parent, Howie Pickering branded the ban "bureaucracy gone mad", and insisted the lollipop man made a real difference to the pupils: " "He really cheers them up before school. They miss Colin when he's not around. He really is part of the landscape."

Another parent, Amanda Woodhouse regretted the move, saying it was clear the schoolchildren and Spencer enjoyed the greeting: "Colin is such a lovely man. He's always helping people and he's brilliant with parents and kids." she added: "It's such a shame."

The council has had to make a climb-down following the outrage. A follow-up text message specified that high-fives was now permitted on the pavement but should not be done on the road.

A spokesperson for Stockport's town hall said: "School crossing patrol staff are required to continually observe the road and traffic conditions to ensure the safe passage of pedestrians across the road.

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