Change of heart over parkie Pete

Still working: 73-year-old parkie Peter Binns is back on patrol at Manor Heath
Still working: 73-year-old parkie Peter Binns is back on patrol at Manor Heath
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PETER the park keeper, who faced losing his job because he was “too old”, has been given a reprieve.

Calderdale Council has refused to comment because of confidentially surrounding individual employee information.

Peter has also been sworn to silence.

However, the council has revealed that at the age of 73, Peter Binns is far from being the council’s oldest worker.

A spokesman confirmed that the authority has four members of staff aged 73 and over and there are two more working regularly in schools.

At least 36 more are employed by the council on a casual basis, the oldest of which is nearly 89.

And schools have 19 casual workers older than Peter, the oldest of whom is 83-and-a-half.

“Altogher there are 99 people currently employed by the council who are over state retirement age,” said the spokesman.

When the Courier reported in July that Mr Binns’ job as a warden at Manor Heath Park, Halifax, was on the line, he described it as a terrible blow and he received widespread sympathy.

He said that he had been told his track record was exemplary and yet he was fit enough to carry on for another few years.

“I feel I’m heading for the scrapheap, ” he said.

Community services spokeswoman Pauline Nash said she could not comment on Mr Binns’ particular circumstances but said that if people wanted to work beyond normal retirement age, they should be allowed to do so providing they can do their job properly.

Mr Binns, who lives at Siddal, has been patrolling Manor Heath for five years.

The former army sergeant’s employment contract comes up for renewal every 12 months.