Pontypool street sweeper cleans up with royal honour

WELL DONE Street operative Keith Wright with his BEM and work colleagues at Pontypool Civic Centre (5612399)

WELL DONE Street operative Keith Wright with his BEM and partner Carol Ford at Pontypool Civic Centre (5612380)

WELL DONE Street operative Keith Wright with his BEM at Pontypool Civic Centre (5612412)

First published in News

A PONTYPOOL street sweeper has cleaned up with a Royal honour for his services to the area.

Keith Wright earned a British Empire Medal (BEM) as part of the New Year’s Honours list for his dedication to the role.

Last week, he formally received his medal from the Lord Lieutenant of Gwent.

He said: “I love this job and enjoy meeting the local residents and shop keepers when I am out and about in the town centre.”

It’s not the first time the 49-year-old has been recognised for his hard work – he received the Public Servant of the Year award at 10 Downing Street in 2002.

Mr Wright, who joined Torfaen council in 1981, has become well known within the local community for his dedication to the town over the past 30 years.

Local shopkeepers were among those invited to witness the ceremony, together with his friends, family and colleagues.

Mr Wright added: “It is not something I ever expected to receive for doing this job and would like to say thank you to everyone who made it possible.

“I was pleased that so many people were able to turn out today.”

Originally from Trevethin, Mr Wright now lives in Swansea. Under protocol he should have received his medal in the county in which he lives, but he insisted – being a ‘Ponty boy at heart’ – that he received his medal in Pontypool.

The Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, Simon Boyle, said: “The most satisfying part of this job is giving awards to those who deserve them. It is a great privilege to give this award to Keith on behalf of the Queen.”

Councillor John Cunningham, executive member for neighbourhood services at Torfaen council, said: “Keith is a dedicated member of staff and a highly valued member of the Pontypool community. That is demonstrated by the number of people that have turned out today to see him receive his medal. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the honour.”

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