Pontypool street cleaner gets New Year honour

South Wales Argus: Keith Wright is to be awarded a BEM for cleaning the streets of Pontypool for 32 years. Pictured is Keith keeping the streets of Pontypool Town Centre clear of rubbish. (3219370) Keith Wright is to be awarded a BEM for cleaning the streets of Pontypool for 32 years. Pictured is Keith keeping the streets of Pontypool Town Centre clear of rubbish. (3219370)

A STREET cleaner from Pontypool has spoken of his delight after he was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community.

Keith Wright has been a Street Scene operative for 32 years.

The 49-year-old, who was handed the honour in the New Year Honours list, said he “absolutely loves” his job.

“I know there are many people out there who think they wouldn’t like the type of work,” he said. “But it’s a great job.

“I have built up a great rapport with shopkeepers and the residents.”

Born and bred in Trevethin, Mr Wright said he was very much a ‘Ponty boy’, although he now lives in Swansea with his partner.

He said they celebrated at home at New Year.

“To win the award is just fantastic,” he added.

“Thanks to all the staff and bosses at Street Scene, and also the top management at Torfaen County Borough Council, without them I would not have received it.”

Councillors and council officers took to social media sites to congratulate him.

Secretary of State for Wales David Jones, MP, also extended his congratulations.

He said: “In Wales, we have a rich and vibrant community spirit. So I am particularly pleased that many of those we are hearing and reading about have been recognised as a result of their voluntary or community-based work. They truly represent the Big Society in action.”

Comments (6)

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8:06am Thu 9 Jan 14

swrxp09 says...

Well done Keith on your BEM. Always to be seen with a smile on his face. Shame that David Jones (MP) tried to gain political points and claim credit for Cameron's " Big Society".
Well done Keith on your BEM. Always to be seen with a smile on his face. Shame that David Jones (MP) tried to gain political points and claim credit for Cameron's " Big Society". swrxp09

8:39am Thu 9 Jan 14

kez1968 says...

it's nice to see someone who's been a street cleaner for 32 years, enjoying is job and been rewarded with a BEM, but it's only a job nothing more nothing less, I've been in mine nearly 25 years, am I going to be honoured in the next few years, mmm some how I doubt it :( stills well done to Keith for his medal.
it's nice to see someone who's been a street cleaner for 32 years, enjoying is job and been rewarded with a BEM, but it's only a job nothing more nothing less, I've been in mine nearly 25 years, am I going to be honoured in the next few years, mmm some how I doubt it :( stills well done to Keith for his medal. kez1968

10:50am Thu 9 Jan 14

Rhibee1980 says...

This is lovely news, I work in Pontypool Town and have always been greeted with a smile and a good morning from Keith and he is evidently a hard worker!! congratulations :-)
This is lovely news, I work in Pontypool Town and have always been greeted with a smile and a good morning from Keith and he is evidently a hard worker!! congratulations :-) Rhibee1980

5:54pm Thu 9 Jan 14

varteg1 says...

Good on yer K, you're party of the street furniture in Town.
Good on yer K, you're party of the street furniture in Town. varteg1

9:42pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Melvyn The Milk says...

Where do these honours end? I mean, let's be honest, a BEM for doing a job you are paid for and smiling ???? He is fortunate to have a job in the current climate. Who nominates these people?
Where do these honours end? I mean, let's be honest, a BEM for doing a job you are paid for and smiling ???? He is fortunate to have a job in the current climate. Who nominates these people? Melvyn The Milk

8:40am Fri 10 Jan 14

varteg1 says...

Melvyn The Milk wrote:
Where do these honours end? I mean, let's be honest, a BEM for doing a job you are paid for and smiling ???? He is fortunate to have a job in the current climate. Who nominates these people?
I often fell the same way about those who do a 'job' especially in the City and in civic life who get knighthoods and become ennobled by being raised to the Upper Chamber.

Either cut it altogether, or stop moaning when a local lad gets recognised in the way applicable to Keith.

It's not as though he will get anything but that local recognition, or his 15 minutes of national fame, so why not?

The 'recognition' is in a way recognition for ALL street cleaners, nurses, and whatever other defined worker get an award. many who do the same grinding tasks every day, usually for minimum reward, but without their labour we would all suffer the consequences, and more to the point, doing jobs few would relish or wish to do ourselves.
[quote][p][bold]Melvyn The Milk[/bold] wrote: Where do these honours end? I mean, let's be honest, a BEM for doing a job you are paid for and smiling ???? He is fortunate to have a job in the current climate. Who nominates these people?[/p][/quote]I often fell the same way about those who do a 'job' especially in the City and in civic life who get knighthoods and become ennobled by being raised to the Upper Chamber. Either cut it altogether, or stop moaning when a local lad gets recognised in the way applicable to Keith. It's not as though he will get anything but that local recognition, or his 15 minutes of national fame, so why not? The 'recognition' is in a way recognition for ALL street cleaners, nurses, and whatever other defined worker get an award. many who do the same grinding tasks every day, usually for minimum reward, but without their labour we would all suffer the consequences, and more to the point, doing jobs few would relish or wish to do ourselves. varteg1

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