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Stroud District Council’s longest serving member of staff honoured

Published: Thursday, 23 February, 2017

Stroud District Council’s longest-serving member of staff, Ben Smith, was presented with a watch to celebrate his 50 year career for the authority at the start of February’s council meeting.

Ben’s working life started in April 1966 as an apprentice carpenter on a five year contract with Stroud Urban District Council with a weekly wage of £3 and one shilling. Whilst there he helped to make Stroud town centre’s first Christmas lights, and painted the first yellow lines on Stroud’s roads as the urban council was responsible for highways.

Over the 50 years Ben has had various roles and been involved with projects at Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Woodchester Mansion, Dursley Pool and the Old Town Hall, as well as the conversion of Ebley Mill to council offices, and building council homes at The Crapen and Sunnyhill.

In 1976 Ben became a retained fire fighter for Stroud fire station, a role he held for 31 years.

As clerk of works within the council’s asset management team Ben is now closely involved with the multi million pound new council house building programme which has seen developments completed in Minchinhampton, Leonard Stanley, Berkeley, Cam, Coaley and Stroud.

Ben’s wife Hazel retired from the council in August 2016 after 39 years working as a PA in the chief executive’s office, but grandfather of five Ben has no plans to join her yet, commenting:

"I’m still enjoying my work at the council."

Cllr Norman Kay, chair of Stroud District Council who presented Ben with his watch said:

"Ben Smith is a gem. The reason why ordinary people in our district benefit from a dedicated humane and human service is because of people like him.  It was an honour publicly to thank him on behalf of us all."

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