top of page

Mayor welcomes Stephen Burns honoured for services to community of Portglenone

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams, held a very special reception this week for Council employee Stephen Burns, who was recently recognised with a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours List for his services to the community as a street cleaner in Portglenone.


An employee of Council for over two decades, Stephen has worked at keeping the streets of the village and the country roads clean and tidy - and has gained the respect of the rural community who have described him as a 'gentleman'.

Speaking recently about his Honours recognition Stephen said:

“I don’t know anything about how these things work. I just go and do my work every day.

“About a month ago, a fellow rang me around lunchtime. He told me about this award and I thought he was pulling my leg. I told him I would mention it to some other people and he said to me I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. I thought that sounded a bit suspicious.

“He told me there was a letter to come about it. They couldn’t email it to me because I don’t have an email address. So I phoned my boss and he told me that it was real and then the letter eventually came."

Stephen added:

“I do the main street in Portglenone, all the roads, in around the housing estates. I clean it all up.

“You earn your money at this time of the year when it is cold, but I always thank the Lord every morning that I have my health and I love this kind of work.

“I’ve got to know lots of people through my work. There are people waving at me all the time and tooting their horn and sometimes I don’t know who they are at all.

“I suppose I’m in the public eye all the time.

“The job has not changed that much and that is the way I like it. I would do a lot of cleaning up, lifting litter, clearing away the weeds, I do all the wee things that maybe other people wouldn’t do. I would always try to go the extra mile. I always want to do a good day’s work.”


The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Alderman Noel Williams commented:

“Stephen is an excellent ambassador for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and he is deeply valued by the community in Portglenone where he does such sterling work. 

"As Mayor, I congratulate him on behalf of Council and thank him for his dedication and commitment to our Borough.”


bottom of page