Long-serving servants of Ribble Valley honoured and thanked by mayor

A long-serving Ribble Valley housing worker, whose role includes developing new affordable homes in towns and villages; and a groundsman known at Clitheroe's cemetery and castle, along with flag-raising, flower shows and horse-and-carriages, have been thanked by the borough's mayor.

Rachael Stott and Keith Jackson received presentations from Ribble Valley Mayor Coun Mark Hindle at the latest full council meeting.

Over the years, Mrs Stott has worked on new homes and flats in places including Clitheroe, Read, Barrow, Whalley, Chipping, Hurst Green and Longridge. Homes have been available for rent, shared ownership or other arrangements such as discounted sale.

Coun Hindle said: "Rachel has worked as an environmental officer and then in housing strategy. She is a font of knowledge and solutions. Her housing role includes grant schemes, activity with landlords and tenants, helping young people with affordable housing and addressing issues like homelessness."


He added: "It might be easy if you live in a nice house to think there's not much need for housing. But there is. There is homelessness and struggles for people to make ends meet. If you go to Preston, you'll see people sleeping rough on the streets. It's very rare to see that in the Ribble Valley."

In reply, Mrs Stott said: "The past 25 years have flown by. Working for a small council means I've been able to have a vast range of roles. My job has given me lots of satisfaction. There have also been some stories and roles I've taken on that were quite amusing. But I feel positive and proud that there have been lots of achievements. "

Groundsman Keith Jackson, aged 67, joined the council in 1984 and previously worked at Chorley. He is originally from Leyland. He retired from Ribble Valley Council earlier this year but has part-time work elsewhere with Clitheroe Town Council.

In other activity, he is a flower judge for an annual show at Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales and has been honoured by the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS).

The mayor said: "Keith has given many years of loyal service. He has cut acres and acres of grass and looked after Clitheroe Cemetery. In the past, we had 24 people working in grounds maintenance. We now have nine. Keith used to work in the greenhouse for the Clitheroe Castle gardens.

"He was also the council's flag raiser and raised the Clitheroe Castle flag hundreds of times for important events and dates, including the death of the Queen. He also carries the mace for Clitheroe Town Council."

Mr Jackson said: "I want to say a big thank you to Ribble Valley Council for employing me all that time. It's a brilliant organisation to work for. I've met lots of people and councillors over the years.

"I am still working part-time for Clitheroe Town Council. But now that I'm semi-retired, I hope to go on a cruise some time."

Keith received an RHS long-service award in 2022 and has been a flower judge at Grassington for 26 years. His horse-and-carriage events have included Duke of Edinburgh Awards activity and contests across the UK including at Sandringham, where the royal family has a home.