Staple Hill Labour councillor Shirley Potts last night received the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) awarded in the recent Birthday Honours List. The ceremony, held at Kingswood Civic Centre, was performed by the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter.
The Lord Lieutenant cited Shirley’s longstanding and wide-ranging work in Staple Hill, including a pivotal role in establishing the annual Christmas on the Hill parade and celebration, the Our Place Community Flat (now the Staple Hill Community Hub) on the Pendennis estate, and the Friends of Page Park which is now a thriving community-led organisation.
Responding to the award, Councillor Potts spoke of her indebtedness to volunteers in her community. She told the Council:
“We all know in this Chamber how important these volunteers are now – without them many of the needs of our communities would not be met and I think we are all eager that their efforts should be recognised.
I couldn’t do the work I’ve done without these volunteers. Volunteers are passionate about the area and they work so hard. I think this medal should be dedicated to them and to the agencies who work with them, and also to my supportive but long-suffering husband.
It is now onward and upward!”
Shirley has been a councillor continuously for 35 years, first on Kingswood Borough Council and on South Gloucestershire Council since its inception in 1995.