AN unsung hero who has worked tirelessly to ensure the streets of Powys are clean and safe for residents has finally put away his broom after more than 30 years’ service.

Malcolm ‘Mac’ Eager retired on Monday – a day before his birthday – after 34 years of service to Powys County Council (PCC).

For an indication of how long he has worked in the council’s refuse department, it was still known as Brecknock Borough Council when he joined in 1989.

Mac is considered a true local legend where he lives, in Hay-on-Wye, and the very embodiment of a community stalwart.

He was named Hay Citizen of the Year in 2020 and, as a trained first aider, once saved the life of a man who had collapsed in Hay one morning by administering CPR.

Welsh Liberal Democrats leader and MS Jane Dodds is one of many people who have paid tribute to Mac.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Mr Eager for his years of service for Powys County Council and wish him the very best in his well-earned retirement,” said Ms Dodds.

“Throughout his 34 years as a street cleaner, Mr Eager ensured that the streets of Powys were kept clean and safe through his tireless hard work and dedication to public service.

“From cutting grass to washing down the cattle market, emptying bins and gritting our pavements, it’s hard to imagine what Powys would look like if not for the efforts of Mr Eager.

“On behalf of the entire county, I would like to thank Mr Eager once again for everything he has done, now’s the time for a well-earned rest.”

PCC’s Highways, Transport and Recycling Service referred to Mac as a “local legend” on its Facebook page, saying: “This week, we bid a fond farewell to Hay-on-Wye's very own street cleaner, Malcolm 'Mac' Eager, as he embarks on a well-deserved retirement after an incredible 34 years of dedicated public service at Powys County Council and its predecessor.”


Hay county councillor Gareth Ratcliffe added: “You've been the unsung hero of our streets, tirelessly working to keep our beloved town clean and beautiful.

“Your commitment, hard work and infectious positivity have touched the lives of so many in our community.

“Through the seasons, rain or shine, you've been the steady hand that's kept Hay-on-Wye looking its best. Your familiar smile and cheerful greeting have brightened many a day for all who pass by.

“Your legacy will live on in every clean pavement and sparkling corner of our town. We are beyond grateful for your years of service and the difference you've made.

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“Of course, Mac is part of a broader team of frontline staff who all play a vital role in keeping the county cleaner, greener and safer. But his dedication over such a long period and his humble, positive, cheerful attitude does make him stand out for a special mention.”

PCC put him forward for the Above and Beyond staff award in 2016 and he was invited to switch on Hay's Christmas lights as ‘Hay's Unsung Hero 2013’ after 25 years of service. 

The Hay Citizen of the Year accolade, organised by Hay Town Council, came his way in 2020, which he donated to the Keith Leighton Foundation.

He was also invited, along with his daughter, to be part of the Westminster Abbey Christmas carol service in 2021.

Mac would like to take this opportunity to thank his employers as well as staff, locals and visitors to Hay for all their assistance and conversations during his long career. Colleague Stephen Roughly will take over Mac’s role.