Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Leader, Councillor Andrew Morgan, has been awarded an OBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Councillor Morgan, an Elected Member for Mountain Ash, said he is both proud and privileged to receive this honour at such a special time for Her Majesty The Queen.
Councillor Morgan becomes an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his Public Service.
The honour follows his strong leadership of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council during his time as Council Leader, but most specifically for his leadership during the severe flooding in 2020, which affected more than 1,500 properties, homes and businesses across the County Borough.
This was immediately followed by the Coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic, which claimed many lives in Rhondda Cynon Taf and affected everyone. Throughout this national emergency, Councillor Morgan was at the helm at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, and also working with other local authorities and Welsh Government in his role as Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association.
Born and raised in Mountain Ash, Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE attended Darrenlas Primary School, Bryngolwg Lower Comprehensive School and Mountain Ash Comprehensive School before later becoming an Apprentice in the housing department at Cynon Valley Borough Council before then working for Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council.
He first stood as an Election Candidate for the Mountain Ash Ward in 2004 and was duly elected, going on to become a Cabinet Member for Highways in 2008 and Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council in 2014, a role he holds today. He was also made Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association in late 2019.
Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “I am honoured, proud and privileged to be receiving this honour and have so many people to thank for their continued support, none more so than my own family and work colleagues.
“Going from being a former Apprentice with the Local Authority to become Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, and also Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association, has only been possible due to the many people who support me, my good friend and Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Maureen Webber, the Council Cabinet, the Council’s Senior Leadership Team, all the Council staff, the Rhondda Cynon Taf Labour Group, and residents in my ward of Mountain Ash to continue to support me to be their representative.
“The last few years have been difficult and on times extremely challenging, but I am proud of the way Rhondda Cynon Taf Council responded to the severe floods and then the global pandemic.
“Recent years have been some of the most difficult times to be involved in local government, but also one of the most rewarding, as I have always done my utmost to make a difference to people’s lives and help them in any way I can, no matter how sad and difficult the circumstances.”
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Andrew Morgan has shown real leadership in Rhondda Cynon Taf and for local government across Wales – from helping residents who were flooded during Storm Dennis to supporting people throughout the pandemic. This OBE recognises his hard work and passion.”
Chris Bryant, MP for Rhondda, said: “Not only does Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE lead Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in an exemplary fashion, giving clear and decisive leadership with great attention to detail, but he also leads the Welsh Local Government Association with a similar dedication.
“He has worked tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, making sure that communities in RCT had the support they needed.
“When Pentre and other parts of RCT were flooded, he worked throughout the night to make sure that the Council sprang into action as fast as possible – and he has forged good working relations with all the other agencies so as to ensure these scenes are not repeated.
“He serves his community with great distinction and cares about the people he represents”
Councillor Maureen Webber, Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “This is absolutely wonderful news and amazing recognition of all the hard work and tireless commitment our Council Leader gives to the people of Rhondda Cynon Taf and the whole of Wales in his capacity as Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association.
“He has always been totally dedicated and committed to serving the public, and in times of emergency is always on hand dealing with whatever the situation is, flooding, winter weather, and even a global pandemic.
“Quite often working well into the night and at weekends, Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE dedicates his life to public service. I am proud to call him a dear friend and look forward to continue working alongside him and on behalf of everyone at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, I send him our congratulations.”
Mick Antoniw, MS for Pontypridd, said: “I am delighted that Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Leader Andrew Morgan has been awarded the OBE in recognition of his sterling public service, in particular for all that he has did for residents and businesses across Rhondda Cynon Taf during the severe floods of recent years, which devastated so many of our communities.
“This was quickly followed by the global pandemic which affected us all. But through all of these challenging times, Councillor Morgan has been there, leading from the front, working tirelessly to ease the pain and burden for so many people. For that, we send him our most sincere thanks and gratitude.”
Chris Llewelyn, WLGA Chief Executive said:
“On behalf of the WLGA, we would like to congratulate Councillor Andrew Morgan on being recognised in the Platinum Jubilee Honours List.
“Andrew’s leadership of the WLGA over the last two years has provided a steadfast constant for local government in the face of extraordinary challenges. He has shown his commitment to public service as well as delivering the best possible outcomes for those he represents in Rhondda Cynon Taff and wider communities across Wales.
“Colleagues from across the Association have expressed their appreciation for Andrew’s inclusive, pragmatic and firm approach to leadership and to work collaboratively with fellow leaders, as well as forging close working relationships with central governments. On behalf of the local government family in Wales, we are absolutely delighted for Andrew on this very well-earned recognition.”
Councillor Morgan will be cordially invited to attend an Investiture Ceremony later in the year.