Rugby legend Neil Jenkins set to be given freedom of Rhondda Cynon Taf
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
Welsh rugby legend Neil Jenkins is set to be awarded the freedom of Rhondda Cynon Taf.
RCT’s key workers have also been nominated for the freedom of the borough.
Neil Jenkins has been nominated for his services to rugby and key workers for their selfless hard work and dedication that saved the lives of many through the Covid pandemic.
A report to go before full council on Wednesday, November 24 puts forward the recommendations of the freedom of the borough working group to council.
The freedom of the borough is the highest accolade that the county borough can bestow and is usually granted for outstanding service to, or achievement associated with Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The report said that it is generally considered that the number of people receiving this status should be few in number to maintain the importance of the accolade.
To date the freedom of the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf has been awarded to the Royal Welsh Regiment, Stuart Burrows, the miners of South Wales, Elaine Morgan OBE, the Welsh Guards and Bernard Baldwin MBE, Matthew James, Dai Dower, The Cory Band and David Roberts CBE and RAF St Athan.
The working group also suggested that a standalone outdoor event is taken forward, as a ‘thank you’ for the work and dedication of key workers throughout the pandemic.
The event will take place in accordance with Welsh Government and the council’s own Covid safety standards and requirements.
The working group is made up of the mayor, the leaders of each political group and the cabinet member for council business and considered several nominations in May before putting forward the two nominees for council’s consideration.
The report said: “Rhondda Cynon Taf has a proud record of recognising and honouring those who have given extraordinary service to the county borough and has a well-established tradition of conferring the freedom of the
borough on worthy candidates.
“This accolade is highly prestigious and is intentionally relatively scarcely awarded to preserve its importance.
“Due to the current climate and social distancing restrictions greater consideration will need to be taken forward in respect of how these accolades are to be awarded.”
Neil Jenkins from Pontypridd scored over 1,000 points for Wales in 87 appearances and played four tests for the Lions. He went on to act as a kicking coach for Wales and the Lions.