A WHITCHURCH street cleaner has put away his litter picker for the final time after more than a decade of helping the town be a cleaner place.

Gerry Keohane has been with Whitchurch Town Council for the past 14 years as a street cleaner, but has now retired from the position.

Member of Whitchurch Town Council, councillor Barry Jackman, said: “Gerry is a really nice guy, and has been very helpful.

“He always goes the extra mile and will go out of his way to help.

“We couldn’t even get him to take holiday, he just seemed to like it. He’s happy to be of service.”

Gerry got involved after seeing an advertisement for the street cleaner role 14 years ago and was then instated in the position.

Cllr Jackman added: “It’s not the nicest job in the world, but he stepped up to the role straight away.

“It is a role that is not always recognised, and he deserves our gratitude.

“It takes a certain person to do this role and he did it thoroughly.

"You didn’t have to ask twice, he was always there.

“He will still be volunteering, helping to clear the cemetery.”

Stories of Gerry’s litterpicking exploits have been well-known, including one story of a New Year’s Eve party in the town centre.

Revellers had been seeing in the new year in Whitchurch town centre and had left champagne bottles and other items lying around in the street.

This was before Gerry stepped in, fulfilling his litterpicking role even at 5am.

He was honoured with thanks from the town council and a cake in the shape of a high visibility jacket at a recent small ceremony.

Following Gerry’s departure from the role, the street cleaning will now be handled by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.