Tributes paid to longtime Banbury area councillor, with reputation as a vigorous supporter of local parish councils, who has died

Local area councils expresses sincerest sympathies following the death of Cllr Chris Williams

Tributes paid to former Warwickshire County Council Cllr Chris Williams
Tributes paid to former Warwickshire County Council Cllr Chris Williams

Warwickshire County Council members, officers and leaders from across the political spectrum have expressed their deepest sympathies at the news of the death of former county councillor, Cllr Chris Williams.

Cllr Williams lived in Fenny Compton for nearly 25 years and was in office from June 2009 to May 2021. He served many positions including governor of the local Dassett School and member of the Environment & Economy and the Health Overview Scrutiny Committees.

Cllr Williams was also the chair of the Corporate Parenting Panel from 2013 to 2017 and remained a member of the panel until he stood down in May 2021. During this time, he advocated for children in care by paying attention, listening to and encouraging young people to speak and make themselves heard on what the council could do better. He was always keen to see improvements in services for those who are most vulnerable and in need of support and was a fantastic ally and support for vulnerable children and young people.

Cllr Williams’ contributed to many of the council’s priorities in particularly giving children the best start in life, protecting vulnerable people and keeping Warwickshire safe.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “Chris was a much-loved member of Warwickshire County Council, and was respected across the political groups for his commitment, especially to some of our more disadvantaged young people.

"He will be hugely missed by all the county council including members and staff. We all send our deepest condolences to his family at this very sad time.”

Cllr Williams also actively participated in local affairs throughout the Kineton Division where he had established a reputation for being a vigorous supporter of local parish councils.

One of those parish councils - Avon Dassett Parish Council - recently paid tribute to Cllr Williams after hearing of his retirement earlier this month.

Jill Burgess, former Avon Dassett Parish Council chair and vice-chair, said: "Chris was fundamental in helping us gain grant funding for a huge number of projects including actions from the parish plan, the first iteration of the community website, the playground and upkeep of the village. He was a huge supporter of the village."

Lily Hope Frost, former Avon Dassett Parish Council chair and vice-chair, said: "My best recall is how very supportive he was of little AD and attended our meetings almost every month for years. When I was Chair he even rang me within minutes of getting home to add another issue or make a comment. Felt he was always approachable."

He will be remembered for ‘getting things done’ for his local communities and as someone who took his public service very seriously. In addition, trained in the photographic industry by Kodak, Cllr Williams ran his own business for many years and was only too aware of the pressures facing many small businesses.

His experience with village life enabled him to continue to work in partnership with parish councils and both county and district councils to the benefit and wellbeing of all the residents in the Kineton Division.

Cllr Williams also served as a member of the Stratford District Council for a number of years.

According to Cllr Williams’ councillor profile, Chris enjoyed reading, especially political history, was a keen photographer, and with his wife, Carole, took pleasure in gardening and the company of their two grandchildren.