‘Champion’ of local government from East Devon – who pioneered Axe Valley ring and ride – dies aged 87

An East Devon man who was a champion of local government has died at the age of 87, having served as a councillor for more than 50 years – writes his friend David Cozens, former editor of the Lyme Regis News.

Stanley Williams, who lived in Whalley Lane, Uplyme, near Axminster, was first elected to the local council at neighbouring Lyme Regis in 1969 and was in office at the time of his death on Sunday (January 16), after continuous service apart from a break of 18 months several years ago.

Mr Williams, mayor of Lyme Regis for two years from 1997, was honoured last year when he received the Freedom of the Town – an accolade bestowed on only two previous people.

When local government was re-organised in 1973, Mr Williams played a significant role in securing special deals  for the former borough, enabling it to retain, many seafront concession, including some parking revenue, and becoming one of the most prosperous small  local authorities in the district.

He always took an interest in events in East Devon and was a pioneer and trustee of the much-acclaimed Axe Valley Ring and Ride Service.

Mr Williams, who was educated at the old Lyme Regis Grammar School, was associated with many local organisations and was keen on sport, having played football for Lyme Regis, Charmouth and Uplyme.

He is survived by two daughters – East Devon solicitor Anita and Christine who lives in Germany.


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