Friday, 1 April 2011

imgres-7Countryside Alliance Director for Wales, Rachel Evans, writes: It is with great sadness that we hear today of the passing of a true friend of the Countryside Alliance, Mr Brynle Williams AM. 

Nick Bourne, the Tory party leader here in Wales said “Brynle had a direct line to rural Wales. He was a very proud countryman, he was passionate about country life, he was passionate about the Welsh language.” Brynle came to prominence during the 2000 fuel protests as one of the leaders of the blockade at the Stanlow oil refinery in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. He took a convoy of hauliers and farmers to Britain’s largest refinery after a meeting at the cattle mart in St Asaph to discuss rising prices at the pumps. At its height, hundreds of people joined the week-long protest, sparking blockades at other sites around the country and almost bringing the country to a standstill.

The fuel blockade was not his first experience of direct action. Before the petrol crisis he was a leading campaigner at the protest against the importation of beef at Holyhead.

He was elected to the Assembly as a Conservative regional AM for north Wales in 2003 having stood as a candidate in Clwyd West. He was re-elected in 2007 and appointed as the Tories’ Shadow Rural Affairs Minister.

He may have been known as a politician and as a campaigner who rocked the Labour government of the day, but he reached a lifetime’s ambition when he judged the supreme champion at last year’s Royal Welsh Show, said to be the “pinnacle” of a career in breeding, showing and judging Welsh Cobs.

For us as an organisation, Mr Williams was a fantastic supporter, available always for advice and direction and supporting our campaigns and events at the Senedd. His passing has left great sadness and the Assembly will certainly be a poorer place without him. Personally, during my time at the Assembly I considered him to be a great friend and a supreme champion for Rural Wales.

Our sincere sympathy is extended to his wife Mary and his two children. Mewn cydymdeimlad I pawb ac oedd yn ei adnabod. Mewn cof am y dyn poblogaedd, cyfeillgar ac onest gyda cefn glwad yn rhedeg trwy eu gwaed, Mr Brynle Williams AM.