CHRIS WALBY OBE 1940-2021.

Monmouth Labour Party is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Chris Walby on August 15th.

Born the daughter of a Monmouthshire Constabulary Chief Superintendent and a local school teacher, Chris spent her life in public service. She was a much-respected Director of Social Services for many years, receiving the OBE for her commitment to children’s services in 2005. This was followed by retirement and a return to Abergavenny, the place of her birth, where she threw herself into local politics. .

In addition to working with the Welsh Labour Government on developing social policy and setting up the children’s charity Tros Gynnal, Chris was elected to Monmouthshire County Council in 2008. Winning the Llanwenarth Ultra ward by just three votes, She was a considerable asset to the Labour Group where she was the only women member. The Chief Executive of the County Council was one of the first to pay tribute to her, saying ‘She was an outstanding councillor, fierce in representing the interests of her constituents’.

Within the Labour Party, Chris built on her lifelong commitment to equality by reforming the Womens Forum and being a constant advocate for the disadvantaged. She was incisive and wise whilst also being genuinely kind and approachable. Her life was truly one of someone who made a difference.

Former Monmouth Labour MP Huw Edwards said

“Many people have been very saddened by this news. Chris was a committed Labour Party member and brought her expertise in Social Services (for which she was awarded the OBE) to our discussions and campaigns. Chris was also very sociable and stimulating company.”

Our thoughts are with Barbara at this sad time. When appropriate there will be an opportunity to come together to mourn her passing whilst celebrating her life. The funeral will be held at the crematorium in Cwmbran at 3.30 on 7 September, with plenty of space outside the chapel for those who might wish to attend to pay their final respects.