OBITUARY:T. M. Haydn Rees

T. M. Haydn Rees combined formidable administrative skills with energetic public campaigning to a degree unusual among senior local government officials. He spent a lifetime in public service in Wales, becoming chief executive of Clwyd County Council in 1974 when local government in the principality was subjected to a substantial reorganisation which tested the mettle of administrators almost to breaking-point.

Rees put Mold, a town with a population of 10,000 and home of the county council's headquarters, firmly on the map. As well as guiding the new authority through its formative years he lobbied persistently for the setting up of Mold Law Courts, making the town the principal legal centre in North Wales. Theatr Clwyd, built overlooking the town near County Hall, is reckoned to be one of the most innovative and successful regional theatres in Britain; its existence owes much to the efforts of Haydn Rees.

In the early 1980s North Wales, like much of Britain, faced seemingly intractable economic problems. The textile industry on Deeside was declining rapidly and the axe poised over Shotton steelworks, which employed more than 10,000, was descending. Rees led a tenacious fight to retain steel- making, but as the stark industrial philosophy of the Thatcher government scythed its way through heavy industry the works was closed. Rees immediately immersed himself in a battle to bring in new employment - a campaign which led to the establishment of the Deeside Industrial Park where big firms like the paper makers Kimberley Clark and Iceland Frozen Foods are located.

Born at Gorseinon, near Swansea, Rees finished his education at Swansea Business College and in 1947 was appointed assistant solicitor to the former Caernarfon County Council. The following year he went north to Flint County Council in a similar role, becoming county clerk in 1967. In 1974 he took the helm at the new Clwyd authority, retiring in 1977. From 1967 to 1977 he was clerk to the North Wales Police Authority. During his long service his battles with the Welsh Office to secure parity with South Wales when the distribution of government funding was discussed became something of a legend - and won him wide respect.

Retirement seemed not to figure in his vocabulary. He was a member of the Welsh Arts Council from 1968 to 1977, and served on the Mold magistrates' bench from 1977 becoming chairman in 1985. From 1977 to 1982 he was chairman of the Welsh Water Authority when the organisation was a much-respected public utility. He was a member of the Severn Barrage Committee from 1978 to 1981, a member of the National Water Council from 1977 to 1982 and a part-time member of BSC (Industry) Limited from 1979 to 1983.

The arts held a special place in his affections. Theatr Clwyd stands as a tribute to his successful efforts to introduce culture in its widest sense to Wales. He sat as a member of the Welsh Arts Council from 1968 to 1977 and was a member of the Gorsedd of Bards of the Royal National Eisteddfod.

Tony Heath

Thomas Morgan Haydn Rees, local government official: born Gorseinon, West Glamorgan 22 May 1915; Member, Welsh Arts Council 1968-77; Chief Executive, Clwyd County Council 1974-77; CBE 1975; Chairman, Welsh Water Authority 1977-82; married 1941 Marion Beer (one daughter); died Mold, Clwyd 28 October 1995.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial