Changes are coming at Powys County Council (PCC) as two more high profile figures stood down this week admidst a host of other councillors not standing for re-election.
Following the news that Councillor Wynne Jones, finance portfolio holder, will not stand for re-election last week, his fellow deputy leader Cllr Graham Brown and Leader Cllr Barry Thomas have also announced they will quit the council.
Leader Thomas has represented the Llanfihangel Ward for more than 20 years and has been leader since January 2014.
On announcing his break from local government, he said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to represent the people of Llanfihangel since 1996 and I am grateful for the support they have shown me throughout my time on the council.
“I have decided to announce my intention to stand down as a county councillor now so that the residents of my ward have plenty of time to consider their options and take time to identify another candidate.
“During my time as leader I have tried to promote open and transparent government and put the interests of residents above those of political groups.
“I am proud that despite the severe financial pressures the council has committed more than £100 million for schools in the county, our young learners are the future of the county and deserve the best we can provide.”
With Llandrinio’s Cllr Brown stepping down from the independent group and non political coalition council, he believes the council will have a whole new look to it come May.
He said: “I’ve been a councillor for 30 years, and it was time to step aside.
“It has been harder and harder in recent years with the cut backs, and I think it will only get harder in the years to come.
“There are different challenges ahead, and usually there is a 25 per cent turn over in councillors at elections, but it will be a lot more this time.”
Felinfach Cllr Tony Thomas, who is also on the cabinet, has expressed his intention to step down, as has Beguildy councillor John Brunt, meaning more than half of the cabinet will change in the next term.
Montgomery Cllr and Cabinet Member Stephen Hayes will stand again and he added: “There will be big changes, there are a lot of long standing members who feel they’ve done their time, and given a lot of service.”
A large number of county councillors are rumoured to be stepping aside, one being Viola E Evans, the first woman on Llanfair Town Council.
She isn’t planning to stand again, adding: “I don’t think I will, I’ve been a Powys Councillor for 17 years, a town councillor for 43, and I think it is time now.
“There will be a new look county hall I think in May.”
All three current Welshpool County Councillors are planning to stand again, with Cllr Phil Pritchard adding: “It is going to be a different future for the council than it is at the moment.”
The full list of candidates for each ward is expected on April 4.
See full story in the County Times