MONTGOMERYSHIRE, Radnorshire, Brecknockshire, names that will be consigned to history as Powys Councillors have decided to abolish the Shire committees to save money.

Getting rid of the shire committees is said to save the authority £175,000 a year and saw a passionate argument against the motion.

Cllr David Evans (Nantmel), said: “I have no desire to abandon the old shires and see them fade away to oblivion, I do feel the need to preserve our identity and fight for the areas we represent.”

Cllr Michael Williams (Machynlleth) felt that the shire committee meetings gave outside bodies such as the police and even utility companies the chance to discuss issues that would be of interest to the electorate that could not be done in full council meetings.

Cllr Beverley Baynham, (Presteigne) current chair of the Radnorshire committee, said: “Meetings are useful and informative to receive reports and updates in a more informal setting.

“We have 73 members, if we abolish the shire committees will we have more full council meetings for updates?

Education cabinet member, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander (Dyffryn Banw) said that Powys CC was facing the “financial cliff” and that members needed a way of accessing information without the shire committee.

Cllr Phyl Davies cabinet member for property and waste who seconded the motion put forward by Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, said: “As a council we have to openly realise the challenges ahead.

“We are trying to instigate a massive transformation.

“The three shire committees have officers and councillors for the same presentations, we have to move forward under the Powys unitary authority branding."

The motion was passed by 34 votes to 22 with two abstentions.

The Democratic Services committee will now look at what to do with the chair and vice-chair of each shire committee and the decision will come into effect at the end of the civic year in May.