MONTGOMERYSHIRE only exists in the hearts and minds of those fortunate to have been born and live here from now on.

As a distinct political entity it has now been consigned to history and historical maps.

The last meetings of the Shire Committee for Montgomeryshire took place in Welshpool on Wednesday, similar meetings will be taking place for Radnorshire and Brecknockshire.

The last chairman of the Committee, Cllr Joy Jones, said after the committee: “It was a good last meeting but a bit sad as it takes away getting to know local issues and being able to hold cabinet and other organisations to account or to be informed about good things in our area.”

At the meeting Cllr Jones, said: "Today is an historic and sad day.

As members representing wards in Montgomeryshire I am sure you are all very aware of the long history of this special area of Wales.

"I am sure you are all equally aware of the importance of this area and, particularly, the important role this committee has played over the years since the introduction of the unitary county of Powys in 1996.

The committee has been an important body enabling members to discuss issues particular to this area and for them to lobby other organisations making decisions which would affect people within our constituencies.

In this respect I would refer to a subject close to my heart, being the FutureFit proposals regarding future hospital healthcare provision, and how this committee enabled us to meet, question and challenge the people who would be finalising any proposals.

"As well as being, in my view, a very sad occasion to see the loss if this committee, today is also one of personal pride.

February 6. 1918 ,saw the introduction of the Representation of the People Act, giving the women of this country the right to vote. I feel it somehow fitting that the last ever Chair of Montgomeryshire, in the Centenary Year of that great moment in our history, should be a woman.

"I am humbled and honoured that you elected me last May to be that person and I can promise you I have worn this chain with pride and hope I have followed in the footsteps of all those listed on the boards behind you with dignity."

Back in January, the Full Council voted in favour of abolishing the shire committees to save Powys County Council, £175,000 a year.

At the meeting on January 25, Cllr Phyl Davies cabinet member for property and waste, said: “As a council we have to openly realise the challenges ahead.

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