OUTGOING council chair Cllr David Meredith said that being Powys County Council’s (PCC) civic leader had been “an honour and privilege.”

At PCC’s annual meeting Cllr Meredith, (Labour Brecon St David Within) as expected passed on the chains of officer to Cllr Beverley Baynham (Independent – Presteigne) who has served as vice-chair for the last year.

Before leaving office, Cllr Meredith, said: “It’s been an honour and a privilege to have represented you at civic duties throughout the whole of Powys.

“I have travelled the length and breadth and it’s been a real privilege to meet so many people and see what goes on work wise throughout Powys.”

Cllr Meredith thanked members for supporting his charities of the year and revealed that £3,500 would be given to  both the South Powys branch of Parkinsons and St David’s Hospice.

Cllr Meredith added: “I also used my allowance, I think wisely, supporting some organisations with £1,000 each.

“They include South Powys Youth Orchestra, the West Enders of Brecon, the Town Band and various others.

“In total it’s in the region of £13,500 to £14,000.”

Cllr Meredith finished: “Thank you very much. I tried to chair the council to the best of my ability. I may have upset a few of you on the way but there we go.”

Council Leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris, (Independent, Llangynidr) paid tribute to Cllr Meredith.

She said: “On behalf of everyone here, a big thank you firstly, for chairing the meetings and there have been some difficult ones.

“Thank you for putting up with us and  for all the good and generosity to the charities that you have shown in your year as chairman.

“I live close enough to you to know how much extra you have done and a lot of it is done quietly.”

New PCC chair, Cllr Baynham, said: “It’s a great honour for me to sit before you as your elected chair for the coming year.

“I’m sure you’ll agree as a council we are facing huge pressures and I’m sure there will be challenging and difficult decision in the year ahead.

“My hope is we can all conduct ourselves with dignity and respect to our colleagues whatever our political persuasion.”

“I hope to be able to fill the role to the best of my ability and am determined to fly the flag for our wonderful county.”

Assistant vice-chairman, Gwynfor Thomas (Conservative – Llansantffraid) was confirmed in his election as vice-chair.

Cllr Gareth Ratcliffe, (Liberal Democrat – Hay) makes up the trio and was elected as assistant vice-chair.