Tributes have been paid to former Powys council leader, E. Michael Jones, who died last month.

Evan Michael Jones, known as Michael, was an Independent Powys County Councillor for nearly 40 years before he stood down in May 2022 at the age of 84.

During his distinguished career he served as chairman of the council board and then as council leader when the cabinet system replaced the board in 2011.

At the council’s annual meeting on Thursday, May 16 Cllr Beverley Baynham in the last act of her year as council chairman paid tribute to her colleague and friend.

Cllr Baynham said: “I’ve known Michael for many years.

“Before I hand over the reins I am going to indulge for one last time.

“I was first elected to the council in May 2017 to represent the people of Presteigne and Norton.

“The first meeting I attended was the annual meeting.

“A pre-meeting was held for the Radnorshire committee to nominate a candidate for the chair of Radnorshire and therefore the assistant vice chair.

“The Radnorshire members assembled in committee room B, and we were given little slips of paper to write our nominations on.

“As the newbie I wrote Cllr Michael Jones on my slip duly folded it over and handed it over to put it into the pot.

“Slowly these slips were unfolded my name was read out along with several others.

“When Michael’s name was read out, he immediately withdrew as did a couple of others.

“If I’m honest I had no idea what was going on, I looked at Michael and mouthed ‘What do I do?’

“He looked back at me and said stay there and I did exactly as I was told, who was I to argue?”

After a couple more rounds of voting, Cllr Baynham walked out of the room with a briefcase containing the Radnorshire chain.

Cllr Baynham said: “And the rest they say is history and I’m here for the second time.

“I have an awful lot to be thankful to Michael for and if it wasn’t for him, I would never have been chairman.

“He was always pleased to encourage younger members, offering words of wisdom and advice.”

Cllr Baynham told the council that Michael Jones had been a founding member of East Radnorshire Day Centre, East Radnor Leisure Centre, a governor at John Beddoes School and sat on many committees in Old Radnor, New Radnor, Gladestry and Presteigne.

Cllr Baynham said: “Michael achieved so much in his political career, representing Old Radnor on the council from 1985 to 2022, he was also chair of council in 2001/2002 and chairman of the board from 2002 to 2011.

“When the council adopted the cabinet system in 2011, he became the first leader of the council.

“He retired from council in 2022 to devote his time and energy in caring for his wife Joy, whose health had deteriorated in recent years.

“But very sadly became ill himself at the end of January.

“I’m very honoured and privileged not only to have known Michael as a colleague in this chamber but also as a friend.”