I am delighted and grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve as High Sheriff of Shropshire having received the Warrant of Appointment from the Privy Council. I have made my Declaration in the presence of Mr Timothy Cooke JP at the High Sheriff’s Installation Ceremony held in my local parish church, Holy Trinity Church, Hope, on 27th March 2015.
The High Sheriff is appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to represent Her in the County of Shropshire in matters relating to law and order. Since its inception nearly 1000 years ago, the role has changed considerably (link Role of the High Sheriff).
I am fortunate to have lived in a particularly beautiful part of this beautiful county for over 30 years – my home in Hope looks out onto the Stiperstones and the Devil’s Chair on one side and the Shropshire plain on the other. I have been variously a Chartered Surveyor, film producer, yogurt salesman, farmer, and writer. I am married to Annabel and have two children who are now young adults.
In my year of office, I look forward to being involved with, and offering support, to the Police, Judges, Magistrates, Coroners, the Prison and Probation Services, the emergency services and all branches of the Armed Forces. I look forward to gaining a better understanding of the operations and priorities of these vitally important institutions and how they work for Shropshire.
Life expectancy and a changing demographic is the great societal change that our country and our county face. The “opportunity and challenge” of old age will be the particular focus of my year in office. There is never going to be enough money for health and social care and, whilst I believe that some very positive initiatives are starting to emerge, the burden will increasingly fall on families, friends and voluntary bodies. I will be supporting Age UK, a charity who do great work in this area and who need our support. I will be a cheerleader for existing volunteers, I will be a noisy advocate for volunteering in general – which research has shown increases both your quality of life and your life expectancy – and I will encourage people to support the work of Age UK financially.
I am greatly looking forward to serving my county and am grateful for the support of my Under Sheriff and Chaplain as well as previous High Sheriffs for their advice and wise counsel.