I am married to Georgina, and have three sons in their early 20’s and a daughter who is still at school. We lived in London until 1998, when we moved to Wappenham in South Northamptonshire. I served as a councillor on South Northants District Council for eight years from 2007 – 2015, and had a particular interest in social housing and homelessness; for a number of years I was the cabinet member responsible for these areas. I am therefore keen to support charities involved with homelessness, in particular the Hope Centre in Northampton, while I am High Sheriff. I am interested in working with the police and the courts, and would like to support charities which operate inside the prison system promoting the rehabilitation of prisoners. I am also interested in helping to promote the rich, and under-appreciated, cultural heritage of the county.
To be asked to be High Sheriff of Northamptonshire is a great honour; I think the county has a huge amount to be proud of and I intend to ensure that I do as much as I can to raise awareness of the many wonderful things the county has to offer.
Apart from the Monarchy, the office of High Sheriff is the oldest in the land with origins that can be traced to Saxon times.
High Sheriffs continue to represent the Sovereign in their counties on matters relating to the Judiciary and the maintenance of law and order and their responsibilities are conferred on them by the Crown through warrant from the Privy Council. At the annual nomination ceremony on 12 November in the Royal Court of Justice, three names are put forward for the office of High Sheriff in each county. Subsequently, the selection of a new High Sheriff is made from these names in March each year in the Privy Council by the Sovereign who, by ancient custom, pricks a hole beside the appointed name with a bodkin.
Today, High Sheriffs aim to support voluntary and statutory organisations engaged in aspects of law and order in their county. They have a particular role in supporting the Judiciary and take a special interest in the activities of such statutory bodies as the police, the prison service and the probation service. Under the Criminal Law Act 1826, they are required to give monetary awards to people who, in the opinion of Judges at a criminal trial, have been active in the apprehension of an offender.