Details of the Chairman of the Council. the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset and other civic dignitaries
The Council elects its Chair and Vice Chair each year. Currently the Chair is Cllr Nigel Taylor and the Vice Chair is Cllr Mark Keating.
The role of the Chair, and in their absence, the Vice-Chair, is
For more information about the Chair or Vice Chair of the Council please contact:
Somerset County Council,
Phone 01823 357628
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of a county is an Honorary Officer appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. He or she is the permanent representative of the Crown in that county and normally serves until retirement at between 70 and 75 years of age.
Somerset Lieutenancy covers the historic county of Somerset (that is the areas administered by Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, and Somerset County Councils). The total population of these areas at the last census was 908,700.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset is:
Mrs Annie Maw
The office dates from the reign of Henry VIII, and the Lord-Lieutenant was originally responsible for the maintenance of order and for local defence.
Nowadays the responsibilities of the Lord-Lieutenant include:
On ceremonial occasions male Lord-Lieutenants wear uniform, women a special badge.
The Lord-Lieutenant is supported by a Vice Lord-Lieutenant and by Deputy Lieutenants, who she appoints from people who have rendered particular service to the county in a variety of ways, the number depending on the size of population. There are normally between 30 and 40 Deputy Lieutenants.
You can get more information from
Phone 01823 356726
or Julia Knight
Phone 01823 355509
You can also find more information on The Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset website
The High Sheriff of Somerset is
Jonathan Halliday Esq
Phone 07770 673428
The Office of High Sheriff is at least 1000 years old, having its roots in Saxon times, before the Norman Conquest. It is the oldest continuous secular office under the Crown. Originally, the office held many of the powers now vested in HM Lord-Lieutenants, High Court Judges, Magistrates, local authorities, Coroners and even the Inland Revenue.
The Office of High Sheriff remained first in precedence in the counties until the reign of Edward VII, when an Order in Council in 1908 gave the Lord-Lieutenants the prime office under the Crown as the sovereign’s personal representative. Lord-Lieutenants were created in 1547 for military duties in the shires. The High Sheriff remains the sovereign’s representative in the county for all matters relating to the judiciary and the maintenance of law and order.
Functions of the office
High Sheriffs are responsible in the counties of England and Wales for duties conferred by the Crown through warrant from the Privy Council, including:
Nominations for High Sheriff
Nominations to the office of High Sheriff are dealt with through the presiding Judge of the Circuit and the Privy Council, for consideration by the Sovereign in Council. The annual nominations of three prospective High Sheriffs for each county are made in a meeting of the Lords of the Council in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice, presided over by the Lord Chief Justice on 12 November each year.
Subsequently, the selection of new High Sheriffs is made annually in a meeting of the Privy Council by the Sovereign, when the custom of ‘pricking’ the appointee’s name with a bodkin is perpetuated.
The Sheriff’s Year
The High Sheriff takes up appointment upon making a sworn declaration in terms dictated by the Sheriff’s Act 1887. The appointment is for one year only, except in the event of something untoward happening to the High Sheriff’s expected successor, in which case a High Sheriff must remain in office until the appointment of a successor is executed.
High Sheriffs are now encouraged by the Shrievalty Association of England and Wales to undertake duties to improve and sustain the morale of personnel of voluntary and statutory bodies engaged in the maintenance and extension of law and order and the entire criminal system.
It is an independent, non-political office which enables the holder to bring together a wide variety of individuals and office holders for the good of the community a High Sheriff serves. In recent years, High Sheriffs in many parts of England and Wales have been particularly active in the field of crime reduction and the development of an anti-crime culture, particularly among young people – Somerset Crimebeat.
The High Sheriff receives no pay or expenses.
In Wells Cathedral
The new High Sheriff is formally sworn-in towards the end of March each year. The new High Sheriff is presented in the cathedral at the Legal Service, giving the opportunity for a prayer of thanksgiving for the past year and a welcome for the year to come.
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