New high sheriff rolls into town

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Lancashire’s new High Sheriff has been officially sworn in at a historic ceremony at County Hall.

Preston-born Ann Dean was installed into office on Thursday, 18 April. Ann takes over from the outgoing High Sheriff Jeremy Gorick.

As Lancashire’s new High Sheriff, Ann continues a tradition stretching back to at least the middle of the tenth century.

The office of High Sheriff is held for a year and the role is an important part of Lancashire’s heritage.

The role of High Sheriff is to ‘protect and assist in upholding the dignity and well being of Her Majesty’s Judges and to represent The Queen’s executive powers in respect of the administration of justice in the county’. Ann lives in Broughton. She has a husband and two grown-up children.

She is the founder of Benetimo PR, a marketing company specialising in strategic planning and PR for the healthcare sector. She is also the director of a family business - a chain of builders’ merchants - and was chairman of the IoD north west from 2006 to 2010. She now sits on the board IoD board as a non-executive director.

Ann said: “I think it is important to continue the good work that Jeremy has been doing throughout the year and also to do as much community work as possible. I plan to focus on education, business and community work during my time as High Sheriff.

“To be named as High Sheriff, you have to receive approval from HM the Queen. This makes it a very prestigious appointment and one which I’m both delighted and humbled to receive.”

Although many of the powers of the High Sheriff have been reduced over the years, the holder still performs many important functions. At the installation ceremony the Queen’s Commission is read in the presence of two Commissioners.

The High Sheriff then makes a declaration to ‘serve the Queen’s writs and execute the good laws and statutes of the realm’.

The Commissioners will check whether the declaration has been correctly delivered and the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire will then hand over the Sheriff’s Patent, which is their authority to act throughout the year in office.