Richard Lloyd, Executive Chairman of South West property development company, Summerfield, has been appointed High Sheriff of Somerset for the year 2014/2015.
Richard read his official declaration of loyalty at the Legal Service in Wells Cathedral, a ceremonial event attended by the High Court and Circuit Judges together with other members of the judiciary and civic leaders.
The office of High Sheriff goes back over 1000 years (to the “shire reeve”) and is the oldest continuous secular appointment by the Crown. Richard was chosen by the Queen in Privy Council in the traditional manner – his name hand ‘pricked’ by a bodkin point.
Richard Lloyd who celebrated his 60th birthday last year and is delighted at the appointment, said: “Having lived and worked in Somerset a large part of my life, I am genuinely thrilled and honoured to hold this prestigious position. Although I will remain an active presence at Summerfield as the Chairman, I am pleased to be able to spend time supporting charities and organisations within our much loved county of Somerset.”
Over the year of his appointment, Richard will play an active role in promoting the voluntary sector and supporting the emergency services, such as the fire brigade and ambulance service. He will be attending numerous events throughout the county to promote, encourage, liaise and make useful introductions between different organisations.
The High Sheriff’s duties include attending visits to Somerset by members of the Royal family, ensuring the wellbeing and protection of High Court judges in Court and presenting High Sheriff awards to recognise local volunteers, charities and ‘unsung’ heroes.
Supporting the Crown and the judiciary remains a central part of the role, as well as giving active support and encouragement to the police and armed services, including the probation and prison services and other agencies involved with crime prevention, particularly amongst young people. Crimebeat, the Shrievalty’s charity, aims to discourage the young from crime.
Organisations which provide youth activities can apply to Crimebeat for funds for projects such as providing skateboard parks or improving sports facilities.
Richard will continue as Chairman of Summerfield, a long-established property development company; he has long been active in the business community and is a school governor. The High Sheriff post is independent and apolitical, and he receives no remuneration or costs.