New High Sheriff for Lancashire announced

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Lancashire's new High Sheriff has been announced as Robert Mitchel Webb JP DL.

Each year HM The Queen chooses the High Sheriff of Lancashire - a role dating back over 1,000 years.

Robert was born and brought up in Belfast, before moving to Lancashire in 1976. He now lives in Arkholme, a village in the Lune Valley, with his wife Carole.

He has spent his working career as managing director of the John Hogg Group - his family business, which was originally formed in 1890. The Group has diverse interests including Irish linen, chemical manufacture, property investment and also owns a film studio.

Over the years, Robert has been involved in many aspects of life in Lancashire. His experience of sitting as a magistrate on the Lancaster Bench for twenty years, together with having been a General Commissioner for Tax has given him considerable insight into the criminal justice system. This is an area to which he intends to pay special attention in the year ahead.

As the new High Sheriff, Robert will be sworn in at a special ceremony on Friday 7 April when he takes over the office from the incumbent High Sheriff John Barnett MBE DL.

Robert has served as a governor of Arkholme C of E Primary School for 10 years, and has recently become a member of the board overseeing the multi-academy trust connected to Ripley St Thomas School in Lancaster. In 2012 Robert was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the county.

Until recently, Robert was chairman of Cancer Care North Lancashire and South Lakeland, having been a trustee for 25 years. Last year he retired from the role in a spectacular fundraising finale by abseiling down the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster's Williamson Park.

Speaking on his appointment, Robert said: "I consider it a great honour to be nominated as the next High Sheriff of Lancashire, and shall do my best to maintain the long and rich traditions of the office.

"I am particularly interested in the criminal justice system and in my coming role I plan to give maximum support to all the agencies involved in this challenging part of society.

"In addition, I shall be delighted to assist in any way possible our voluntary and charitable enterprises, which play such vital roles in our county.”

Robert and Carole have three children (a son and two daughters), two of whom are married, and one granddaughter. They enjoy theatre and music and both are guardians of the Dukes Playhouse in Lancaster. In his spare time, Robert enjoys fell walking, tennis and golf. He is a member of Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club, where he was captain in 2003.

The High Sheriff of Lancashire is appointed personally by The Queen, the role includes a duty to 'protect and assist in upholding the dignity and well-being of Her Majesty’s Judges and to project the principles of encouraging responsible citizenship and respect for the diversity of the community which lie at the heart of our Constitution'. The office of High Sheriff is an unpaid and voluntary role.

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