THE HIGH SHERIFF
The High Sheriff is appointed personally by the Sovereign for one year and is her representative in the county in all matters relating to the judiciary, the maintenance of law and order and the administration of justice.
As the holder of an entirely non-political office, the High Sheriff remains in a unique position to bring people together within the county and to support the judges, police, magistrates, prison and probation services, the armed forces, emergency services and the wide range of other public and voluntary sector and community services that work towards making Hertfordshire a better place for everyone.
Traditionally High Sheriffs also look after High Court Judges when they visit the county.
The High Sheriff is still the Returning Officer for parliamentary elections for all Hertfordshire county constituencies and has responsibility for proclaiming the accession of a new Sovereign.
High Sheriffs frequently preside over Citizenship Ceremonies and attend numerous other events during their year in office where they show their support for the efforts of so many to make Hertfordshire a better place.
Annual High Sheriff’s Awards are made in March to charities, voluntary organisations and individuals who have made a notable contribution to our community.
High Sheriffs are volunteers and meet the costs of their year in office themselves. No part of their expenses falls on the public purse. Each High Sheriff’s year is characterised by his or her particular skills, experience and areas of interest. However, all share key objectives for the role which are to uphold and lend active support to the principal organs of the constitution - the Royal Family, the judiciary, the police and other law enforcement agencies, the emergency services, local authorities and other public sector bodies, and all recognised church and faith groups – and to encourage and thank those who work in the charitable and voluntary sector.
The High Sheriff of Hertfordshire for the year from April 2019 to April 2020 is Sarah Beazley. You can find out about Sarah by clicking HERE. You can find out more about her priorities for the year in the 'Themes' section of this website, which you can reach by clicking HERE.
THE UNDER SHERIFF
The Under Sheriff’s role differs from county to county. In Hertfordshire (where it is an unpaid position) the Under Sheriff provides continuity, advising High Sheriffs in nomination in preparation for their year in office and the incumbent High Sheriff throughout their year on a wide range of matters, including protocol and acting as Returning Officer in parliamentary elections. In addition, he will help the High Sheriff with a number of functions and the preparation of official lists of invitees and will be responsible for much of the work involved with the High Sheriff’s Annual Justice Service. He will also deal with certain matters relating to judges such as the presentation by the High Sheriff of Court Awards.
The Under Sheriff is Richard Taylor. You can find out about Richard by clicking HERE.
CHAPLAIN TO THE HIGH SHERIFF
High Sheriffs traditionally appoint their own Chaplain in order to provide support and advice. In addition, the Chaplain will assist at shrieval church services, including the Justice Service, and on other formal occasions.
Chaplain to the High Sheriff is Mrs Caroline Franks. You can find out about Caroline by clicking HERE.