The new High Sheriff of Northamptonshire made his Declaration at a ceremony last week.
Rupert Fordham, who grew up in Stirlingshire in Scotland, was unveiled at the Northampton Combined Courts Centre alongside the outgoing High Sheriff, Caroline Brocklehurst, the High Sheriff’s chaplain, the Reverend Carole Peters-King, the resident judge, His Honour Judge Mayo, and the Under Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Mr Dominic Hopkins.
Mr Fordham has pledged to work closely with the police and the prison service while in office, as well as supporting charities involved with homelesness, namely the Hope Centre in Northampton.
The new High Sheriff moved to Wappenham in South Northamptonshire with his wife, three sons and daughter in 1998, and served as a councillor on his local district council for eight years between 2007 and 2015.
For a number of years while councillor he was the cabinet member responsible for social housing and homelessness, and he has retained an interest in those areas since.
“To be asked to be High Sheriff of Northamptonshire is a great honour; I think the county has a huge amount to be proud of and I intend to ensure that I do as much as I can to raise awareness of the many wonderful things the county has to offer,” said Mr Fordham.
“I am interested in working with the police and the courts, and would like to support charities which operate inside the prison system promoting the rehabilitation of prisoners.
“I am also interested in helping to promote the rich, and under-appreciated, cultural heritage of the county.”
The Office of High Sheriff is at least one thousand years old and is the oldest secular office under the Crown.
Originally the office held many of the powers now vested in Lord Lieutenants, high court judges, magistrates, coroners, and local authorities.
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.
The Office is independent and non-political, which enables the holder to bring together a wide variety of individuals and office holders.
High Sheriffs are encouraged to undertake duties to help voluntary and statutory bodies engaged in the maintenance and extension of law and order and to take special interest in the activities of such statutory bodies as the Police, the Prison Service, and the Probation Service.