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THE SELECTION OF FUTURE HIGH SHERIFFS

It is the formal responsibility of a serving High Sheriff to nominate a successor for office three or four years hence, and to pass that recommendation to the Privy Council.

The selection of future High Sheriffs is made by the County High Sheriffs Nominations Panel which currently comprises the current, immediate past and immediate future High Sheriffs, the Under-Sheriff, the Lord Lieutenant and six independents (who serve no more than four years on the committee) drawn from the education, faith, charity, business, law & order/judiciary and local government sectors. The Chair is drawn from the non-shrievalty members.

Despite the prestige of the office, candidates are not always easy to find, as the work of the High Sheriff is unpaid, and the associated expenses can be high (for instance, for travel, entertaining and running an office). The Shrievalty is always grateful for suggestions or names of suitable candidates within the ceremonial county of Buckinghamshire, which, of course, includes Milton Keynes.

Candidates must own property within the County but otherwise, it is important to note, there is no bar to any suitable person becoming a High Sheriff, whether it be from social standing, gender, colour or creed.

Once a candidate has accepted nomination, his or her name is forwarded to the office of the Privy Council. The selection of a new High Sheriff is made at a meeting of the Privy Council by the Sovereign when, by ancient custom, the appointed name is ‘pricked’ with a silver bodkin. Once a year, on 12th November or the closest working day to that date, the names of all the High Sheriffs in nomination are read out by the Queen's Remembrancer in the Court of the Lord Chief Justice in the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London. Presiding at that ceremony are the Lord Chief Justice and two other Privy Councillors. The names of all those nominated are published in the London Gazette and announced in the Court Circular columns of the press.

 

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