New High Sheriff of Greater Manchester appointed

Her Majesty the Queen has chosen Doctor Robina Shah, a resident of Stockport, to be the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester for 2018-2019.

The Queen, in her role as Duke of Lancaster, made the decision in the traditional ‘Pricking of the Lites’ ceremony, where she used a silver bodkin to prick a hole next to her choice from parchment listing the names of those recommended to become High Sheriffs in the County Palatine of Lancashire.

The role of High Sheriff has gradually changed over the centuries and is now essentially symbolic, ceremonial and unpaid. Many of their former duties are now vested in the Lord Lieutenants, High Court Judges, Coroners, Magistrates, the Police and Local Authorities. The modern role of High Sheriffs is defined by guiding principles and key objectives 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 all recognised Church and Faith Groups
  • To assure the welfare of visiting High Court Judges, to attend on them at Court and to offer them hospitality
  • To support and encourage the Voluntary Sector
  • To support the lord Lieutenant on Royal visits and on other occasions as appropriate

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the High Sheriff is theoretically the sovereign's judicial representative in the county.

Dr Shah, a graduate of Manchester University is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine Open Section Council. A Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, she has also been Chair of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and held regulatory and associate roles at the General Medical Council and Health Education England North West. Dr Shah is a Chartered Consultant Psychologist and Director of the University’s Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience, a ground-breaking centre which involves patients and the public in the training of doctors.

The Mayor of Stockport, Councillor Linda Holt, was delighted with the news and commented: “I have known Robina for years as a very supportive Deputy Lieutenant on the Stockport District Committee, she is a regular presence at Stockport’s Citizenship ceremonies and is greatly appreciated and welcomed by all, I am extremely pleased that she has been recognised for this role as High Sheriff. This is a great honour and is justly deserved.”

Dr Robina Shah, the High Sheriff in Nomination, welcomed the news from the Duchy of Lancaster and said: “I am truly honoured and humbled to be appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to take the role of High Sheriff. It is a huge privilege to be the custodian of this historic public service role and I promise to serve the people of Greater Manchester with dignity, humility and sincerity throughout my year of office. I will use this role as an opportunity to promote programmes run by our excellent volunteers in organisations that help vulnerable people- especially children, the frail and elderly, carers and others experiencing social and material deprivation.”

The Installation Ceremony will take place on 12th April 2018 at The Whitworth Hall in The University of Manchester.

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(Photo courtesy of The University of Manchester)