THE NEW High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire has described her appointment as being at a “pivotal point” in the history of the post.
The Declaration of Office for Dame Ann Limb took place at The Open University yesterday (Friday). She becomes Buckinghamshire’s 779th High Sheriff and the first Quaker to hold the office. Mrs Serene Taylor was also declared as Under Sheriff of Buckinghamshire 2023-4.
Speaking to an audience of dignitaries in The Berrill Theatre, Dame Ann pictured above said her year in office would be focused on honouring history and encouraging evolution.
”This reflects, I hope, something of a pivotal point at which the shrievalty finds itself in 2023. I am honoured to be part of that history,” she said. “I hope to encourage evolution of the office so that it changes to resonate with today’s generations and reflects issues that challenge contemporary society, whether that is the economic, mental health and climate crisis, food and fuel poverty or how to respond to the concerns of the BLM, #metoo, trans movements.”
She also plans to prioritise activities, interventions and visits to charities and organisations that work in and around the fields of domestic abuse and prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. She spoke of her passion for building sustainable and affordable communities which derive from her role as deputy chair of the Prince’s Foundation.
She wants her year to be hallmarked by the slogan ‘zero carbon zero cost, and she plans to travel by foot, bicycle or in her EV throughout the year.
She will uphold the values of her Quaker faith by embracing their core values, including simplicity in language, conduct and dress, integrity and truth in public life, community engagement and sustainability of place, people and planet.
Dame Ann paid tribute to her life partner Maggie Cook, born and bred in Buckinghamshire, who she said has been her strength and stay for the best part of 35 years. Dame Ann spoke of her guiding hand and her wise counsel forming part of a wider ‘chorus of angels’ to give her support, advice and guidance over the next 12 months. This group includes a new innovation for 2023-4 of eight voluntary Goodwill Ambassadors, drawn from across the county and cross-faith to extend an energy for learning and promotion of the High Sheriff’s work.
His Honour Judge Patrick Peruško, Designated Family Judge for Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire, presided over the occasion and Neil Arnold JP, chairman of Buckinghamshire Magistrates, received and countersigned the declarations from both Dame Ann and Mrs Taylor.
The Countess Howe, HM Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, explained the importance of the role of High Sheriff shining a light on the work of the Buckinghamshire judiciary, police force, prison and probation services and the emergency services. She warmly welcomed Dame Ann into the office and praised the work of her predecessor Debbie Brock DL in the 2022-3 year of office.
Professor Kevin Shakesheff, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation at The Open University, said: “Dame Ann Limb has championed so many causes that sit alongside the OU’s social mission – widening access to education, the environment and tackling violence against women and girls.
“We look forward to working with Dame Ann throughout her term and supporting her in continuing to champion the causes that she has chosen across Buckinghamshire and beyond.”
Main picture: Anne Toole Photography