Charity abseiler to become High Sheriff

High Sheriff Robert Mitchell Webb
High Sheriff Robert Mitchell Webb

A man who abseiled down the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster to raise money for charity is to become the new High Sheriff of Lancashire.

Robert Mitchel Webb JP DL will be sworn in at a ceremony on April 7 when he takes over the office from the incumbent High Sheriff John Barnett MBE DL.

Each year HM The Queen chooses the High Sheriff of Lancashire - a role dating back over 1,000 years.

The father of three was born and brought up in Belfast, before moving to Lancashire in 1976. He now lives in Arkholme with his wife Carole.

He has spent his working career as managing director of the John Hogg Group - his family business, which was originally formed in 1890. The Group has diverse interests including Irish linen, chemical manufacture, property investment and also owns a film studio.

His experience of sitting as a magistrate on the Lancaster Bench for 20 years, together with having been a General Commissioner for Tax has given him considerable insight into the criminal justice system, which is an area he intends to pay special attention to in the year ahead.

Robert has served as a governor of Arkholme C of E Primary School for 10 years, and has recently become a board member overseeing the multi-academy trust connected to Ripley St Thomas School in Lancaster. In 2012 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the county.

Until recently he was chairman of Cancer Care, having been a trustee for 25 years.

Last year he retired from the role in a fundraising finale by abseiling down the Ashton Memorial.

He said: “I consider it a great honour to be nominated as the next High Sheriff of Lancashire, and shall do my best to maintain the long and rich traditions of the office.

“I am particularly interested in the criminal justice system and in my coming role I plan to give maximum support to all the agencies involved in this challenging part of society. In addition, I shall be delighted to assist in any way possible our voluntary and charitable enterprises, which play such vital roles in our county.”

The High Sheriff of Lancashire is appointed personally by The Queen, and is an unpaid, voluntary role.