Crewe's John Lea on becoming the next High Sheriff of Cheshire (with audio)
Crewe businessman John Lea is set to become the next High Sheriff of Cheshire
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Businessman John Lea will follow over 1,000 years of tradition when he becomes the next High Sheriff of Cheshire.
The father-of-two’s nomination was accepted in November as part of a time-honoured tradition staged in the country’s finest court room, the Lord Chief Justice’s Court at London’s Royal Courts of Justice, before the Lord Chief Justice and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division.
This will be officially confirmed at a unique ceremony before the Privy Council at Buckingham Palace in March when the Queen will use a silver bodkin to ‘prick’ her name on a list written on parchment of all the new High Sheriffs for England and Wales.
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Mr Lea, who who runs Mornflake Oats in Crewe, with sons Edward, 26, and James, 30, and lives with his family in Alpraham, said: ‘It is a post steeped in history and one which I am very much looking forward to.
‘The fact that this role still exists today, offering stability in an ever-changing world, is something to be proud of. Away from the pomp and ceremony it holds an important place in society and offers great service to the community, in particular its support of the voluntary sector and dealings with the police on crime-prevention.
‘Having two sons myself and I feel very strongly about its commitment to young people and I will be actively looking to promote schemes which encourage local youngsters to become achievers, no matter what their background or financial status.’
When he takes over the ceremonial sword of office from Diana Barbour of Bolesworth Castle, 63-year-old Mr Lea will be hoping to raise money for two worthy causes supporting young people, Crimebeat and DebtCred.A trained accountant and graduate of Christ’s College, Cambridge, Mr Lea is married to Elizabeth, a former anaesthetist at Crewe’s Leighton Hospital, who will be supporting him in his year, organising his diary and shrieval events.
Mornflake is also putting up a �3,000 cash prize for Innovation in this year’s High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise. He added: ‘As a businessman, I am particularly keen to reward those local businesses that have not only survived the recession but have flourished and achieved commercial success. There have already been some outstanding nominations and I look forward to the prize-giving night at the University of Chester in March.’