THE CHAMBER of Commerce leader has been appointed as High Sheriff of the West Midlands.
Chief executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Louise Bennett OBE has been appointed to the ceremonial position.
She is now one of 55 high sheriffs serving local counties in a role which focuses on work with crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and the voluntary sector.
In a virtual declaration ceremony led by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant and Presider of the West Midlands Circuit Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, Louise said she was looking to bring a fresh and modern perspective to the role.
She said: “The primary role of the office of the High Sheriff is to support the judiciary, so one of my early priorities will be to reach out to our courts, the police, prison service and probation among others, to see how we can all work more closely together to improve opportunities for all young people, achieving positive outcomes.
“Similarly, we will be looking to promote the importance of leadership and will give focus to some of those unsung leaders in our communities.”
The mum-of-two and foster carer from Coventry has taken over the role from David Burbidge CBE, who is now chairman of the Coventry City of Culture Trust.
And Louise plans to maximise the social, economic and cultural opportunities created by City of Culture celebrations – which start in May – and hopes to reap benefits for the region.
She says she will do this by providing opportunities for young people, with an emphasis on those in care system.
Louise is also planning on highlighting the work of individuals in local businesses, communities, workplaces and the voluntary sector – including those working to keep people safe.