New high sheriff ‘honoured’ to take up the post

Colin Osborne, the new high sheriff of Bedfordshire.
Colin Osborne, the new high sheriff of Bedfordshire.

The newly invested high sheriff of Bedfordshire is “honoured” to take up the post.

Colin Osborne was installed as the high sheriff in a ceremony at the John O’Gaunt Golf Club in Sutton.

Mr Osborne, 64, from Sandy, said: “I’m delighted to have been chosen as the high sheriff. It’s a great honour for me, my family and for Sandy. I’m looking forward to it very much.”

Prospective high sheriffs are nominated five years in advance by the incumbent high sheriff of the time. He or she is then interviewed by a panel, which includes the current high sheriff.

Post holders traditionally support local groups and charities by attending events. Mr Osborne will attend many of them accompanied by his wife, Diane.

He said: “Crimebeat is the local and national high sheriffs’ charity, and we are wanting to support young people’s organisations and schools.

“We would welcome invitations into schools and academies to meet with young people to explain what a high sheriff does.”

Mr Osborne, of Leeds Smith Drive, has lived in Sandy all his life. He attended what was then Stratton Grammar School in Biggleswade before joining Bedfordshire County Council as a trainee accountant, gaining his CIPFA accountancy qualification in 1973.

He met his wife, Diane, when she worked in the council’s treasurer’s department and they married in 1976. The couple have two daughters.

After working for the council for 20 years Mr Osborne transferred to Bedfordshire Fire Service, retiring in 2000.

He has been a member of Sandy Town Council for 39 years and he has been the mayor on 12 occasions. He is the vice-chairman of St Swithun’s Church’s council and chair of Sandy Football Club.

He is also vice-chair of Sandy Village Hall and president of Sandy Air Training Corps. He has served on four school governing bodies and he has been a magistrate since 1984 – although he cannot do the latter during his year in office.

He was awarded an MBE in 2000.

Anyone wishing to contact the new high sheriff can call him on 01767 682032.

>> The origins of the office date back to saxon times when the shire reeve was responsible for maintaining law and order within the shire and for collecting taxes. Today there are 55 high sheriffs in england and wales. High sheriffs support the crown, the judiciary, crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and the voluntary sector.