Civic and ceremonial duties

Contact details

To find out more to do with the Civic and ceremonial areas of the council please follow the links to the right. If you are still unable to find what you are looking for then please contact the Chair's Office:

  • Tel: 0208 541 9031
  • email:
  • or write to: The Chair's Office, Surrey County Council, Woodhatch Place, 11 Cockshot Hill, Reigate, RH2 8EF

Overview of team

Our purpose is to support and champion the role of the Chair and Vice Chair of Surrey County Council as the civic and ceremonial heads of the Authority. Furthermore, the team provides specialist advice and experience to the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Surrey, assisting them in developing and maintaining positive partner relations within the health, crime and restorative justice, voluntary and community sectors and Surrey Borough's and Districts to provide high quality civic leadership.

Chair of the County Council

The Chair's role is a-political; the post is elected annually; the post-holder must be a serving County Councillor; they are the Civic Leader of the County Council.

The Chair is responsible for:

  • Presiding over Full Council meetings.
  • Promoting the priorities and services of the County Council.
  • Encouraging community involvement in the Council's activities.
  • Representing the County Council at Civic and Ceremonial events.
  • Inviting individuals and organisations' representatives to County Council events.

Lord Lieutenant

In England and Wales, Her Majesty The Queen appoints the Lord-Lieutenant for each county on the advice of the Prime Minister who consults widely in the county concerned. The fundamental principle concerning the office is that they are Her Majesty's representative and consequently it is their first and foremost duty to uphold the dignity of the Crown.

High Sheriff

The High Sheriff is The Queen's representative of the Judiciary in the County. In practice today it is largely a ceremonial role but still the oldest secular office in England and Wales other than the Crown. Many of the original powers are now taken by the Lord Lieutenant, High Court Judges, Magistrates, Coroners, local authorities, the Inland Revenue and Police.

Members of both Houses of Parliament, clergymen and certain other government officials are disqualified from taking office. Historically, the prospective High Sheriff must hold sufficient land within the County 'to answer the Queen and her people'. Other than that, there is no formal qualification for the role. The office is unpaid and the High Sheriff's expenses are covered by the incumbent and not the public purse.

High Sheriff Youth Awards

The High Sheriff Youth Awards scheme (HSYA) gives financial support to young people in Surrey who want to help reduce or prevent crime – and make their communities stronger and safer.

The scheme – which is supported by each successive High Sheriff of Surrey presents awards to groups of young people who need funding for their projects. HSYA also welcomes applications from individual adults or organisations working with young people in this way. This includes schools, voluntary and statutory youth services and the police.

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