Claire Hensman to be new Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria

Claire Hensman
Image caption Claire Hensman said she was honoured to be chosen

Cumbria's next lord lieutenant will be a woman, for the first time in the county's history.

Claire Hensman has been appointed by the Queen to the role when incumbent Sir James Cropper retires in December.

Mrs Hensman, who was high sheriff in 2007-08, lives in Kendal and is a board member of the University of Cumbria.

Her charitable work includes projects with disabled people, disadvantaged young people, prisoners and those with alcohol and drugs problems.

The lord lieutenant role dates back to the time of the Tudors and holders are usually a retired local notable, senior military officer, peer or business person.

As the sovereign's representative, the post is non-political and unpaid, although some expenses can be claimed.

'High standard'

Duties include escorting royal visitors, leading the local magistracy as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace and advising on Honours nominations.

Although the post can be held by a man or a woman, it is the first time that a woman has been appointed in Cumbria.

Mrs Hensman said she felt honoured to have been chosen to succeed Sir James, who has held the office for 18 years.

"I will endeavour to maintain the same high standard he has set," she said.

"To have the opportunity to serve Her Majesty the Queen and the Cumbrian community is a great privilege and I look forward to the challenge enormously."

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