Post of High sheriff costs the tax payer nothing

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I was interested to read the letter from M C Young (April 17) and am glad of the opportunity to set the record straight.

I am the current High Sheriff of East Sussex, a role that is purely honorary, which means that I do not receive any financial reward or reimbursement of expenses.

The correspondent is clearly unaware of my voluntary post, one which has great antiquity (it dates back to Saxon times, before the Battle of Hastings) and adds much to the traditions, heritage and colour of the county.

I am proud to be supporting the principal organs of the constitution, including the royal family, the judiciary, the police and other emergency services, as well as offering encouragement to the voluntary sector, of which there are so many outstanding examples in our county.

Amalgamating the role into one for the two counties of East and West Sussex would merely halve that support, which costs the government (national and local) and the taxpayer nothing.

Juliet Smith

High Sheriff of East Sussex