New deputy lieutenants appointed

Colonel Ben Speke from Corbridge and Retired Group Captain Tim WIllbond from Longframlington have been appointed as new deputy lieutenants of Northumberland.

Monday, 15th January 2018, 2:10 pm
Updated Monday, 15th January 2018, 2:11 pm
The Duchess of Northumberland. Picture by Jane Coltman

The role will see them support and assist the Duchess of Northumberland in her position as Lord-Lieutenant - the Queen’s official representative for the county.

Deputy lieutenants are chosen by the Lord-Lieutenant, but they receive their commission only when official confirmation is received that the Queen does not ‘disapprove of the appointment’. They must live within the county, or within seven miles of the boundary, and they usually retain the appointment until the retirement age of 75.

They will join the existing group of highly committed and hugely capable deputy lieutenants in Northumberland.

Colonel Speke, a father for three grown up children held careers in stockbroking, finance and wealth management and served in the military before becoming a farmer in the 1990s.

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He has undertaken a range of community, voluntary and charitable roles including: a trustee of the Sir James Knott Charitable Trust , a former Tynedale District Councillor, a committee member of the William Webster charitable trust and a former High Sheriff of Northumberland.

Tim Willbond who also has three grown up children held a thirty year career in Royal Air Force before retiring as Group Captain in 1996. He subsequently took a number of posts relating to unmanned aviation.

Tim has undertaken a number of public service and voluntary roles - mostly linked to the Royal Air Force. These include divisional secretary of the Northumberland branch of SSAFA ( Armed Forces Charity ) and Vice Chair ( air) on the board of the reserve forces and cadets association for the north of England.

The Duchess of Northumberland has been the Queen’s ceremonial representative for Northumberland since 2009 and is the first woman who has ever been Lord Lieutenant of the county.

Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland said: “Both Colonel Speke and Group Captain Willbond have made significant contributions to local life are well known and have deep roots within the community. I know they will contribute wonderfully, in their own individual way, to the role. I welcome their support and look forward to working with them.”