Deputy Lieutenants are appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant at his discretion, subject only to His Majesty The King not disapproving of the granting of the commission. They come from all walks of life. Appointment to the office of Deputy Lieutenant, which carries the post nominal ‘DL’ is in recognition of distinguished service to the community, predominantly in a voluntary capacity, or to the country or county. The Lord Lieutenant leads this influential network of Deputy Lieutenants and provides the organisation for their individual networks to interlock for the benefit of Somerset’s varied communities.

Although military in origin, the post no longer has any military significance, but every DL undertakes to assist the Lord-Lieutenant in the performance of any duties that may be laid upon him or her. This can include representing the Lord-Lieutenant at formal functions, award ceremonies, citizenship ceremonies or attending Remembrance Day services.

Their local and specialist knowledge and experience is increasingly being used to positive effect in key sectors ranging from education to youth services, and from business to the rural economy. They are the eyes and ears of the Lieutenancy in our local communities and liaise closely with the local authorities with whom we have much common cause.

They advise on events potentially warranting Royal visits, on how local people can put forward others suitable for National Honours or for invitations to Royal Garden Parties, and on Anniversaries warranting a message from HM The Queen. They also advise on how community organisations can gain recognition, for example, with The King’s Award for Voluntary Service This award recognises the vital role played by the thousands of unsung heroes of the voluntary and community world which we in the Lieutenancy believe it is important to celebrate and encourage. See links also to The King’s Awards for Enterprise

There are currently 36 DLs geographically spread over our county. Short biographies for each of them are below.

‘Category’ Leads

The Lord-Lieutenant has assigned certain DLs to lead on areas of focus and interest that cover the breadth of social and community enterprise across the county. These are:

Agriculture, Environment and Rural MattersRobert Drewett
Armed ForcesBrig Richard Toomey
Charity and PhilanthropyLucy Nelson
Church and other FaithsJane Sedgman
Commerce, Business and EmploymentJohn Laycock
Delivery of Health CareColin Drummond
Heritage and Legacy, Arts, Media & SportTom Mayberry
Law and ConstabularyThomas Sheppard
YouthChris Davies