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An open letter from the Lord-Lieutenant

The Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire Mike Kapur OBE, has written an open letter to you, in light of the extended lockdown in Leicester and parts of Leicestershire.

Letter from the Lord-Lieutenant  Opens new window

Leicestershire's new Deputy Lieutenants

5 February 2021

Five new Deputy Lieutenants have been commissioned in honour of their service to the local community. The Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur OBE, made the appointments at a special virtual ceremony on Friday morning.

The new Deputy Lieutenants are:

  • Ms Anne Ceridwen Davies
  • Mrs Diana Elizabeth Brooks MBE
  • Mrs Alison Victoria Smith MBE
  • Mr Lars Broholm Tharp
  • Mr Amrik Singh Basra

The Lord-Lieutenant is the official representative of Her Majesty The Queen for the City and County of Leicester. The office of Lord-Lieutenant is military in origin and can be traced back to the mid 16th Century. The Lieutenancy has evolved since the days of raising local militia and today, through the appointment of Deputy Lieutenants, represents the diverse communities of Leicester and Leicestershire.  

Deputy Lieutenants undertake a wide range of duties and engagements including representing the Lord-Lieutenant and participating in Citizenship Ceremonies, attending remembrance services and parades, and helping to assess local organisations nominated for awards and honours.

The Lieutenancy has enjoyed longstanding links with the uniformed services and with local community and voluntary organisations of Leicester and Leicestershire. These links are further enhanced following the appointments of these very deserving candidates.

About the new Deputy Lieutenants

Anne Davies is a well known television presenter, journalist and coach. At the start of her career, Anne spent several years as a presenter on Central TV and was part of the first team of GMTV presenters alongside Eamon Homes when the programme launched in 1993. 

Locally, Anne is patron of a number of our most beloved Charities including LOROS, Rainbows and Forever Stars and has worked with them to help raise funds through awards evenings, fashion shows and auctions. Now, Anne is the presenter of BBC East Midlands today and is also the founder of FASHANNE Fashion Designers of the Future Awards, championing the design talent in our universities and promoting diversity on the catwalk. In 2018, Anne was made an Honorary Doctors of Letters by De Montfort University.

Diana Brooks is the owner of the 'Wistow Maze', an award-winning tourist attraction in South Leicestershire.

She also organises the annual 'Music in the Park' concert at Wistow, alongside the Wigston Rotary Club. The charity concert has raised over £100,000 for local charities including LOROS, Rainbows, Young Leicestershire and Charity Link. 

In 1987, she founded 'Art for Youth' – an annual art exhibition which raises money for the charity UK Youth, which improves the lives of disadvantaged young people across the country. To date, the exhibition has raised over £1.5 million, including £50,000 in 2020 when the exhibition had to go online due to Covid.

In 2019, Diana was awarded an MBE at the Queen’s New Years Honours List for Services to Charity and Young People.

Alison Smith is a teacher, author and former local councillor in North West Leicestershire. Alison was a District Councillor for North West Leicestershire District Council for sixteen years, and Deputy Leader for eight of those years. 

Alison is the founder of the School of Sewing in Ashby-de-la-Zouch where she teaches dressmaking, tailoring, and corsetry and couture techniques. In 2013, she was an awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to Sewing and Corsetry, and is also the author of two best-selling books. 

Alison is currently the High Sheriff of Leicestershire for the year 2020/21.

Lars Tharp was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, before moving to Leicester as a child. Lars is a historian, lecturer and broadcaster starting his career at Sotheby’s London in 1977, becoming a Director in 1983. In 1986, Lars joined the BBC’s Antique’s Roadshow as Ceramics and Oriental specialist which he still presents today.

In 1993, Lars left Sotheby’s to establish Lars Tharp Ltd, allowing his to be a guest curator for various ceramic and art exhibitions and to provide consultancy to museums and auctioneers all over the world. 

Lars is an author and is also a Freeman and Citizen Weaver of London. In 2003 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from DMU, and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in 2016 from the University of Leicester. 

Rik Basra is a former Leicestershire Police Officer who now works as a Community Safety Coordinator for Leicestershire County Council. Following his own battle with acute myeloid leukaemia, Rik and his wife established the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign to raise awareness about stem cell donation, particularly in minority communities. 

Rik’s campaign partners with the UK stem registry Anthony Nolan, working in the heart of diverse local communities to sign up potential life savers to the register. As a direct result of his campaign, thousands of individuals have been recruited to the stem cell register and many life saving matches have been made.

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