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Deputy Lieutenants

Lord-Lieutenants are required to appoint Deputy Lieutenants within an establishment that varies according to the population of a county. They are appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant, subject only to Her Majesty not disapproving the Commission. The letters ‘DL’ appear after their names. The Vice Lord-Lieutenant is appointed by the Lord -Lieutenant from among the Deputies.

Deputy Biographies

R D “Sandy” Blair CBE   

Originally a Solicitor, Sandy was one of the youngest Local Authority Chief Executives on appointment to Bassetlaw DC in 1984.

He came to Wales when recruited to head up Newport Council in 1992.  Sandy led the management of the Authority through the re-organisation (which led to the demise of Gwent CC) and stayed until 2000 in which year he was also U K President of SOLACE.

In 2001 he was appointed Director of the Welsh Local Government Association from which post he retired in 2004.

Sandy subsequently held a number of public appointments, most recently as Chair of the National Assembly Independent Remuneration Board.  Since 2005 he has also held a number of senior lay positions in the Church of Wales locally and nationally and is a Trustee of Growing Space and of the Bevan Foundation.

Married to Sue, a recently retired magistrate, they have three children and five grandchildren.

Sandy was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in April 2014.

Liz Broome

Liz Broome is Managing Director of the family business, The David Broome Event Centre. Her role, along with her husband David and two sons, is development and the day to day management of the Showground.

Liz was appointed Deputy Lieutenant in April 2014.

Anthony “Anto” Clay

Anto was brought up in Monmouthshire and following a career in the Army and a spell living in Worcestershire moved back to the Usk Valley some years ago to follow a career in Land and Estate Agency with Knight Frank LLP. He now works out of their Hereford office with responsibility for a large area including Herefordshire and South East Wales.

His military career was firstly with the Queens Dragoon Guards and then with the TA regiment The Shropshire Yeomanry for some 25 years.  He is a Trustee of the regiment and of a number of other private trusts.

He was High Sheriff of Gwent in 2016/2017, a keen motorcyclist, tennis and squash player and is married to Sarah with two children at University.

Anto was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2015.

Dame Claire Clancy

Claire was born in Essex in 1958 she attended Dartford Grammar School for Girls and has a degree in psychology from the Open University.  She moved to Wales in the 1980s and has spent her career in public service culminating with her appointment to Chief Executive and Clerk to the National

Assembly for Wales in 2007 until she retired in 2017.

Before Claire joined the Assembly, she was Chief Executive of Companies House and Registrar of Companies the first woman to hold this position in over 150 years.  Earlier posts in her career included Director of Corporate Services at the Patent Office and Chief Executive of Powys Training and Enterprise Council. She also spent two years on the island of St Helena while her late husband, Mike, was Chief Secretary and later Governor; here she did some teaching and other voluntary work.

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath (DCB) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for public service in Wales and Gwent High Sheriff 2019/20.

She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2018

Cilla Davies CBE

Cilla Davies was appointed as Chair of The Prince’s Trust Cymru Advisory Council in May 2013. Cilla was the first ever female Chairman of a Welsh Police Authority, chairing the Gwent Police Authority for almost five years prior to the introduction of Police Commissioners in 2012. Cilla is a Justice of the Peace and was awarded an OBE in 2005 for her community work. In 2011, she was given an honorary fellowship by Newport University for her services to community cohesion, social justice and her services to the University.

Cilla has sat on numerous public bodies including the University’s Governing Board. Her work with disaffected young people and on wider community issues has led to her working closely with both the Home Office and Welsh Government. She is a nationally recognized expert on building safer and better communities. In 2015, Cilla was awarded a CBE for voluntary services to the community in South Wales.

Cilla is married to Gerald, has two children and four grandchildren, she enjoys helping in her village church, sits on the PCC and help with cleaning and flowers.

In her spare time Cilla loves walking in Pembrokeshire and watching wildlife, she is a keen gardener but enjoys being a wife, mother and grandmother best of all.

Cilla was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2011

Christopher “John” Freegard OBE

Between 2001 and 2009 John was the Managing Director of Newport City Council and awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to local government. Prior to Newport held a range of senior appointments engaged in the regeneration of English cities.

Since retirement John has been active in the charitable and non-profit sector. Currently the Chair of the Kaleidoscope Project, one of the largest providers of substance misuse services in Wales, the Chair of Audit for the University of South Wales, a governor of Coleg Gwent and a fund raiser for the successful re-roofing of St Woolos Cathedral.

John was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2014.

Professor Simon Gibson CBE DSc DL

Simon is Chairman of the Alacrity Graduate Entrepreneurship Foundation and Chief Executive of Wesley Clover Corporation. Before joining Wesley Clover, he was co-founder, President and CEO of Ubiquity Software Corporation.

Simon is a Director of Wesley Clover, Talkative, Hut Six, The Celtic Manor Resort, Innovation Point and is Chair of the Newport Economic Network. He is a Regent of Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford, a Professor at the Swansea University School of Management and the Chair of Cardiff University’s Innovation Programme Oversight Board. He is an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University and the University of South Wales. Simon was the Chair of the Wales MIT REAP Panel. He is a Trustee Director of the British Deer Society.

Simon was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to industry and the community in South Wales in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. In the 2018 New Year’s Honours list, he became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the economy of Wales.

Simon is married,  lives in Monmouth and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant in 2019

Jack Hanbury DL, DPhil, FSA

Jack is Manager of the Pontypool Park Estate.

He was High Sheriff in 2001 and appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2003

Ben Herbert

Ben was brought up in Monmouthshire where he now lives following a spell in London working in the property sector.

He is a Chartered Surveyor and Company Director. Ben is on The Welsh Advisory Board of the National Trust and a former Board Member of the Royal Forestry Society. He lists his interests as “all things Rural”.

Ben is married to Sarah and they have three school age children.

Ben was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant  in 2015

Murray Kerr

Educated at Glasgow Academy Murray joined Coats Vyella as a Management trainee and worked for the group in various parts of the UK before moving to Wales in 1978 to set up his own packaging manufacturing company based at Llantrisant.

Subsequent to selling this company in 1998 he has worked in a number of business consultancy roles and in the ICT sector. Murray has been a governor of Monmouth School and recently retired as Chairman after fifteen years. He is a Liveryman of the Haberdashers’ Company and has been a panel member and mentor for the Prince’s Trust in Bristol.

Murray lives in the Usk Valley is a keen sailor, plays tennis and squash and takes part in various country pursuits. He holds a PPL pilots licence and is married to Joanna, they have three children and two grandchildren.

Murray was High Sheriff of Gwent 1997 and appointed aDeputy Lieutenant  in 2006

Laura Kelway-Bamber

Laura was educated at St. Mary’s Wantage and Godalming Sixth Form College.

Having left school she completed a training in the Montessori Method of Education and subsequently taught for nine years in two London nursery schools.

In 1984 Laura married a soldier and four years of life in army quarters followed.

In 1990 the family moved to Monmouthshire and have lived there ever since.

Whilst bringing up three children Laura worked selling jewellery, worked as a volunteer for Oxfam, served on the governing body of The Dell Primary School in Chepstow, set up her own stationery business and served for six years on the governing body of the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools.

In 2011 Laura and her husband launched an online upholstered furniture business called The Headboard Workshop. They have since acquired a sister company which has been rebranded as The Footstool Workshop. The products are made in Wales and the company currently employ eighteen people.

Laura has been married for 32 years and has three grandchildren.

Laura was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in July 2015.

HH Judge Helen Mifflin

Helen was born in Blaina and comes from many generations of mining families. Her father was a safety officer at Roseheyworth Colliery in Abertillery and all her family remain living in small towns in Gwent.  Much to the surprise of her family Helen wanted to be a lawyer and longed to be a barrister. She was educated in Gwent, was the only person in her family to go onto tertiary education and obtained her law degree from Leicester University.

After University Helen completed her professional training in London before returning to Wales to practice. She was called to the Bar in 1982 and was the first female tenant at 30 Park Place, Barristers Chambers in Cardiff.  At that time most of Helen’s work was in the small courts in Gwent and she practised in family law until 2000 when she was made a Recorder (part time judge). She took up a full time appointment as a Circuit Judge in September 2008 and is presently the resident family judge for Gwent based in Newport. A large percentage of her work relates to child protection.

Helen has lived in Gwent since she relocated back in 1983. She is married and has 2 children who were both educated in Gwent. During her spare time she fund raises for some local children’s charities.  

Helen has a keen interest in children’s rights and equal opportunity for all structures of society particularly through the education process. She is a keen supporter (and advocate) of enabling children to have the resources that they are entitled to, which hopes to devote more time to this when she retires

She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2018

Ross Murray

Ross Murray is a Chartered Surveyor and is currently (2015/16) President of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA). He was formerly a member of HM Armed Forces.

Ross lives near Abergavenny and is married with three grown up children.

He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2000

Fiona Peel

Fiona qualified as a State Registered nurse in 1973 following training at St Thomas’s Hospital in London and then in 1977 graduated with an Honours degree in History from Exeter University.

Fiona has held a number of positions relating to her medical interests and background including: Member of the Council Cardiff University and University of Wales College of Medicine. Over the last twenty years Fiona has chaired a number of Health organisations including the Cardiff Local Health, Cancer Services Co-ordinating Group, Cardiac Network Co-ordinating Group, Gwent Health Authority, Gwent Community and Mental Health Trust and sat on the General Medical Council. 

She is currently a Trustee of the cancer charity Tenovus, a lay member of the General Optical Council representing Wales and Chair of the Welsh Wound Innovation Initiative a group dedicated to improving research into chronic wound healing.

Fiona was also co-owner of a large fruit farm outside Newport and is a local tourist guide which enables her to share her passion for the country of Wales.

She has three daughters living in various corners of the world.

Fiona was High Sheriff of South Glamorgan in 2004 and appointed a Gwent Deputy Lieutenant in 1999

Susan Gwyer-Roberts

Susan is executive chair of the Board of trustees of LATCH, the Welsh Children’s Cancer Charity, based in the Children’s Hospital for Wales, Cardiff. She is an independent panel member for misconduct hearing for South Wales Police and is a member of the Independent Advisory Group for Gwent Police, serving on a range of scrutiny panels. Susan undertakes independent employment investigations. After graduating from Cardiff University in 1980 with a B.A Hons in English and History, she qualified as a teacher in 1981. She has an M.Ed. in education law and was awarded NPQH in 2001. Over twenty-two years of her professional life has been spent in education in Gwent, an area with which she has a strong bond. Susan was Headteacher of Caldicot School Monmouthshire for sixteen years and led the £40m new build programme, culminating in the opening of the 21st century learning campus in South Monmouthshire. Susan served as a governor of Christ College Brecon and was vice chair of governors. Susan was a lay trustee on the Council of Cardiff University for six years and is now a member of the Court of the university and Cylch Caerdydd supporter. She is an additional inspector for Estyn and a trustee of the Diocese of Monmouth Diocesan Trust. Susan and her husband enjoy exploring the countryside with long walks with their dogs.

She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2018.

Andrew Tuggey CBE DL

Andrew was appointed Vice Lord-Lieutenant in May 2016, having been a DL since 2006.

Chair of UK Community Foundations, Andrew also is a trustee of the Community Foundation Wales and sits on the Council of the High Sheriffs’ Association of England & Wales. He is an ambassador for Alabare Homes for Veterans Cymru.

Previously Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in Parliament and chair of Scouts Cymru, Andrew is a former Royal Engineer. His military service took him and his family across the world and included six years with the Gurkhas, command of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) and service with the Foreign Office. He was High Sheriff of Gwent 2015 and is involved with a wide range of national and local charities that support young people and veterans.

His interests are communities and sustainability, education, inter-faith dialogue and international relations. His hobbies are wide-ranging; outdoor pursuits, sailing, skiing, choral-singing, ballet and opera.

Andrew lives outside Monmouth and is married to Clare. They have three sons and six grandchildren.

The Right Revd Dominic Walker OGS

Dominic Walker was the Bishop of Monmouth for over ten years – the diocese roughly covers the area of Gwent. He retired in 2013. He has degrees in theology from London University and in law from the University of Wales and an honorary doctorate from the University of Brighton. He is a member of a religious order called the Oratory of the Good Shepherd.

Dominic was a parish priest at the Elephant & Castle in London and then became Vicar of Brighton before being appointed Bishop of Reading in 1997.  He was elected to succeed Rowan Williams as Bishop of Monmouth in 2003.

He has been involved in university and school governance, a wide range of charities and has written and lectured. He has an interest in animal welfare and is an honorary vice president of the RSPCA and president of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals. He is the patron of a number of charities and groups including the Friends of our Lady of Tintern. He takes an interest in mental health issues and matters of peace and justice.

Dominic’s mother was one of ten children brought up in Abertillery so he has relatives living in the county and assists in the Monmouth group of parishes. He is Bishop Visitor to the nuns at Tymawr Convent. In his spare time he enjoys working on his allotment.

He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in April, 2014.

Brigadier Russ Wardle OBE

Russ was born in Devon as the son of a Royal Marine. He attended Sandhurst prior to serving in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment and the Royal Regiment of Wales. He served for 38 years retiring as a Brigadier.  He saw active service world-wide, was Mentioned in Despatches in Northern Ireland and awarded an OBE for Command of 1st Bn Royal Regiment of Wales on operational tours in Bosnia and Kosovo.  Latterly he Commanded 160 (Wales) Brigade and served in a senior planning appointment with United States Central Command.

Russ now runs a Wales based Cyber Security Consultancy.  He is Chairman of Firing Line, the museum of the Queen’s Dragoon Guards and the Royal Welsh, Honorary Colonel, 3rd Bn The Royal Welsh and Honorary Colonel Dyfed and Glamorgan Army Cadet Force.

Russ is married to Jane, a Theatre Nurse, and they live in Bedwas.  Their daughter attended University of South Wales (Newport) and is now a serving Gwent Police Officer.  Their son is at Cardiff Met University.

He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2018

Edward John Watts

Edward was born in Newport, Gwent in 1948. He attended Secondary School in Rugby, England, continued his education at Pagefield College before attending Brighton University where he studied Psychology.  He worked for Tesco for 34 years, working his way up from unloading lorries in the warehouse, working in the Customs Department to his final role of sitting on the Tesco Pension Board, until he retired in 2003.

Edward commenced volunteering at the age of eight at the Mission to Seafarers Newport, he continues to volunteer with them and is currently Chairman of the organisation.  He currently volunteers with 13 different organisations ranging from Newport Harbour Commissioners to being then Independent Chair of the Welsh Deanery Paediatric Dentistry ARCP/STC and Chairman of Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations.

He has received commendation and awards from various Government Ministers for his work on poverty, ethnic minorities and community cohesion.

He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2018

Agnes Xavier- Phillips

Agnes Xavier-Phillips studied Law at Cardiff University and completed her Law Society Finals at Guildford. After completing her training contract she worked in private practice for 2 and a half years before becoming an in- house legal counsel. She has worked for several banks through mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to pursuing a career in law, Agnes had a very successful career in Nursing. She is a Registered Nurse, Certified Midwife and was a Ward Sister of a 33 bedded Gynaecological Ward in London. She was promoted to the rank of Nursing Officer before she left nursing to read law.

Agnes is a qualified Solicitor and the former Senior Executive Director, General Counsel and Client Relationship Manager of GE Capital and a CEDR Accredited Mediator. She was also the Hub Leader for GE Women’s Network and represented the Financial Services Industry on the Access to Justice Working Party on the Woolf Reforms and worked collaboratively with the business stakeholders to embed and implement the new radical Civil Procedure Rules. She was involved in the former Lord Mayor, Dame Fiona Woolf’s mayoral programme on Diversity and Social Mobility and still continues to support D&I initiatives.

Agnes has stopped full time employment and is currently pursuing a portfolio career undertaking volunteering work.

She is a Liveryman and Court Assistant, Chair of PR and Member of the Awards Committee of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales. As a Solicitor and Mediator, Agnes is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Livery Company of the City Solicitors of London and Freeman of the Arbitrators Livery, London. She supports all her Livery Companies as well as other charities.

Agnes is married to Nigel and lives in Caerphilly, Wales.

She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2019.