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News article created on 26 September 2014

Our governance reviewed

Our Appointments Committee, made up of three Trustees and three Council members, has carried out a review of our governance. Its proposals have been approved this week at the meeting of the Council.

This is the first review of governance since the formation of the Canal & River Trust – as required by our constitution when we formed in 2012.

The core of the review has concerned the Trust Rules, which define the size and make-up of Council. This includes the constituencies invited to nominate or elect people to serve, terms of office, and election regulations.

The changes to our governance rules will come into effect from March 2016. They include: 

  • Friends (people who give a regular donation to the Trust) will elect a member to sit on Council. This is an additional seat on Council and will serve from March 2016 to 2020
  • Volunteers registered with the Trust will also elect a member to sit on Council. This will replace the nominated seat currently held by WRG and the first term will serve from March 2016 to 2020
  • With the election of a volunteer representative in place of the nominated seat currently held by WRG, the IWA is being invited to nominate a representative to sit on Council as a reflection of its membership and historic role, and its practical support for local canal societies
  • An increase in the size of Council to 40 people (from 35) – allowing for further elected members to sit on Council when appropriate as part of the longer term ambition to increase the number of people elected rather than nominated. These places on Council will be allocated by the Appointments Committee in future years.

In addition to the changes to governance, the Appointments Committee have reported to Council that the chairs of West Midlands, Manchester & Pennine and Museums & Attractions partnerships have been reappointed. There are interviews planned in October for the Chairs of North Wales & Borders and South Wales & Severn partnerships whose current chairs are unable to serve for second term due to other commitments.

Lynne Berry, chair of the Appointments Committee, comments: “In the two years since the launch of the Trust, great strides have been made in establishing a fantastic new charity.  Part of making sure that we adapt and change in the right way is to review the rules and make-up of our governing Council and put forward proposals for Council to consider.

“It’s great that we have a growing and prominent body of Friends and volunteers registered with the Trust who will now elect members to sit right at the top of the Trust.  I look forward to the exciting prospect of online elections in 2015 after which these elected groups will be set to join Council in March 2016. 

“Inviting the IWA to take up the Council place currently allocated to WRG will provide a direct role for IWA in the governance of the Trust, so that its involvement does not depend upon its members standing for the elected boater places.”