Governance review - final proposals

Orange National Trust bunting at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire

This page sets out the final proposals of the 2014/2015 governance review. These proposals have been adopted by the Trust. You can find out more about the governance review process in the ‘Governance review 2014/2015’ article below.

Size of the Council

We propose that the Council is reduced from 52 to 36 members. Half of the Council members will continue to be elected by National Trust members and half of the Council members will continue to be appointed by Appointing Bodies selected by National Trust members.

We propose that the transition from 52 Council members to 36 Council members is phased over a three-year period. For elected Council members our proposal is to reduce the number of Council member vacancies in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This will reduce the number of elected Council members to 18 by 2018.

For appointed Council members we are proposing that the Appointing Bodies whose Council members complete their second or third term during 2015/16 or their third term during 2016/17 will not be entitled to reappoint their current Council member or to appoint a new Council member. This approach will ensure the number of appointed Council members is reduced to 18 by 2018. It’s worth remembering that the next review of Appointing Bodies will take place in 2018 when National Trust members will decide which 18 Appointing Bodies should appoint members of the Council for the following six years.

Role of the Council

We propose that the following additions are made to the list of tasks fulfilled by the Council, as set out in our Governance Handbook:
  • To review annually the Trust’s strategy in order to satisfy itself that it is consistent with the Trust’s core purpose
  • To satisfy itself that the major risks to the long-term reputation of the Trust are being addressed by the Board

Council member tenure

We propose that the general principle for Council member tenure should be a maximum of two consecutive terms of three years unless there are exceptional circumstances. One of the exceptional circumstances under consideration relates to the Senior Member* – we're proposing that the Senior Member should be able to serve a third term to allow him/her to serve three years as Senior Member.

Balance of Council-member and non-Council-member Trustees

We propose that there should be a minimum of four Council members on the Board, including the Chairman and Deputy Chairman.

Ways of working

 We propose that:
  • Every Council Nominations Committee** that is established to appoint the Trust’s Trustees, Chairman or Deputy Chairman has one committee member who is a Trustee (while ensuring that a non-Trustee Council member chairs the committee)
  • Induction arrangements for Council members are improved and the definition of the qualities sought of Council members is reviewed
  • There should be a dialogue between the Senior Member* or the Secretary and Appointing Bodies about the role of Council members before Appointing Bodies choose who their appointees will be
  • The number and structure of Council meetings should be changed to reflect better the Trust’s annual cycle of business
  • Further consideration should be given as to how Trustees should be involved at Council meetings
  • Identifying and piloting new ways of engaging with members about the running of the Trust should be identified and piloted
* The Senior Member is similar to the Senior Independent Member in other organisations. They ensure that the views and concerns of Council members are shared with the Chairman and support the good running of the Council in general.
 ** Nominations Committees are committees of the Council established to make recommendations about appointments or elections.
Heather at Bickerton Hill

Governance review  

Find out about our governance arrangements.