Procedure for elections to the Council
The Council is the guardian of the spirit of the National Trust and of its long-term objectives. Its members make sure that we’re delivering on our main responsibilities and tasks, and that we’re fulfilling our statutory duties.
Council members, with the help of a Nominations Committee, appoint the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the National Trust, as well as members of the Board of Trustees (our governing body). They also monitor their individual performance and hold the Board of Trustees to account.
The Council’s role
Holding the Board of Trustees to account is one of the Council’s most important jobs. This is done in a number of ways.
Firstly, through the annual review. Each year the Board will present to the Council an annual review of its work and the year. Council members have the opportunity to ask the Board of Trustees questions about their presentation. The Board of Trustees also presents to the Council its plans for the following year. This presentation will be supported by a paper from the Board circulated to all Council members prior to the meeting.
There’s a full discussion of all plans after the presentation, a chance to quiz the Board of Trustees and voice any concerns. We expect all of our Council members to get actively involved in debating important points of strategy or principle. They provide guidance and perspective to the Board of Trustees.
Council members also inspire wider support for the National Trust by acting as advocates for our work among members, the wider public and stakeholders. It’s important to everyone here that our Council reflects the breadth and diversity of work – and the people that visit the special places and spaces we look after.
This is why we welcome applications from people from all walks of life and backgrounds. Whether you finally make it onto the Council will depend on you being either being elected in by our members or appointed by organisations whose interests coincide with our own.
Elections to the Council
Each year applications for Council membership are invited through public advertisement. The Council establishes a Nominations Committee to oversee the election process and to make a report and recommendations to the membership within the formal paperwork for the AGM.
Because of the impacts of coronavirus and future uncertainty, the Board and Council have decided to cancel this year's elections to the Council. The temporary constitutional changes allowing this to happen have been approved by the Charity Commission. With no elections this year, the Board and the Council have agreed that all existing elected members of the Council will serve one additional year. The Council elections will proceed as usual in 2021.
Advertising the election vacancies usually runs from approximately mid February to the end of March each year. Election terms are for three-year terms which run from the annual general meeting at which candidates are elected. Detailed information about election vacancies, and our governance community generally, is available at www.nationaltrustjobs.org.uk/find-your-place/governance/