A summary of the most significant points:
- The resolution must be set out in writing.
- It may be accompanied by a written statement up to 500 words long.
- The resolution must be signed by not less than 50 members of the National Trust, five of whom must sign as 'proposers' and the rest of whom sign as 'supporters'.
- All the signing members must have been members since 1 January in the year before the resolution is submitted.
- The resolution must be delivered to the Secretary (The Secretary, National Trust, Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon, SN2 2NA) to the National Trust before 5pm on 1 June.
- The resolution must be formally proposed and seconded at the AGM by two of the five proposers.
For full details of the rules, please read clause 35 of The Charities (National Trust) Order 2005.
The Board of Trustees can decline to accept a members’ resolution if:
- The Board of Trustees feel that the resolution (or explanatory statement) is defamatory, or that it might be unlawful to publish them.
- The Board of Trustees feel that the resolution deals with the same issues as another resolution which is to be considered at the same AGM, or that it deals with something which has been dealt with in an AGM resolution in the previous three years.
- At least three-quarters of the Trustees think that the resolution is not materially relevant to the charity’s work.
Practical considerations when preparing a resolution
- The resolution should clearly articulate the motion which members are being asked to consider – ideally within a few short sentences or about 70-100 words. Longer or multi-part resolutions can be confusing, and it’s worth remembering that they are limited to a single Carried or Not Carried outcome. The additional written statement of up to 500 words can be used to provide additional information.
- The use of images in the published resolution is not permitted.
- The Secretariat at Heelis can provide practical guidance about the information needed to identify the proposers and supporters of a resolution to ensure that it is validly submitted. They can also provide information which might be helpful when shaping a resolution or supporting statement. See ‘contact us’ below.
How the resolution is handled
- There is a period (until 30 June) after the resolution is delivered to the Secretary during which the Board of Trustees and the proposers can discuss the resolution informally, and can agree changes to it if they wish.
- A resolution can only be withdrawn by the proposers if all five of them agree to withdraw it.
- The Board of Trustees may, itself, prepare a statement commenting on the resolution, and this may include a recommendation to members as to how they should vote in relation to the resolution.
- The members’ resolution and explanatory statement, together with the statement from the Board of Trustees, will be included in the materials published to members for the AGM.
For details of the rules about voting please read clause 40 of The Charities (National Trust) Order 2005.
Get in touch by email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 01793 817633.