National Trust consults members on structure

The National Trust is consulting with its 2.9 million members on a review of its governance arrangements that will take place over the next 12 months.

The trust's latest magazine informs all members that they should contact the organisation if they want to contribute. A spokesman said: "There are a number of ways members can express views, through the annual general meeting or writing to the trust. All suggestions will be looked at by our review group."

Appointed earlier this month, the review group will look at how the trust's council operates, including the delegation of duties, the structure and operation of the executive and regional committees and the appointment of members of committees.

It will also assess issues relating to the AGM, including elections to the council and the voting system and how relations and communications with members might be improved.

At present the council is made up of 52 trustees. Half is nominated by organisations associated with the trust's aims, such as representatives from the Council for the Protection of Rural England and the Ramblers' Association, while the remaining half is elected by trust members.

Council members serve for a term of three years and decide on key policy issues. But the day-to-day running is delegated to the charity's staff and an executive committee, the majority of which must be members of the council.

The review group is chaired by Michael Blakenham, who has acted as a trustee for a number of charities, including the RSPB and Kew Gardens.

Other members of the group include Edward Walker-Arnott, a former senior partner at solicitors Herbert Smith, and three members of the trust's council.

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