The Role of Trustees

Membership and Chairman

Up to eighteen people (including the national treasurer if not otherwise elected) who are members of IWA.  Trustees are both trustees under the Charities Acts and directors under the Companies Acts, as IWA is a company limited by guarantee.

The trustees appoint one of their members as chairman (who remains in office as chairman until the start of the meeting of trustees following the next AGM).  This person is known as IWA’s national chairman.

Term of office

Three years following the AGM at which they are elected.  A postal ballot is held once a year, if there are more nominees that vacancies, to coincide with the AGM, with about one third of the trustee positions up for election each year.

Frequency of meetings

Trustees usually meet five times each year, although meetings may take place by electronic means such as telephone calls, video conference call or by exchange of electronic mail.  Any electronic meeting must be properly structured, recorded and minuted, and the means of such structure and communication to be agreed by all trustees before the meeting takes place. 

See forthcoming Trustee meeting dates.

Right of attendance at meetings

Nobody other than the trustees and the company secretary has the right to attend trustees' meetings.  The company secretary is expected to attend and the trustees may, as they consider appropriate, invite other people to attend in order to ensure that appropriate skills, expertise and knowledge are available.  There is currently a standing invitation for non-trustee chairmen of national committees and region chairmen to attend.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Overall responsibility for the running of IWA including succession planning.
  • Setting the strategic objectives of IWA.
  • Monitoring the achievement of strategic objectives.
  • Monitoring the performance of IWA and its subsidiary companies.
  • Agreeing policy.
  • Approval of Annual Report and Financial Statements.
  • Approval of Budgets.
  • Determining the level of powers to be delegated.
  • Acceptance of national committee and subsidiary company minutes.
  • Oversight of Head Office.
  • Compliance with Charity and Companies Acts.
  • Appointment of the members of national committees.
  • Appointment of directors of subsidiary companies
  • Liaison with subsidiary companies on strategy.

Reporting to

Trustees report to members and ensure that their decisions and requirements are appropriately communicated throughout IWA.

Reporting from

  • Navigation Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Marketing Committee
  • Waterway Recovery Group
  • Remuneration Committee
  • The Restoration Hub
  • Head Office
  • Essex Waterways Ltd


The Trustee Board may obtain such external advice as it considers is required to discharge its responsibilities.

Minutes should be produced within a maximum of 21 days of meetings, but with the aim of producing them within 10 days

Current Trustees

Find out more about the people behind the Association's board of trustees.