Consultation Launched to Strengthen CRT Elections21 November 2013
Canal & River Trust has begun a consultation this week to seek views on strengthening the electoral process to CRT’s governing Council.
The Council was formed eighteen months ago ahead of the launch of CRT and the Trust says it has an important role in helping to shape policy, raise and debate issues, provide guidance and perspective, and act as a sounding board for its trustees. The Council also has the responsibility of appointing and, if necessary, dismissing trustees.
A review of the 2012 election – which was overseen by the Electoral Reform Services – is now underway to identify any changes that would strengthen the planning and running of the elections in 2014 and 2016. The consultation paper is available on the Trust’s website and seeks general feedback on the election process and twelve specific issues.
Among the suggestions the consultation is asking people to consider are:
- Eligibility to vote – should the current rules for eligibility change? For example, in the boater election, should the first two people named on the boat licence be eligible to vote for their boating representative (rather than one) and should votes be open to boaters holding three and six-month licences?
- Online election – would it be beneficial to take the elections online to improve turnout and reduce costs?
- Sponsors – should the number of sponsors people require to put themselves forward for election be changed?
- Timescale – the first elections were conducted against a tight deadline. Could the length of the electoral process be increased to improve opportunities for people to take part?
CRT's Appointments Committee, a joint committee of three of its Council Members and three trustees, is leading the electoral review process. The consultation is available at CRT's website . Comments can be made to Roger Hanbury by 14th February 2014
CRT's current Council is made up of thirty-four members from a variety of backgrounds. Fourteen members are nominated by stakeholder organisations. The chairmen of the Trust’s Waterway Partnerships, All Wales Partnership and Museums & Attractions Partnership, make up another thirteen members. Two members are co-opted members and seven individuals were elected in 2012 to represent boaters, boating businesses and CRT staff.
The Trust aims to increase the number of elected council members. In 2014 the Trust is due to hold an election amongst the Friends of the Trust, for one of the Friends to serve as a member of Council from September 2014. In 2016, when the members representing boaters, boating businesses and staff are up for election, there will also be an election for a member to represent volunteers.