The Canal & River Trust is urging people to make their voices heard, with voting opening today (13 December) to elect representatives to sit on the charity’s Council.
The Council meets twice a year and consists of up to 50 volunteer members who reflect the broad appeal of the charity’s network – from boating and angling to walking and wellbeing. It includes a mix of elected and independently nominated individuals.
With the nomination stage concluded, ten contested seats are to be decided by an election. Voting instructions are being sent to those within each constituency eligible to vote, with voting opening on 13 December and closing on 10 January. Those elected will be announced early in 2024 before joining the Trust’s Council on 1 March 2024.
The number of nominees contesting each place on the Council are as follows:
- Private boating (23 people contesting four places)
- Boating business (four people contesting two places)
- Trust volunteers (six people contesting two places)
- Friends of the Trust (15 people contesting one place)
- Trust employees (three people contesting one place)
A short candidate manifesto for each nominee is available on the Trust’s website.
Congratulations to David Kent, elected unopposed in the Fisheries & Angling constituency.
Those elected will join the Trust’s Council for four years starting 1 March 2024 when the term of existing elected Council members ends. As members of the Council, they will be responsible for appointing the charity’s trustees, providing guidance and perspective from different stakeholders, and acting as a sounding board for the trustees concerning the development of proposals and strategy.
The nomination process is being led by external election company Civica, which sends voting access to all eligible voters in each constituent group.
The Council is chaired by the chair of the Trust Board, David Orr CBE, who comments: “I’d like to thank all those who have put themselves forward to represent the wide range of interests on our Council. Our canals are enjoying a renaissance and are well placed to offer a valuable service to society, not least in playing a vital role in nature recovery and providing access to quality green space for millions of people.
“However, we are at a critical moment as our canal network is also facing some major challenges due to its age and increasing vulnerability to more extreme weather events, soaring inflation, and a continuing reduction in public funding. The Trust’s governing Council will help guide our charity to meet these challenges face-on rather than turn back towards the 20th Century when canals were in decline and many were lost.
“I am grateful that so many talented and passionate people have put themselves forward and am now urging all those eligible to vote in each category to take the opportunity over the next few weeks to engage with the election process and vote for those who will join our Council for the next crucial stage in the story of the nation’s canal network.”
For full details of the electoral process, including a short biography for each candidate, visit the Trust’s website: