Heritage Foundation governance review: New appointment process for trustees

Heritage Foundation Avenue ONe

A governance review of the Heritage Foundation in Letchworth resulted in a new appointments system for trustees - Credit: Google

A new appointment process has been launched for Heritage Foundation Trustees, following a review of the organisation's governance model.

The foundation's main decision-making body, the board of trustees, is currently made up of 10 governors, most of whom are elected by their fellow governors. 

Governors are made up of 30 representatives - 10 of whom are nominated by various clubs and societies registered with the foundation, 14 who are interviewed and appointed by the board of trustees, and six who are elected by residents. 

Heritage Foundation Chair Pam Burn

Heritage Foundation Chair of Trustees Pam Burn - Credit: Letchworth Heritage Foundation

Now, the foundation has announced an appointments process is to be launched to invite new and diverse trustees to the board.

In 2020, the board of trustees began to review the foundation’s governance model, which has been unchanged since being set up in 1995.

The review was delayed because of the pandemic and the ensuing financial crisis that hit the foundation, but was revisited later in the year by a Governance Review Group.

The review's most significant change is to introduce an open, transparent and competitive appointments process for a limited number of trustees who would sit alongside the current trustees who are appointed via election from current governors.

The news of the governance review was met with concerns by residents that democracy would be at risk - with many fearing the residents' election for governors would be scrapped. 

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Chris Pattison, the trustee who has led the Governance Review Group, said: "The board will be more dynamic as it faces the challenges post-COVID and more diverse, reflecting the residents of Letchworth. This is a big step forward for the Foundation as it gears up to help support the recovery of the town.”

The board also put forward proposals that would ensure that the majority of trustees would be Letchworth residents, as no such requirement presently exists.

All these proposals were voted on and have been supported by a minimum of two-thirds of our governors earlier this month. Over the coming weeks the board will commence the first ever open recruitment campaign to appoint a number of new trustees.

Chair of the board of trustees Pam Burn added: “The Heritage Foundation is fundamentally here to make Letchworth a great place for everyone who lives and works here – it makes total sense that it is those people who should have a say in the way the Foundation is run, so I’m delighted that these changes are happening now.”

For updates on the recruitment campaign and further news, visit Letchworth.com.

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