Tuesday, 8 March 2016

CRT Council meets in Liverpool

CRT Council meets in Liverpool
March 2016

You may remember that I was elected to the CRT Council as a Business Boating representative at the back end of 2015.

Museum of Liverpool - venue for the Council meeting.

Well, today was my first meeting, this one taking place on the Waterfront in Liverpool. 

Liverpool's Waterfront

I drove up bright and early and arrived in time for a short tour of the Trust's waters at the docks which lie at the far end of the Liverpool Link. I have to admit that the Waterfront is a spectacular redevelopment, filling the gap between the Three Graces and the bank of The Mersey.

CRT Council members on tour

The area is jam packed with attractions and I was particularly taken with the new statue of the Fab Four, striding confidently to the Beatles shop.

The Fab Four (Beatles)

As for the Council meeting? I have to admit that I was made very welcome and the assembled members were walked through the various facets of the CRT including its strategy, recruitment and selection update the response to the Calderdale flooding, the finances and the fundraising activities. All a high level insight into the workings of the Trust for the benefit of the numerous new Council members.

Stanley Dock with a rather unlovely - Yellow Submarine!

Due to the nature of the information download the communication was, on this occasion, rather one way. However, as we approached the end the various groups represented started to ask questions from their perspective, making suggestions about future agenda items and prompting discussions - basically doing what they are there to do.

I think its fair to say that most of the elected representatives were struggling to define the role they play in the Trust's governance structure, but perhaps having the whole spectrum of interest groups sharing and challenging in the same room is the point of it. One minute the boaters relation to The Friends is being discussed and then we are looking at the same problem from the perspective of canoeists, cyclists, ramblers, fishermen and ecologists. 

And so the gathering closed at 4.15 with the next scheduled for September in Birmingham, tacked on the back of the AGM.


Carol said...

Hi Andy,
Pleased to hear that your first council meeting went ok and discussion was interesting, but am left with the impression that you (council members) are still not sure what your role is. Were you given any guidance as to what you (council members) should be doing between now and another ‘meeting’ in September?

Andrew Tidy said...

Thats a fair question.
The core role of the Council is to act as a brake should the Trustees (who are the ultimate "owners" of the Trust) and by extension the Executive Committee start heading seriously in the wrong direction. The Council has the ability to dismiss the Trustees and the other part of our role is to the selection and appointment of new trustees.
That part if the role is a crucial, but mostly passive part of the governance structure of the Trust.
The wider role is to add value as a collective group of stakeholders, and it was immediately apparent that there was a wealth of experience in the room which, when harnessed, can make a real difference to what is still a very young organisation.
This extended role is not imposed on us and to a large extend the impact we have is up to us. For the existing Council members it was a continuation of a process but for us newbies it was a case of finding our feet. Watch this space.