NEW trustees announced to lead waterways into third sector

The founding trustees have been appointed for the new waterways charity that will take over the running of British Waterways’ canals, rivers and docks in England and Wales from April 2012.

Working closely with British Waterways’ Board until the new charity takes control, the eight trustees bring a wealth of senior level experience of managing heritage, volunteering, leisure, boating and commercial interests.

Tony Hales, British Waterways’ chairman, has been appointed to chair the charity’s founding trustee directors following recommendations by the independent Advisory Panel on First Appointments and Transition to the waterways minister Richard Benyon MP.

The founding trustees recommended by the Advisory Panel are:

Lynne Berry OBE: Lynne is chief executive of WRVS, itself with 50,000 volunteers, and associate for Civil Exchange. Previously she was chief executive of the General Social Care Council, Equal Opportunities Commission and Family Welfare Association, and was executive director for the Charity Commission. Lynne serves on the Office for Civil Society’s advisory body and Red Tape Task Force; co-chairs Women in Public Policy; and was vice chair of the Deakin Commission on the Future of Voluntary Sector. Her leisure interests include boating and an interest in industrial heritage. She lives near the Kings Cross development in London and on the banks of the River Trent where she is restoring a 1950s wooden boat.

John Bridgeman CBE: John is British Waterways’ vice chairman, chair of the Fair Trading Committee and the Wales Advisory Group and a pension trustee. He is a former director general of Fair Trading, member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and CEO of British Alcan Aluminium plc. He is also regulatory director of the British Horseracing Authority, chairman of the Audit and Standards Committee for Warwickshire County Council, complaints commissioner for the Direct Marketing Authority and a longstanding trustee of three Oxfordshire charities.

Jane Cotton: Jane has been human resources director and a deputy chief executive of Oxfam, one of the UK’s largest and most successful charities, for the past 11 years. Prior to this she worked in Departments of Transport and Environment in both policy and human resources roles. In the 1990s Jane was resources director of the Charity Commission and human resources director of Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. She brings particular expertise in organisational development and change management; also in volunteering, fundraising and charity governance.

John Dodwell: John is a chartered accountant who moved into corporate finance and corporate law. He is a former finance director or chair of several property companies (including setting up joint ventures), a former charity trustee (including dealing with investments) and has been a member since 1961 of The Inland Waterways Association, of which he was General Secretary 1970-73. He was chair of the Commercial Boat Operators Association. He will relinquish membership of the Inland Waterways Advisory Council and of the British Waterways Advisory Forum on becoming a trustee for the new waterways charity. Having sailed dinghies, fished and canoed on the Thames and elsewhere in his youth, he went onto hire cruisers over most of the network, enjoying the waterways’ built and natural environment. He now owns an historic narrow boat.

Tom Franklin: Tom is chief executive of the Ramblers, Britain’s walking charity. He is currently a member of the Independent Panel on the future direction of forestry and woodland policy in England. He was previously a local authority councillor for twelve years, including a period as council leader, and was an expert adviser on ‘Better Public Spaces’ to the Beacon Council Awards Scheme.

Tony Hales CBE: Tony is chairman of British Waterways and Workspace Group plc. He is also chair of NAAFI Pension Fund Trustees. He was previously chief executive of Allied Domecq, a non-executive director of HSBC Bank plc, Welsh Water plc and Aston Villa plc, and a chairman of NAAFI. He is a trustee of Welsh National Opera.

Nigel Hugill: Nigel is a British Waterways board member and chairman of its audit and property committees. He is executive chairman of Urban & Civic and, previously, was chairman of Lend Lease Europe and managing director of Chelsfield plc (all major property development businesses). He is chairman of urban think tank, Centre for Cities, and of the estates strategy and capital project committees of the London School of Economics, where he is a member of Council. He also chairs the committee overseeing the proposed redevelopment of Tate Britain. He is a former special advisor to the Homes and Communities Agency, sits on the Independent Transport Commission and is trustee and treasurer of the Architecture Foundation.

Simon Thurley: Simon was educated at London University where he took an MA and a PHD. After working for English Heritage in the 1980s he went to be curator of the Historic Royal Palaces for eight years. In 1998 he moved to be director of the Museum of London and in 2003 chief executive of English Heritage. Simon is an historian specialising in English architectural history and has written many books and presented television programmes on the subject.

The unpaid trustees will now work alongside the existing BW Board until officially taking responsibility for the waterways after April 2012. More immediately they will have full control over negotiating a contract with Government that will determine public funding for the waterways in England & Wales for at least the next decade. In addition, they will be involved in the detailed design of the charity’s governance, decisions around the charity’s name, logo and brand identity, and fundraising strategy.

Throughout the transition between public corporation and new waterways charity, the trustees are expected to give around three to four days a month reducing to two days thereafter. The appointment of the founder trustees beyond the transitional period is then subject to ratification by the charity’s Council of Representatives at its first meeting after vesting day of the new charity. The Council will also have responsibility for recruiting future trustees.