Monday, 20 April 2015

Proposed new Articles of Association for the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust

At our AGM on Saturday 16th May, members will be asked to approve a new set of 'Articles of Association' for the Trust.

The articles set out what the Trust is trying to achieve as a charity (its objects), what its powers are, and how the trust will be run.

There are two key changes for members to consider:

  • the revised charitable objects.  These are much shorter than discussed at the AGM in 2014 and are the result of protracted negotiation with the Charity Commission which insisted on use of their standard phrasing and were particular about what could be regarded as an 'object'
  • adoption of the standard Charity Commission framework for the overall Articles of Association.  This document represents the Commission's assessment of current best practice and legislation.  Trustees recommend it as a better guiding document than the trust's existing and aged articles.
The important phrasing about charitable objects is presented below.  The overall draft articles can be accessed HERE.

Section 4 of the draft Articles of Association:
The charity’s objects (‘Objects’) are specifically restricted to the following:

(1)    The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust seeks to:

a) promote, facilitate, and assist in the conservation, protection and improvement of the Kennet and Avon Canal and its associated watercourses, towpaths, structures and buildings;

b) To advance the education of the public in general of the significance of the Kennet & Avon Canal and its associated structures

c) protect and conserve, objects, sites and buildings of archaeological, architectural, engineering or historic interest on, in the vicinity of, or otherwise associated with the Kennet & Avon Canal;

d) promote and facilitate recreational use of the Kennet and Avon Canal by a wide section of the community in order to improve conditions of life for the public;

(2)    In achieving these objects the Trust will encourage and develop:

(a)  good and environmentally sustainable upkeep of the canal and its associated watercourses and footpaths by the Canal and River Trust and by other bodies with statutory responsibility so to do.

(b)  visits to the areas served by the Kennet and Avon Canal by a wide section of the general public.

(c)  improvement and upkeep of visitor  and boater amenities along the canal. 

(d)  research and publications relating to the history of the Kennet and Avon Canal; public exhibition of historic artefacts relating to the canal; upkeep of accurate archives relating to the Kennet and Avon Canal. 

(e)  preservation and operation of historic buildings and structures along the canal together with provision of associated facilities and publications to assist public understanding of their significance. 

(f)   education projects to assist public understanding of the significance of the
Kennet and Avon Canal and its associated structures by children and adults. 

(3)    The above activities may involve work undertaken directly by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, work undertaken by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust in partnership with other organisations or work undertaken wholly by third parties with the support of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust.

(4)    The Trust may incur expenditure in carrying out the objectives outlined above and may offer financial assistance to approved projects of properly constituted organisations undertaking projects which meet these aims.

(5)    The navigable waterways now commonly referred to as the Kennet and Avon Canal comprise:

       The River Avon Navigation between Hanham Lock in Bristol and Poultney weir in Bath. 
       The Kennet and Avon Canal between Bath and Newbury
       The River Kennet Navigation between Newbury and Crane Wharf,
       The River Kennet between Crane Wharf, Reading and the junction of the
Kennet with the Thames

These navigable waterways are supplemented by sections of the Rivers Avon and Kennet which are either non-navigable or capable of only limited navigation and by a variety of smaller rivers, streams and related watercourses which contribute to the water flow of the navigable sections. 
(6)    All of the above, together with their associated towpaths, footpaths and buildings, are regarded as integral to the environmental amenity and public appreciation of the areas through which the Kennet and Avon Canal passes and hence within scope of the work of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust.

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