Proposed Changes to our Board and Committees

This page aims to provide more information regarding the proposed  changes that members will be able to vote upon at a forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting of the company, due to take place on 21st February 2018. The meeting will take place at Commerce House at 3pm and is open to all members of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce.


Background

Lincolnshire Chamber's operational area is both geographically large as well as diverse, in terms of the type of business that operate in our county.

The current Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce constitution covering the governance of the company, Area Councils and other groups dates back to around the year 2000, when a number of smaller Chambers operating independently throughout the county agreed to come together to form the county organisation that we know today. A revision was made in 2010 to accommodate requirements following a British Chambers accreditation review, but the structure remains broadly fixed at a point in time where the individual Chambers felt a need, post merger, to retain layers of security, that would allow for progressive development of the one organisation, but equally had an eye on the past should the convergence not be successful.

Time has moved on from the formative days and the primary brand of Lincolnshire Chamber has become more prominent, with area Chambers still having profile, but with a clear narrative back to the county organisation. The articles also provide governance for our area committees but over time the desire of members to meet on a regular basis with a generic purpose seems to have reduced, being replaced by meetings that discuss specific subject matter.  

The current Chamber board acknowledged these changes and has sought to work with members to review the situation. Through a number of direct contact and member events input from members has been gained on an original framework that was developed from examples of how other Accredited Chambers operate and by doing so aimed to give a more structured way to evaluate and develop opportunities around some core local as well as national criteria. 

Following amalgamation of all the feedback and after being presented and unanimously supported at our AGM, the next step is to place the final document before members to seek their formal ratification. Members can now vote on the proposal in two ways, one way is to attend the meeting and the other is to complete and send in a proxy vote before close of business 20th February.


Aims

As a result of consultation members have told us that we should look to make sure that a new structure will achieve the following:

  • It allows the board to become more focused on governance and strategy.
  • The board can appoint directors based on specific skills or competences, plus sectoral knowledge, whilst maintaining diversity in terms of race, gender, geography etc.
  • Promotion of better dialogue between the board, local membership areas or key sector membership groups.
  • Maintain and utilise member expertise, acting as ambassadors within key sectors and in localities around the county.
  • Where a wish for a local area council to keep running is identified, the groups will still be supported.
  • To create a Chamber Assembly, which will in turn allow the setting up of specific groups to meet on sectoral or local initiatives.
  • To empower Assembly Members, giving them a wider scope to:
    • Speak on behalf of members locally, or for their sector.
    • Engage with members to seek opinions and views within their area.
    • Bring views and issues to the Chamber Assembly and take issues away to consult with members and feed back to the board.

 

What will this look like?

Below is an illustration of the vision of how we seek to engage and utilise the skills and knowledge of our members.  As a membership organisation we aim to involve and support members in everything we do and this proposal aims to reinforce this principal.  

From our membership we seek to attract a number of members who will represent the Chamber and the interests  of member in their locality or sector. These members will be known as Lincolnshire Chamber Assembly Members and they will be our go to specialists in their industry or locality. In terms of their roles, they will be encouraged to seek the views of members and identify issues or opportunities that the Chamber can support or facilitate as a collective and which might not happen otherwise. The Assembly as a collective will meet 3 or 4 times per year to discuss as a collective the big issues affecting business in the county. It will also act as a platform and key link to the board.   

The makeup of board members will therefore change, as will it’s purpose. In future the board’s focus will be much narrower than at present and primarily concentrate on governance and strategic direction of the company. Members of the board will be sought from the membership to bring key skills to it in order to strengthen overall levels of expertise and knowledge.

If the changes are successful it is anticipated that the new structure will start from the beginning of the next Financial year (1st April 2018).

Summary of Proposed Changes

  • A new Chamber Assembly be introduced
  • Up to 15 individuals will be appointed to the assembly and be known as Assembly Members
  • The Assembly will meet 3 to 4 times per year
  • Assembly members will be represented with a geographic or sectorial remit
  • The Chair of the Assembly will be the Chair of the Board of Directors

 

The Board

  • Will have up to 8 directors
  • Up to 2 Executive Directors
  • A quorum of 50% of appointed directors (minimum 3)
  • A minimum of 4 board meetings per year will be held

 

Important Action

Members are being asked to support the introduction of a new set of Articles of Association. A full set of the proposed articles is available by clicking this link.

There are two ways to get involved.

  1. To attend the EGM on the 21st February (3pm) at Commerce House and vote in person.

  2. To complete and send to us a proxy voting form. Download the form here.
    This can be returned either by email to [email protected]
    or sent by post to
    Simon Beardsley. Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, Commerce House, Carlton Boulevard, Lincoln. LN2 4HY

    The form must be received at Lincolnshire Chamber by close of business 5pm on 20th February 2018

As a valued member please get involved and let us know what you think by using your vote.

Important Forms:

Notice of the EGM

Agenda for the AGM

EGM Proxy form

Proposed Articles of Association