Becoming a Trustee of the Town and Manor of Hungerford
The Town and Manor of Hungerford is a local charity with the purpose of managing its assets, now and in the future, for the benefit of the inhabitants of Hungerford.
To achieve this, the charity works with four statements in mind:
1. Manage the land and buildings in a financially and environmentally sustainable way.
2. Provide financial support to groups, causes and projects, within the area of benefit.
3. Uphold the unique traditions of Hungerford.
4. Preserve and protect the ancient rights of the Commoners.
How to become a Trustee
Trustees are elected to govern the charity every three years. To stand for a Trustee, all that’s required is that you are proposed and seconded by two people who are eligible to vote in the election.
Those eligible to vote are the inhabitants within the area of benefit, who are over the age of 18 and are named on the electoral roll. The ‘area of benefit’ is defined as the Town Tithing and Tithing of Sanden Fee (essentially Hungerford town centre, apart from the area to the north of the River Dun).
What is expected of a Trustee
Trustees have overall control of the charity and are responsible for making sure it’s doing what it’s intended to do. As a Trustee, there are six main duties that you would be responsible for:
1. Ensure the charity is carrying out its purposes for the benefit of the inhabitants of Hungerford.
2. Comply with the charity’s governing document and the law.
3. Act in the charity’s best interests.
4. Manage the charity’s resources responsibly.
5. Act with reasonable care and skill.
6. Ensure the charity is accountable.
Acting as a Trustee of a charity also comes with collective and personal responsibility. Trustees can be held personally liable if they cause financial loss by acting improperly, or if there’s a third-party legal claim against the charity which the charity can’t meet. Understanding these liabilities and risks is part of understanding what action the charity should take to manage such risks.
What commitment is required
In order to fulfil the duties mentioned above, there is a considerable amount of time that Trustees are expected to commit to giving. The charity holds monthly meetings of the Trustees – usually on the third Tuesday evening of each month, at the Town Hall.
In addition to attending this monthly meeting, Trustees are expected to join one or more of the sub-committees, depending on their skills, interests and experience. Currently, the following sub-committees are convened:
Land and Commons
PR and Communications
Trustees are also expected to play their part in helping at the Hocktide Court and Court Leet.