Election of the Croquet England Board of Trustees
Role of the Board of Trustees and its Members
The Board has overall responsibility for the affairs of the Organisation, with a focus on high-level policy, strategic initiatives, scrutiny and transparency. Implementation of policy is the responsibility of the Executive, which the Board appoints. The working committees report to the Executive.
In due course, there will be 6 voting members of the Board. They will be empowered to appoint a further 5 members to ensure, as far as possible, diversity and breadth of experience and expertise. The elected charity trustees will be elected by individual members of Croquet England in regional constituencies, the boundaries of which have yet to be determined. That exercise will be completed by the Electoral Commission when the list of CqE of Associates and Members has been compiled.
The elected charity trustees will represent the players, clubs and federations in their constituency, balancing their interests and those of Croquet England as a whole. Because Croquet England is a charity, the trustees have a duty to exercise their powers and to perform their functions in the way that they decide, in good faith, would be most likely to further the purposes of the Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Those purposes are set out as the 'objects of the CIO' in the Constitution. They are: 'the promotion of community participation in healthy recreation, in particular, the provision of facilities for the playing of croquet' and 'the advancement of the amateur sport of croquet for the public benefit'.
Standing for Election
Membership of the CqE Board of Trustees thus offers a significant opportunity to shape the future of Croquet England, in the interests of its subscribers as a whole and for the public benefit. Members with an active interest in the future of Croquet England and who have the skills needed for this role are encouraged to stand for election.
Whilst the charity trustees will set the high-level policy, it will be ineffective unless there is also a strong Executive to implement it. The list of skills also shows those wanted for appointment to that, or as a chair or member of one of its working committees.
The election process is managed by an Electoral Commission, currently consisting of Patricia Duke-Cox (Acting President), Ian Burridge and John Reddish (Secretary), who are responsible to Croquet England as a whole, rather than to the Board. They maintain the election rules.
The composition of each constituency will be chosen to reflect the geographic distribution of Croquet England subscribers. In the initial period of the existence of Croquet England (i.e. 2023 to 2025), the Board first consisted of the original trustees named in the Constitution (who were the 9 elected members of the Council of the CA as at March 2023 when the charity was registered and thus came into existence). They were followed by the "initial trustees" (the 9 elected members of the CA Council as at October 2023).
In order to establish the new Board, the first elections will be held in the period before October 2025 (when the electorate will be reasonably well settled) so that the results can be announced at the AGM in October 2025. In 2025, two of the initial trustees will be selected, by agreement or by drawing lots, to continue in office until 2026. The terms of office of the remaining 7 initial trustees will terminate in October 2025. Elections will be held in 2025 for 4 elected charity trustees. Once the elected candidates have been identified, 2 will receive a 2-year term, expiring in 2027 and 2 will receive a 3-year term, expiring in 2028. This will be achieved either by agreement or the drawing of lots. The 'transition period' will then be over and 2 elected charity trustees will retire in rotation from 2026 onwards and will be eligible for re-election, provided that they are not barred by from standing by clause 16 of the Constitution because they have served for three consecutive terms.
Any contested elections will be decided by the single transferable votes of all members of the CIO in the constituency.
Croquet England members will be allocated to a constituency based on the county in which their primary club is situated (failing which, based upon the leading part of the postcode of their UK address).
Members will be able to see the constituency to which they are registered by viewing details in the CqE database (by clicking on their name when logged in). Members will be able to change the registration, if they wish, to place themselves in the constituency that they consider to be the most appropriate, if they are not already placed there. To prevent potential abuse during elections, changes will not be permitted online and manual ones will only be made to correct manifest errors.
When an election is required, all members will be able to vote online, or by post. All Croquet England Associates (either a directly subscribed (e.g. Premium) Associate or a Standard Associate, registered through club membership) aged 16 or over who have completed the required declaration will be registered for one of the constituencies. They will be able to click the appropriate link to their constituency for details of the candidates or to download a postal ballot paper.