Thursday, 18 February 2010
NTS to be Reformed
At long last the National Trust for Scotland is to be radically reformed. George Reid, a former presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, is chairing a review of the trust and said that an Act of Parliament would be required to implement the scale of reform required by an organisation of such "Byzantine complexity".
The Trust presently has 11 board members, a 90-strong council, numerous committees and a variety of special advisors "almost 200 people have their pinkies in the pie," said Mr Reid. "We are pretty sure the sheer size of governance has to come down. The NTS has only 310,000 members.
The Trust administers a vast estate of 120 historic properties and more than 76,000 hectares of land, with 450 staff and about 3,000 volunteers. It sunk into financial crisis in recent years and has seen a rapid turnover of its most senior executives.
The scale of Mr Reid's task in arguing the case for reform was underlined by some of the Trust's council members, many of whom are chosen from professional, artistic or conservation organisations with an interest in the Trust's work.
Part of Mr Reid's proposals is that NTS share some of its business with Historic Scotland who said it was considering partnership issues and that it would provide £1 million in the next three years towards Trust buildings and developing new joint projects.
If anyone can reorganise the NTS George Reid can. May I suggest his next project should be a long, hard look at NHS Health Scotland.