The Daily Telegraph
Dissent over National Trust plans for Clandon
sir – Surely the National Trust can do better with its stewardship of Clandon Park House, which was gutted by fire in 2015. You printed a picture (Letters, August 24) of the plan for a modern glass atrium-style roof, not in keeping with the surviving walls.
At Kedleston Hall, my family home, the beauty of the interior and exterior was achieved through the attention to detail of my ancestor Nathaniel, 1st Baron Scarsdale. The house was given to the nation in 1987 by my late father Francis, 30th Baron Scarsdale, in lieu of death duties. It is incumbent on the National Trust to look after our family homes as it was entrusted to do.
Last year the heritage campaigner Brice Stratford wrote an article for Restore Trust, criticising the plans for Clandon. He explained that the National Trust appointed architects to “restore, rebuild and reimagine” the property, but argued that the design “fails to be anything more than a dated pastiche of 1990s Scandi-modernism”.
Clearly, however, the National Trust is proceeding regardless of what anyone else may think.
Kedleston, Derbyshire sir – Charles Moore (Notebook, September 6) is wrong to suggest that National Trust members exercise no power and that “the existing management can almost always defeat reform”.
All AGM resolutions and council election recommendations are the decisions of the trust’s non-executive (members and volunteers), and the management has no say.
A “quick vote” option is standard for large membership organisations and was recommended to us by Civica (Britain’s leading provider of election services), which independently administers our AGM voting process.
If members don’t want to use “quick vote”, they don’t have to – just as, if they don’t want to give the chair their discretionary proxy vote, they can select to vote “for”, “against” or “abstain” on any of the eight resolutions to be heard on November 5.
If Lord Moore is a National Trust member, I very much hope that he exercises his democratic right.
General Counsel and Secretary, National Trust