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The Lantern Community, Living, working and sharing together

The Lantern Community Governance

The Lantern Community, incorporating “Seahorses” on the Isle of Wight, became an independent charity and company on 31st August 2013, having previously been an Activity of The Sheiling Trust since 1991.

The members of the Lantern Community Board are both Trustees and Directors, responsible respectively to the Charity Commission and Companies House and are accountable for the “good governance” of the Lantern Community.

Governance is a general concept applied to different organisations  and can refer to a “level” of governance, “field” of governance, “model” of governance, or “process” of governance.

Examples of the definition of governance are:

“To govern is to accept responsibility for the whole life of the institution. This is a burden quite different from the rational coordination of specialized activities (i.e. management). Governance takes account of all the interests that affect the viability, competence and moral character of an enterprise”. Selznick (1992)

“Governance is not necessarily about doing; it is about ensuring things are done.” Adirondack (1999)

“The charity trustees are the people responsible … for controlling the management and administration of the charity.” The Charity Act (1993)

Governance is the “functions and processes performed in an organisation by members of the management committee—that is, the governing body”. Otto and Clifton (2005)

“Governance is also a highly contextual concept.  The process and practices that will apply will vary significantly given the environment in which they are applied.  Governance in the public sector needs to take into account legal and constitutional accountability and responsibilities.  In the non-governmental sector, representing stakeholder interests may be a determining factor in the governance to be applied.  Even within these sectors, size, shape, form and function will vary greatly from one organization to the next.  When working in the field of governance, one operates in an area where one size does (never) not fit all”.  Institute on Governance.

The Lantern Community Board meets at least six times per year and is composed of individuals with a range of skills and experience that are put to the service of the charity and its beneficiaries.

“An effective charity is run by a clearly identifiable board or trustee body that has the right balance of skills and experience, acts in the best interests of the charity and its beneficiaries, understands its responsibilities and has systems in place to exercise them properly”.

Charity Commission. The Hallmarks of an Effective Charity (cc10)