CLA Governance Structure

The structure of the CLA has been organised to reflect the requirements of incorporation on the existing rules and practices. We have put in place a structure designed to achieve the optimum relationship between the Board and representation of the wider interests of the membership. 

This summary explains the governance structure of the CLA in more detail. This can also be viewed here as a pdf organisation chart.

You can also view the memorandum and articles of association here.


Council is the guardian of the spirit of the CLA and its long-term objectives.

Therefore there is a strong, representative Council that nominates the directors to the membership, after taking into account advice from the Policy Committee, and makes sure they discharge their responsibilities properly. The Council is made up of a mix of elected and appointed members, which ensures that the CLA takes full account of the wider interests of the membership, for whose benefit it exists. The breadth of experience and perspective that this brings also enables the Council to fulfil its role of holding the Board to account and to act as the CLA’s conscience in delivering its objects.

The combination of a representative body and a Board working together provides both the strength and necessary challenge to ensure that the CLA delivers its core purposes and works efficiently and effectively as a complex organisation.


There is a small Board of directors that is responsible for the running of the CLA and for making sure that the organisation works as well as possible to deliver its core purposes. The majority of the Board are Council members.

  • Mark Bridgeman -  President
  • Mark Tufnell - Chairman of the Board and Deputy President
  • Victoria Vyvyan - Vice President 
  • Sarah Hendry - Director General
  • Rupert Ashby - Director of Membership and Regions
  • Nick Downshire - Chairman of Audit and Risk Committee
  • William Fox
  • Andrew Grant
  • John Homfray
  • Alexander Dickinson

Click here to view the biographies of the members of the CLA Board.

Committees of the Board

The Board has three committees which assist it with particular aspects of its responsibilities:

  • The Audit and Risk Committee reviews the CLA’s financial and risk controls, audit processes and the CLA’s Annual Financial Statements, and advises the Board on these.
  • The Remuneration Committee agrees the remuneration and terms of engagement or employment of the incoming Officers, the Director-General, the Finance Director, and the policies for the re-imbursement of expenses.

At present the Board is carrying out the responsibilities of an Investment Committee. However, if is such a committee is established, it will make recommendations to the Board on the management of the CLA’s investments.

Policy Committee

The Policy Committee makes recommendations to Council and the Board via the Chairman of the Policy Committee and the chairmen of the six sub-committees.

Branch Committees

The branch committees carry out, as far as practicable, the aims and objects of the CLA as defined in the Objects in the Memorandum. They bring the objects of the CLA to the notice of all those in the branch eligible for membership. The committees consider questions referred by Council and bring to the notice of Council all matters as they regard as important, including the power to take a resolution to Council. They bring to the notice of the regional committee and/or Council matters regarded by the branches as important. They collate and oversee branch nominations to the Policy sub-committees. They take all necessary steps for securing fair representation of the counties’ agricultural and other rural businesses upon local governing bodies, statutory committees and other organisations.

Each branch nominates a branch representative to Council.

Regional Committees

The regional committees co-ordinate and process responses to those national and local policy issues with regional implications and formulate regional policies. They pursue and promote the CLA’s policies with external influencers, with partner organisations and with regional government bodies and their agencies. They promote fair representation of agricultural and other rural businesses on those bodies. For purposes of good governance, the regional committees assist Regional Directors in setting priorities, including budgetary priorities and give approval to regional policy formulation. They have the power to take a resolution to Council.

They nominate a regional representative to the Policy Committee and regional representatives to Council.

Members of regional committees provide advice and support to staff in the regions and are ambassadors for the CLA.

Register of Interests

There is a register of interests for the members of the Board, as required by company law.

Conflicts of Interest

Members of Council, the Policy Committee and its sub-committees, Regional and Branch Committees are required to declare any conflicts of interests.

Annual General Meeting

The 11th Annual General Meeting of the Country Land & Business Association Limited will be held in the Council Chamber, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX on Thursday 9 November 2017, immediately following the Council meeting or at 12.30pm, whichever is later.


The Board is responsible for the control and management of the CLA and has all the powers of the Board conferred upon it except those that are exercisable only by the CLA in general meeting.


Council is the guardian of the spirit of the Country Land and Business Association Limited ( CLA) and its long-term objectives.