The National Trust must listen to its members and call an Extraordinary General Meeting

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The National Trust is engaged in a process of re-structuring which will dramatically change its purpose and role in British life.

This petition calls for an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Trust and its members, who deserve to be meaningfully consulted about fundamental changes to an organisation they love and support.

As reported in The Guardian, The Times and The Telegraph, the National Trust is making 1200 members of staff redundant.

Amongst those redundancies, two key groups are being targeted: education officers and curators. This brings with it a drastic re-shaping of what the Trust is for.

Education: The Trust's wonderful educational programmes for children of all backgrounds will disappear. Many of us will recall wonder and excitement as children visiting National Trust properties around the country; as parents, we know the delight and inspiration they bring to young minds.

Conservation: The world-leading attention to detail and meticulous expertise brought to bear on historic restorations will no longer lie at the heart of the Trust's mission. It is claimed that now only 20% of historic houses will be permanently open to the public.

The National Trust was founded in 1895 to ‘promote the permanent preservation for the benefit of the Nation of lands and tenements (including buildings) of beauty or historic interest’. Expert preservation and restoration of the nation's heritage, access for all, and education lie at the heart of the charity. These values deserve our protection and our proactive engagement.

Members are deeply concerned that the proposed re-structuring threatens the bedrock of what the National Trust both offers and represents. At the very least, their voices should be heard at an Extraordinary General Meeting, with proper discussion of the key issues at stake.