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The Bristol Cable

Do you think the Bristol Cable is an exciting project with potential to grow and further benefit Bristol and the wider media landscape?

Do you want to help us improve what we’re doing and secure our future as a new model for media?

If so, then apply to become a Bristol Cable director!

Read on for more information.

Applications are now closed

We’re looking to elect new people to our board at our next AGM. Since becoming a cooperative, the Cable staff (the ‘coordinators’) have been supported by an amazing board of directors, who act as critical friends and advisors to the co-op. See the current board here.

Being a board member is a responsibility but also a rewarding, varied and interesting role - and a key way to contribute to the Bristol Cable and help it succeed. It’s also a great opportunity for developing your own skills and experience.

We do not expect people to know all about co-operative law, media or governance on their own, but work together as a team to make sure the Cable is thriving. Some of below might seem a bit obscure if you have not been a board member or trustee before, but please don’t let this put you off!

What is the role of a director?

Advice and guidance

Bringing your professional or lived experience, you will act as a sounding board for big strategy decisions and help us with any area specific expertise you may have e.g. media, law, accounting, HR, social enterprise, knowledge of a specific area of Bristol.

Hold the staff team accountable

The board makes sure that the Cable is performing its aims as laid out in our founding documents and as mandated by members (we’ll familiarise you with these in your induction). As part of the board, you’ll request finance update reports, evaluations, targets, reviews and ensure that decisions are being put to the general membership when necessary.

Governance

Your role is to ask the right questions of the coordinator team, to make sure the Cable is moving towards its aims. Please note: you’ll be checking up on the work of the coordinators, rather than doing this work yourself. 

Cable ambassador

You will spread the word about the Cable through your networks and communities, promote membership and awareness and look out for partnership or grant opportunities.

What is not the role of a director?

Operational and Editorial

Your role is not to act as an executive director, but rather to provide guidance and advice. The Cable board have delegated responsibility for operational (including editorial) decisions to the coordinator team so decisions made here are strictly the preserve of the relevant staff.

Person specification

Criteria to stand for election as a director of the Bristol Cable

Required:

  • Be aged 18+
  • Be a member of the Bristol Cable
  • Be seconded by a named Bristol Cable member
  • Be committed to the purpose, aims and values of The Bristol Cable
  • Be willing to devote the necessary time and effort to the role, in particular to attending and preparing for regular board meetings
  • Be willing to speak your mind but also be constructive about other directors’ and staff members’ opinions in discussions 
  • Maintain confidentiality on sensitive information and declare and manage (with the rest of the board) any conflicts of interest
  • Act responsibly, use sound judgement to make collective decisions and stand by them

Preferred, but not essential:

  • Experience of journalism/media or media law
  • Experience of fundraising
  • Experience of campaigning and/or community organising 
  • Experience of communications 
  • Experience of Human Resources, law or organisational management 
  • Experience of co-operative, social enterprise or media organisational development
  • Active engagement and links with networks or community groups in the Bristol area
  • Young people (under 25) or those with active engagement/links with young people in the city
  • Those from Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds

The Cable board and staff have identified the above skills, knowledge and backgrounds as currently underrepresented on the board. We are particularly interested in candidates who fulfil one or more of these criteria.

Practicalities of being a director

  • The average time commitment for a Bristol Cable Director is 4 hours per month. 
  • The Cable’s Board meets for 2 hours every 2 months. Meetings take place in the evening, usually in Stokes Croft. Directors are expected to attend all board meetings. 
  • Ad-hoc advice or input may be requested in between meetings.
  • Directors are also expected to meet with other members of sub-committees to which they are committed between board meetings and to complete actions taken on. This can often be done remotely and over email. 
  • As a limited company, Director’s financial liability is limited to their share holding, which is £1.
  • Directors must not personally benefit from their role and this is a voluntary position. However, out of pocket expenses will be covered by the Cable.
  • Once the whole board is elected at the AGM, the positions of secretary, chair and treasurer will be appointed (or reappointed)
  • New directors will be given an induction to the role on election.

Application process

  • Fill out the application form here by 9pm on Monday 30th September. Remember to attach a photo!
  • We’ll send you an email to acknowledge your application.
  • Come to the AGM on 14th October 2019 (if this is not possible then please let us know by emailing forums.circle@bristolcable.org)
  • New board members will be elected from the candidates through a vote with all members present
  • Election results will be announced at the end of the AGM and via email

If you have any questions please email forums.circle@thebristolcable.org with the subject line “Standing for election to the Bristol Cable”.

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