No Change to NFUS Office Bearer Terms

Following consultation with its local branches, NFU Scotland will not be proposing any changes to the rules concerning how long its President or Vice-Presidents can serve in office.

A resolution was received earlier this year from the Union’s Perth branch requesting that the NFUS constitution be amended to allow a President to serve longer than four consecutive years in office.  The current Articles of Association state that a president cannot serve longer than two consecutive terms in office where the length of each term is two years.  

In response to this request, the Union’s Board of Directors agreed that all 71 branches should be consulted on the terms of office for both the President and Vice-President positions and whether or not these should be altered.  Vice presidents currently serve for one year prior to the positions being open for re-election. 

The majority of those Branches who responded would like the existing arrangements to remain in place.

NFU Scotland Chief Executive James Withers said:

“Following a full consultation, the majority of NFUS branches that responded supported the status quo.

“This was a useful discussion as it had been a number of years since branches had the opportunity to consider whether the current framework is appropriate or whether it was time for a change. 

“While approximately one third of those who responded wanted a change, it would be fair to say that there wasn’t a groundswell in favour.  The message has come back that the system isn’t broken and so the Board agreed last week that we won’t be putting any proposals to the November Council meeting to make any changes at this time.

“Moving forward, the Board do feel that there is merit in revisiting the current terms of office of the Vice-President position.  As it stands, Vice-Presidents are in a position where there can be as little as 9 months between their election and nominations re-opening again.  This is an area that may benefit from a change, and is something the NFUS may look at again at some point in the future.”

Notes to Editors

  • 32 Branches in total responded to the consultation. 
    • 19 branches supported the current terms of office for both President and Vice-Presidents
    • 13 branches wanted the President to have the option to serve beyond 4 years, although opinion varied on the conditions attached to that.
  • 13 branches wanted the vice-presidential terms to be changed to 2 years; again, opinion was divided on the detail.   
  • NFU Scotland’s current President Jim McLaren will step down from his position in February 2011, after completing four years in office. Mr McLaren confirmed in June that, irrespective of any change to the NFUS constitution, he would be stepping down next February. 
  • Nominations for the posts of NFUS President and Vice President – open to any NFUS member and subject to election by the NFUS Council – will open towards the end of the year and close before Christmas.  The new officebearer team will be elected at the NFUS Council meeting on Tuesday 15 February 2011.


Contact Wendy Fleming on 0131 472 4020




Date Published:

News Article No.: 118/10

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