Trustees of the Constitution
One of the Partnership Council's duties is to elect three Trustees of the Constitution. They are responsible for deciding the constituencies for Council elections and for ensuring the elections are fair and that the ballot is secret.
The Trustees also act as Directors of John Lewis Partnership Trust Ltd, the legal entity that holds the company shares in trust for the Partners and officially appoints the Chairman and distributes the Partnership bonus. The Chairman and members of the Chairman's Management Committee can not be Trustees of the Constitution.
Members and elections
The Trustees divide the Partnership up into constituencies, and new constituencies are created as and when necessary, when shops are opened or closed.
Each constituency usually elects one or two Partners as its Council members (Partnership Councillors). Any Partner may stand and vote in Council elections, which are held every three years by secret ballot, except Partners appointed to the Council by the Chairman.
The Council elects one of its members to be President. Anyone may be elected President except the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman, the Director of Communications and the Managing Editor of the Gazette , the Partnership's weekly in-house magazine.
The Chairman may appoint holders of particular Partnership posts to the Council. Currently they are the Director of Communications, Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary and Group Insight Director. The aim of these appointments is to make sure that the Council benefits from the full participation of senior management and that it has access to specialist knowledge. Members of the Board are automatically members of the Council.
The Council meets at least four times a year, but may also meet whenever it wishes, and when the Chairman or the Trustees of the Constitution ask it to meet.
Any Partner who is free to do so may attend any meeting of the Partnership Council, unless the Council rules otherwise for a particular occasion. People who are not Partners may attend only with the President's permission.
Introduction to Partnership Council video
This short film has been produced as an introduction to the work of the Partnership Council.
The Partnership Council, along with the Chairman and the Partnership Board is one of the three governing authorities of our business. We hope the film gives a flavour of the Council's threefold role i.e. holding the Chairman to account; influencing policy and making key governance decisions. It also provides an insight into the Partnership Councillor's role by following three serving Councillors.
Watch the Introduction to Partnership Council video (8:11 minutes).
Watch the Introduction to Partnership Council video with subtitles (8:11 minutes).