08 Apr 1998
Pro-democracy campaigners in the English ICA attacked council members for their decision to ?censor? motions due to be heard at the annual general meet-ing in the summer.
Jeff Wooller and his ?Ginger Group? claimed their campaign to increase democracy and streamline the institute?s decision-making structure was being hindered by the council after it refused to let them publish the original text of several motions due to be heard at the agm in June.
In Wooller?s first motion, he says the president should be democratically elected by ballot. The other two motions draw on elements of the Gerrard report which Wooller claims have been ignored. One says the district societies should be self-financing, the other says the total number of council members should be reduced to 53.
He was slapped down by the council which disapproved of the proposals being put forward ?on behalf of the ICAEW Ginger Group?, and the proposal for a democratically elected president made use of a lengthy quotation from an Accountancy Age interview with respected council member Ian Hay Davison.
But president Chris Laini refused to allow Wooller to use the ICAEW title, and he was banned from circulating Hay Davison?s quotation.
Acting secretary and chief executive John Collier said: ?Upcoming by-law changes will require us to put all members? motions forward to the members, but those laws are not yet in place.
?We are allowing Dr Wooller to put his points in the interest of fair play. But Ian Hay Davison made it very clear he did not align himself with Wooller?s proposals and objected to being quoted. In addition, the Ginger Group has no formal status and it is wrong of Dr Wooller to give the impression he is representative,? he said.
Wooller was undeterred. ?Members should be given the right to vote on Gerrard,? he said. ?Voting on the whole report last year, 46.4% were in favour of adopting it. And it?s clear the president should be democratically elected. The council is just warning me it won?t send out any of my motions if I cause problems.?
But Collier pointed out the institute has 90% support for its reform programme, and said it was ?unhelpful? of Wooller to ?come back again with some cherry-picked aspects of Gerrard?.
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