ICA members in double vote

by John Stokdyk

27 May 1998

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Members of the English ICA will be asked to vote on the same issueosing motions at different meetings on the same day. twice when opposing camps seek their backing in the special meeting and agm on 2 June.

The institute will ask members to allow an increase in the number of council members from 75 following requests in the Gerrard Report for greater local representation.

The motion is one of several contained in resolution two set out by the council for the 'special' meeting. Altogether, the council is proposing nine resolutions to be voted on in the special meeting.

But Jeff Wooller and his pro-democracy 'ginger group' will ask members to reduce the number of council members to 53 in a resolution set for the agm on the same day. Wooller's plan is also an interpretation of the Gerrard Report, which recommended that number as the ideal council quota.

Wooller's motion is one of three proposed for the agm. The other two are that the president should be democratically elected and that the district societies should be self-financing, another Gerrard principle.

As the institute is governed by Royal Charter, bye-laws state that only the special meeting resolutions have mandatory backing to be passed through, requiring a two-thirds majority. Wooller admitted agm resolutions are only advisory, but he added that a 50% majority vote for an agm resolution should influence the council for future change.

Wooller said the 'bundling' of issues could be confusing for members wanting to vote for the council's resolution two if they did not agree with all its elements. He said: 'I am concerned that members are not allowed to vote for each item.'

His view was backed by Martin Berry, a partner at Nottingham firm Hobson Phillips & Sharpe. He said: 'I do not believe a true and fair position has been put to members.'

But ICA president Chris Laine said Wooller's agm resolutions required the backing of ten members to be put on the agenda, while the council's resolutions needed 250 members' support in order to be raised.

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