English ICA moves to resolve future of district society staff.

The English ICA this week stepped in to defend its plans to introduce regional business centres following accusations from the Northern Society that the move had already prompted it to make a redundancy. The institute has acknowledged that there are around 40 staff working for the district societies whose futures are uncertain until the plans have been finalised. But chief executive John Collier said while the report from the institute’s local infrastructure working party had been agreed in principle, it was still subject to consultation which will run for the next two to three months. ‘We would look to get some certainty in so the district societies and their staff know what’s happening,’ Collier said. Last week, Northern Society president Simon Lundy accused the planned business centres of being geared to serve the institute’s London headquarters and not the regions they were set up to serve. Despite assurances from the institute that its plans would not affect the district societies’ existence, one member last week labelled the move a ‘creeping cancer’. Members executive director Michael Hockney is set to visit all 22 district societies to find out what their concerns are. Many district societies have already started to work on co-operation with the new business centres ahead of their implementation.

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