District society reformer Hockney to quit.

The architect behind the ICAEW’s controversial district society reforms is to step down later this year.

Michael Hockney, who as interim director designed and put in place the new regional infrastructure, will be replaced on 1 September 2001, by Hilary Wilkins, currently marketing director at insurance company Domestic & General plc.

The move came as the row between the institute and district society rebel Don Heady reached new heights.

Hockney, who last year was paid #217,350 by the institute, was brought on board in 1999 to kick start the new membership directorate, work which evolved into the regional infrastructure project. The institute denied the new appointment came as a result of friction between Hockney, formerly a change management consultant for the British Army, and institute members.

John Collier, the ICAEW’s secretary general, said: ‘Michael has done much to improve the level of service we offer our members … (and) will continue to work with us after 1 September on the delivery of the institute’s regional plans, where there remains work to be done.’

Meanwhile, Don Heady has hit out at the institute, claiming it is seeking to manipulate the district society egm vote.

The institute confirmed voting papers, due to be sent to members on 11 June with notice of the egm and details of the resolutions, would be printed with a message on behalf of the institute’s council, recommending members to vote against the resolutions.

Heady said: ‘This is a clear attempt to manipulate the vote.’

A spokesman for the institute dismissed the criticisms, saying that they were following normal practice for any corporate egm.

For opposing views in the row, see 1121895 and 1121896.

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