Institutes – English ICA districts fight levies

English ICA council chiefs will come under fire today over controversial proposals that critics say could lead to the collapse of the institute’s regional network.

Vocal opposition is expected from the institute’s 22 district societies as they gather at a conference in Basildon to discuss proposals to make the societies self-funding.

A major plank of the institute’s much heralded reform plan ‘Strategy for the 21st Century’, the proposals could force societies to charge extra subscription fees to members and agree contracts to carry out services for the institute.

Southern district society president Mike Dawe said: ‘I am concerned for the future of the district society network if some basic central funding is not included in the proposed future contracts.’

The district societies are thought to be behind the last-minute blocking of the strategy by council members a fortnight ago – a move that forced embarrassed institute officials to cancel plans for a mailing to members.

Institute president Chris Swinson and president-elect Dame Sheila Masters will attempt to calm fears at the two-day conference.

Michael Groom, incoming president of the Staffordshire district society and vice-president elect of the council, said the disagreements arose from a lack of understanding of details. ‘People have jumped to the conclusion that there will be a local subscription,’ he added.

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