Work with, not against district societies

It needs to be separate from the agm otherwise its importance would be subsumed into the routine business of the agm.

These are not the actions of parochial troublemakers or renegades but of over 1,200 grass-roots members.

The policy document, Getting Closer to Members, brings district societies’ staff under direct control of the executive of the institute and fails to provide a local infrastructure which will bring the institute closer to members.

We ask that council, the governing body theoretically elected by members, should desist from implementing the policy and consider increasing funding to district societies so they can deliver improved local services. Furthermore, we want the institute to work more closely with district societies.

We have no problem with developing a regional structure to operate alongside, but not instead of, existing local structures. However, this must be done with the help of district societies and not by a member of the institute staff issuing dictats.

At the meeting on Wednesday, 11 July 2001, sadly we will also ask for discussion on positive ways and means whereby our institute can maintain and enhance the value of the chartered accountant brand without jeopardising the independent nature of the district societies’ structure.

I say sadly because similar words were used in January 1996 when resolutions on education and training came to a separate requisitioned special meeting. This was passed by a substantial majority.

Saddest of what we ask is for the meeting to discuss the general processes of consultation appropriate to proposals which affect the fundamental structure of our body. Saddest – because the words are identical to those used in January 1996, demonstrating how little those who govern us actually listen to their members. Will they never learn?

Is there a way forward to escape the debacle created by our institute?

Yes. We will be writing to members in about two weeks.

  • Don Heady is a consultant to Maynard Heady of Canvey Island and Maldon, Essex. He is a founder member of the South Essex Society of Chartered Accountants and was a member of council of the ICAEW from 1981 to 1997.

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