The LIS Committee urges you to Vote by 5pm on Tuesday, 7th July 2015 to ensure Your Interests are represented and offers the following guidance. (Voting documents have been issued with this month’s Vista and Landscape Magazine – please don’t throw them out!)
VOTE NO to Motion 1: To create a new non-Chartered category of ‘individual’ membership.
Do you really wish your title to be Landscape Professional?
You will notice that the first words in Noel Farrer’s Introduction to the Future Governance changes refers to Landscape Professionals. Were you aware that the title Landscape Architect is not referred to in the Royal Charter 2008, Code of Standards of Conduct and Practice for Landscape Professional 2012, Regulations 2012 and By-Laws 2012? Reference to the title Landscape Architect was removed from the Code in 2012. You are therefore a CMLI and a Landscape Professional and if you look on the LIS website at the letter from some of the Past Presidents and Noel Farrer’s reply, download here anyone can call themselves a Landscape Architect and you can call yourself whatever you would like!
This fundamental position for many members in practice is not referred to in the Booklet. Yet this position has the potential with the proposed drive for expansion to further erode the widely recognised and accepted status of those who wish to be recognised as Landscape Architects resulting in a further loss of identity and removing their pride in the history and development of their chosen profession and potentially threatening their livelihoods and businesses never mind their enthusiasm, wider interests and engagement with the Institute.
Because those of us who wish to retain the status of Landscape Architect feel so strongly about this we do not consider the change proposed by Motion 1 should be supported until such time as our loss of title is rectified. In particular the acknowledgement that the status of this proposed category of membership would require to be explained to ‘employers and external parties’ indicates the anticipated problems of implementing this Motion, if passed, with the current LI membership structure.
The Committee notes that there is an extraordinary lack of detail to support this potentially significant change to the Institute.
VOTE NO to Motion 10: Requirements to call an EGM
Democracy and Calling an EGM
The current requirement to call an EGM is 20 Chartered Members. In the recent past EGM’s have been called to Save the Library and Archive, A Vote of No Confidence in the Board over the loss of £500,000 and the recent Motions regarding the money allocated to Branches and Investment of the £1.2m from the Sale of the Institutes Property.
Given that the number of proxy votes on Motions at the 2014 AGM was 206 or 6% of the eligible voters, changing the requirement to 100-140 members would on this basis make it very difficult if not impossible for members to call an EGM in very important circumstances such as those that have occurred in the past.
No evidence is offered as to why the current requirement is undemocratic! Is this simply a response to the member’s motions put to the 2014 AGM? Either way this motion has the potential to reduce democracy thus not achieving the stated aim of increasing it!
The LIS Committee is deeply concerned that these motions are being proposed with lots of rhetoric yet again about Broadening the Institute when the fundamental issues of the use of the term Royal has not been examined, when reference to Landscape Architect has been removed, when there is no clearly set out or tested vision for how these will be integrated into a Broadened Institute and when no explanation is given as to whether broadening has or has not achieved the desired objectives over the past 30 years or so.