In October 2017, ICE Council met in Cambridge for its Annual Strategy Weekend. On the Agenda was ICE Governance. Council Members were told to keep the discussions confidential and the issue remained so until the outcomes appeared on a Membership Ballot Paper in May 2018.
The proposal was to replace the Council (the Trustees) elected by the Members with a Trustee Board which would be appointed internally. The ICE provided the Membership with its purported justifications for the proposals but none of the counter arguments. There was no opportunity for the Membership at large to debate and discuss these proposals.
This failure of process led a number of Members to call for the Ballot Count to be suspended pending an SGM. This request was refused and the Ballot result was announced at the AGM on 17th July 2018.
The Governance proposals were passed on a low turnout (<9% of the 44,437 eligible to vote) and achieved the required two thirds majority by just 163 votes. The ICE misleadingly trumpeted the result on its website/e-news as 70% having voted in favour.
An SGM was duly called by over 120 Members (the minimum requirement was 60). Well over 200 attended the SGM on 31st July 2018. There were three resolutions (on a failure to consult the Membership; calling for proper consultation and debate; and for new proposals to be put to a Ballot). All three were passed by clear majorities.
On 4th September, in one of its last decisions as the ICE’s elected Trustee Body, Council agreed to establish a Governance Review, as called for by the SGM.
But meanwhile, the ICE had already applied for Privy Council approval to implement the changes proposed in the original Ballot.
The shift from an elected Trustee Body to an internally appointed one becomes effective on 6th November 2018.
The attached pages of New Civil Engineer, together with the Members Notice for the SGM, give a summary of story so far.