Report on RIAS Council

June 2014

Council noted the Management Accounts up to the end of March 2014 and a revised out-turn of £2,037 to 31st December 2014. Council adopted the Accounts.

The Membership Report was noted by Council with 12 deaths, 20 Resignations, 26 Removals, 9 Transfers to Retired, 1 Transfer to Retired Fellowship, 6 Reinstatements, 32 elections to Student Membership, 39 elections to Membership, 2 Transfers to Academic Membership, 6 Nominations to Fellowship and 2 Nominations to Honorary Fellowship. The positive trend of new memberships outnumbering departures was noted (even in the quarter which records most removals) and Charlene Rankin was commended for her endeavours.

On ‘housekeeping’ matters, Council agreed to an improved procedure for the RIAS Client Advisory Scheme and also supported the proposal that the President’s Policy Committee should serve as the Incorporation’s membership disciplinary committee for issues which cannot be dealt with by the ARB. Revised remits for the RIAS’ committees were agreed as ‘work in progress’. These will develop and change when appropriate.

Council approved the implementation of a new scheme to replace the former Architect in the House scheme which Shelter has now withdrawn from. All proceeds will go to the Architect’s Benevolent Society. Council were asked to submit alternatives to the name as the old name could not be used.

The RIAS’ response to the ARB review was noted by Council. This was prepared by the Practice Committee, in consultation with the Education Committee, RIBA and the Secretary. Our response supports the continuation of the status quo while advocating a consideration of protection of function. Our response also highlights the dangers of ARB ‘mission creep’ – and emphasises why this is potentially damaging.

The establishment of a Chapter/local group review (including Chapter contributions) was supported by Council to help with the volunteer management of these groups and to clarify territories.

Council gave its support to a pilot Fuel Poverty Scheme in the Western Isles which was brought to Council by Stuart Bagshaw FRIAS. The scheme will be led by the local Housing Development Agency.

Council was informed about the launch of new “.archi” domains. Because these domains will not be exclusive to fully qualified architects, it was agreed that RIAS would issue a Practice Note to inform our members.

Council agreed to write to the Scottish Government requesting an urgent review of the Local Review system that the RIAS membership and other organisations in the planning system can fully participate in.

After receiving correspondence from Mr Bill Lonsdale RTPI, Council considered their position in terms of the Gray’s School of Art building in Aberdeen which Mr Lonsdale now believes is under threat. Council agreed to write to Historic Scotland seeking clarification on why the building’s originally planned ‘B listed’ status was revoked.

Council noted clarification on the RIAS’ Byelaws regarding Past Presidents serving on RIAS Council.