© Andrew Lee

Report on RIAS Council

March 2015

Council noted the Management Accounts up to the end of December 2014, showing a revised positive out-turn of £7,662. Council adopted the Accounts and the Draft Budget for 2015, indicating a net surplus of £2,361.

The Membership Report was noted by Council with 9 deaths, 19 Resignations, 15 Transfers to Retired, 14 Reinstatements, 1 election to Academic Membership, 43 elections to Student Membership, 26 elections to Membership, 6 nominations to Fellowship and 2 nominations to Honorary Fellowship. The positive trend of new memberships significantly outnumbering departures was noted. Charlene Rankin was formally commended for continuing to do an excellent job.

Council approved a change to RIAS Only subscription fees which will render the year 5 to year 6 transition less abrupt.

Council noted that the Secretary had written to Marco Biagi MSP, Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment, regarding Third Party Rights of Appeal in the Scottish Planning System. Council was grateful for the useful response received from Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights, indicating that the current Scottish administration does not intend to revisit this issue.

Council approved RIAS taking a strong stand against copyright theft resulting from local authorities publishing planning drawings online. This will include writing to all local authorities reminding them of the need to strengthen the warnings which should already be in place and, if necessary, a media campaign.

Council agreed to lend its full support to the Building Standards Committee in its ongoing liaison with BSD with regard to the Building Standards Review 2015.

Council reiterated RIAS support for the retention and reuse of Perth City Hall and requested the Secretary to take this matter up with the Minister and in the public forum as necessary.

The RIAS Government Committee feel that some research on the current roles of qualified architects within local authorities is required. Comparing this data to historic data will enable the RIAS to make the argument to government at all levels in favour of employed architects and the expert client. This information can then be utilised in communication with the Scottish Government and with LAs, also, if necessary, in material for release to the press. Council supported this approach.

Council discussed the current DCLG’s (Department of Communities and Local Government) review of the ARB and considered a review of membership classes and criteria (perhaps in tandem with RIBA) if the architectural education model changed.

Council noted the workshop, to be held at RIAS HQ, allowing RIAS/RIBA Joint Members to have input into the RIBA’s Strategy.

The procedures for seeking nominations for Nationally Elected Members of Council were approved and an update on 2016 and the Convention were noted.

Council supported the retention of alternative dispute handling within the professional bodies and agreed that the Incorporation would take a strong stand against any transfer of alternative dispute handling responsibility or locus to ARB or any other government/quasi government body.

Council approved the nominations for the RIAS Lifetime Achievement Award for the next three years.

Council agreed that an advisory note (advised by RIAS Insurance Services and our Legal Advisers) relating to advice on member forums be included in the e-bulletin and other member communications.

Council agreed to encourage participation in the Public Procurement Consultation and sought volunteers from within Council to engage at Chapter level.