Sugarhouse Close, Edinburgh – Oberlanders Architects LLP

© Michael Wolchover

Report on RIAS Council

December 2015

Council adopted the Management Accounts up to the end of September 2015, showing a revised positive out-turn of £18,435. The Membership Report was noted, with 11 deaths, 4 removals, 14 resignations, 18 transfers to Retired, 7 reinstatements, 112 elections to Student Membership, 9 elections to Membership, 2 nominations to Fellowship and 5 nominations to Honorary Fellowship. Membership numbers are now over 4800, the highest they’ve ever been. Charlene Rankin, the RIAS’ membership manager was formally commended for her endeavours.

Council agreed further clarification should be sought from the RIAS Legal Adviser regarding the nature of the “client” for shared or tenemental repair works. Council agreed to its continued support of the Under One Roof steering group and that an invitation was extended to the Chair of RIAS Conservation Committee to join that forum.

After concerns were raised that now there is only one designated city architect in Scotland, Council agreed to further consideration of the role of architects in public service and to lend its support to advocacy of more such ‘learned’ client appointments. Council considered three points to become the RIAS’ brief ‘manifesto’ for the improvement of Scotland for next May’s Scottish parliamentary election.

Council agreed to contact the Government regarding unsolicited emails being received by members offering inappropriate energy assessment courses. These are English courses from a private company which do not comply with the Scottish regulatory regime.

Council noted correspondence to the Cabinet Secretary regarding Perth City Hall and endorsed the continued pursuit to save it from demolition.

Council agreed percentage returns for an RIAS poll to be issued to the Inverness Chapter members regarding a proposed change of Chapter name.

Council noted the Planning Committee’s response to the recent Planning Review, raising its concerns about timescale, limited length of response, the nature of the Review and the unrepresentative panel.

Council discussed listed building infringements and agreed to make representations to the Scottish Government, detailing the Incorporation’s concerns over failures in the listed building regime.

Council agreed to, once again, raise its concerns with the ARB over proportionality, “fishing expeditions” and their policy on the use of Expert Witnesses. Council also agreed to review the procedures of RIAS’ various panels.

Council noted Malcolm Fraser’s report on the Government’s Joint Housing Policy and Delivery Group, which he attends on behalf of the Incorporation.

Council agreed the adoption of the Mentoring Scheme Guidance Notes brought forward by the Chair of the RIAS Conservation Committee. Council also agreed to the establishment of a “register of interests” which will provide the best representation of our members’ views when responding to consultations.

Council noted the Incorporation’s media log, with around 28 significant articles/interviews since September.