Phoenix Flowers, Glasgow – 7N Architects

© Dave Morris

Report on RIAS Council

March 2016

Council adopted the Management Accounts up to the end of December 2015, showing a contribution of £80,000 to the Festival of Architecture and a revised positive out-turn of £2,885. Council adopted the draft budget for 2016, indicating a net deficit of £52,949 (this sum arises from projected Festival expenditure and is covered by the contingency of £100,000 agreed by Council in December 2013).

The Membership Report was noted, with 10 deaths, 3 removals, 10 resignations, 19 transfers to Retired, 12 reinstatements, 84 elections to Student Membership, 27 elections to Membership, 3 nominations to Fellowship and 3 nominations to Honorary Fellowship. Membership numbers are now over 4900, the highest they’ve ever been. Charlene Rankin, the RIAS’ Membership Manager was warmly commended for her continuing endeavours.

Council discussed and agreed a three point RIAS manifesto to prospective MSPs. Council also discussed the shortage of Scots in architectural education and agreed to research the matter further and raise with Government. After concerns were raised about the severe lack of conservation knowledge, education and structures for ensuring the care and preservation of heritage buildings throughout other European states, Council supported the continued exploration of the issue through the Conservation Committee.

Council invited the Practice Committee to invite comments and information from members about access to site by pregnant staff to establish if this issue is prevalent and to see if members consider that there is an equalities issue that the RIAS should raise.

Council noted the report to the Scottish Government’s Planning Review provided by Hugh Crawford FRIAS.

Council supported President Willie Watt’s position on the alleged Garden Bridge procurement irregularities and agreed to lend its support to Jane Duncan PRIBA in vigorously pursuing these issues.

Nominations are sought for four Nationally Elected Members to RIAS Council for session 2016-2019.

In December 2015, Council agreed that a 60% vote by 50% of IAA members should lead to a change in name. A total of 82 votes were cast (70 agreed with a change, 12 disagreed). 82 votes represents 38% of eligible IAA members so the vote was short of the required 50% and does not meet the criteria agreed with the IAA representatives on Council.

Council agreed that, given the number of events which are planned for May and June this year, May’s President’s Policy Committee and June’s Council meeting should be undertaken as an email exercise – updating budgets and pursuing matters which are time critical.

Council agreed to the Incorporation being a co-signatory on a letter from Homes for Scotland to prospective MSPs.

Members have raised concerns about difficulties they are experiencing in dealing with Scottish Water. RIAS Council agreed to vigorously pursue these issues. Over the last two years the RIAS has been excluded, more than once from policy consultations being pursued by BSD. A letter from RIAS Practice Committee was sent to BSD.

Specific concerns were raised with regard to Scotland’s participation in the Venice Architecture Biennale and the lack of involvement of the Incorporation. The Secretary was requested to raise the matter at high level in Government.

Council noted the Incorporation’s media log, with around 243 significant articles/interviews since December.