Perth Theatre, Perth – Richard Murphy Architects

© Keith Hunter

Report on RIAS Council

December 2016

Council welcomed the election of Stewart Henderson FRIAS with acclamation as President of the Incorporation for the term 2017-2019.

Council adopted the Management Accounts up to the end of September 2016, showing a net deficit of £82,345 – an overall adverse variance of £29,396 on the budgeted deficit £52,949. This deficit is addressed by the Incorporation’s 2015 surplus (£80,000) with the modest remaining deficit of £2,345 comfortably accommodated within the contingency of £100,000 agreed by Council in December 2013.

The Membership Report was noted, with 9 deaths, 7 removals, 8 resignations, 26 transfers to Retired, 6 reinstatements, 92 elections to Student Membership, 35 elections to Membership and 2 nominations to Fellowship. Membership numbers are now over 5200, the highest they’ve been at any point in the RIAS’ 100 year history. Charlene Rankin, the RIAS’ Membership Manager was warmly commended for her continuing endeavours.

The RIAS’ Student Membership category was discussed. It was felt that those studying for Part III may be deterred by the term ‘Student Member’. Understandably these individuals no longer see themselves as students at that point. Council agreed to the addition of an ‘Associate’ category to accommodate this and help retain graduate members. This reintroduction of the term will align with the RIBA in terms of eligibility, but we will not charge a subscription. Nor will any suffix be permitted.

The RIAS’ recent call for evidence on Building Control issues was discussed. The many responses will be anonymised and submitted to the Head of Building Control at the Scottish Government.
RIAS Council noted an increasing tendency among commissioning bodies (themselves sometimes within public authority framework arrangements) to charge practices for their place on framework lists. There are concerns that this skews the process. Council agreed to denounce the process of charging for being on framework lists and to write to the Scottish Government asking for such activities to be disallowed in Scotland.

Council noted the reconstitution of the Conservation Liaison Group to enable the various ‘partner’ organisations in conservation to maintain dialogue.

Council approved the RIAS taking a strong stance against restrictive policies by Government against international students and agreed that the Secretary write, on behalf of the profession in Scotland, to the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Education.

A round-up report on the Festival of Architecture was given. All those involved were warmly thanked for their endeavours throughout this very successful year.

An increase in charges for Energy Design Certification was discussed and it was agreed to consider increasing fees for the Non-domestic Scheme to 10% of the warrant fee with a minimum of £25 per certificate.

Council noted Hugh Crawford’s letter to the Chief Planner regarding RIAS’ continuing exclusion from the Planning System Review.

Scottish representation on RIBA Council was discussed under Any Other Business. A resolution was agreed as follows: “The Royal Incorporation believes that current representation from Scotland on the Council of the RIBA is a necessary minimum to properly represent the interests of RIBA and joint RIAS/RIBA members in Scotland.”

The Incorporation’s media log was noted by Council, with 212 significant articles/interviews since September.