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EngC senate set to fight ETB proposals

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SCIENCE MINISTER Lord Sainsbury was this week on a collision course with the Engineering Council senate over plans to transform the EngC into a new-look Engineering & Technology Board (ETB).

The ETB is planned to have wide-ranging responsibilities for the promotion and regulation of the engineering and technology professions.

But some senate members oppose it, fearing that the government will have too much say in its operation.

'There is open dissatisfaction within the senate, ' said senator and president of the UK Association of Professional Engineers (UKAPE) Ken Paterson.

'The proposals are fundamentally flawed and we are mounting a campaign to reject them.'

The new ETB is expected to champion the engineering and technology community and be the key source of information for opinion formers and decision makers.

The revamp has been driven by funding from the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI).

The proposals envisage the 14 person board will be selected by the shadow ETB board set up by Lord Sainsbury in February.

Paterson fears that chartered engineers will have little say in policies directly affecting their work. 'There is no indication of any directly elected membership on the board, and that is unacceptable, ' said Paterson. 'It is my feeling that the board will be made up of DTI stooges.'

The Institution of Civil Engineers has backed the plans and has urged all ICE senators to vote for them. The senate will debate the proposals in October before a final vote in early November.

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