In reply to members who have expressed concern over future subscription levels, I can reassure them that such matters are never taken lightly.
Council's unanimous decision on 16 December to approve our five-year plan to revitalise the Institution is one of the most important of recent years.
The plan will focus resources on improving the Institution and enhancing the value of ICE membership and is the culmination of intensive study and analysis. Among other things, improvements in qualification processes, increased public awareness of civil engineering and greater influence with all levels of government were identified as key requirements.
It is also clear that our regional organisations, traditionally dependent on volunteers, now need more support from local salaried employees.
Council decided that the cost of these additional activities would initially be funded from ICE reserves. However, from 2005, a subscription increase is necessary for the next phase of revitalisation. Council is convinced that these changes will increase the relevance and value of ICE membership, thereby arresting the current decline in membership numbers.
Members will be receiving further details of the business plan with NCE or by post at the end of January. Minutes of this Council debate will be found at www. ice. org. uk/icextra at the same time.
Tom Foulkes, director general, ICE, One Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AA