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ICE plans subs hike to halt membership decline

ICE News

ICE MEMBERS' subscriptions are to rise 30% over the next five years to fund renewed efforts to halt a decline in ICE membership.

ICE Council unanimously approved a business plan in December that will stabilise membership numbers by 2008 and improve its service to members.

To kick start the process, $1.2M will be taken from ICE reserves over the next two years.

In 2005, 2006 and 2007, subscriptions will rise by 5% a year plus another 2.5% to cover inflation. Increases will then fall to 2.5% in 2008 and 2009.

ICE director general Tom Foulkes said the ICE had no choice but to take drastic steps.

'The hard fact is that we already have more people leaving than joining. The age profile could mean losing as many as 9,000 members in 10 years.

'The last 10 years have changed the profession and the lives of civil engineers significantly. Members are no longer satisfied with the performance of this institution.

'We cannot afford not to change. After five years of thinking, this plan gives us the means to start making it happen. But it requires significant investment before we can expect to see an improvement in services and numbers, ' said Foulkes.

Extra investment will immediately go to the membership division to develop an 'urgent' membership retention strategy. More will also go into communications to raise the profile of civil engineers in regional, national and international affairs.

Decentralisation that started in 2000 with the appointment of executive secretaries in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will continue with the launch of 'regional support teams'.

These will be funded to focus on local membership development and communications.

Four will be set up in the South West, Midlands, East Anglia/Chilterns and North West in 2004, with the remaining to follow in 2005 and 2006.

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