ICE AND the Institution of Mechanical Engineers are proposing to embark on a series of joint projects and hold a joint council meeting in 2006 as part of continued merger talks.
The decision to continue exploring the merger option follows what both Institutions see as positive support for the move following the recent consultation process.
'We can't ignore the majority of those who took part in the consultation who said go forward, ' said ICE president Colin Clinton.
Fifteen percent of IMechE members and 11.6% of ICE members responded to the consultation (NCE 21 July). In a breakdown of the responses revealed this week, 72% of IMechE and 51% of ICE replies were in favour of merging the two institutions; 20% and 40% respectively were against a merger and 8% and 9% had no preference.
Total response from ICE members was 9,103 people from a total of 69,112. From IMechE 11,541 replied out of 65,705.
'This was a good response for both Institutions by normal standards, ' said IMechE president Andrew Ives. 'So we have decided to press on with the process of demonstrating the value to our members of working together and the potential merging of the Institutions.' Options for closer working include a joint council meeting in September 2006 and specific technical task groups looking at subjects such as energy policy, road user charging and high speed rail. The list of projects will be fi nalised at a joint steering group meeting this September before being included in 2006 business plans which will then go to both councils to approve.
'I would be very surprised if 12 months on the members won't want to take joint working forward into 2007, ' said ICE director general Tom Foulkes.
Clinton and Ives stressed that there is no prescribed timetable for a potential merger.
'The timetable will be driven by members, ' Clinton said.
If you have questions or want to comment on the proposed merger email: futureopportunities@ice. org. uk