MIDLANDS ASSOCIATION is to be the first English local association to get a full time development manager dedicated to enhancing the ICE's image with public and politicians.
The creation of the role follows the appointment of full time executive secretaries for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland last year.
The development manager will act as communicator with the media and public, Midlands association vice chairman Tony Johnson explained. 'The role will be to develop and facilitate a proactive communication function in the Midlands, and enhance awareness of the contribution of civil engineering to the built environment and the quality of life, ' he said. 'This is a tremendous step forward. We have said for years that this is an area that needs more assistance.'
Past chairman and future Institution president Colin Clinton first raised the issue at an ICE Council meeting last April when it was revealed that £35,000 set aside in the ICE accounts for local associations was classed 'not needed'.
'I am disturbed, as I know for a fact that this money was needed, ' said Clinton at the time.
'We put in numerous requests for assistance during the year, so I find it amazing that it is there and not used.'
Clinton's comments drew a positive response from ICE president Joe Dwyer: 'Full time paid service is likely to become the norm - but within existing budgets. There has to be a degree of rationalisation.'
This has happened in the Midlands: the development manager will also perform the duties of regional liaison officer.
The post is being advertised locally, with responses required by the end of the month. Interviews will take place in October and an appointment made in November, so the manager can take up the post in January.