With regard to the mooted By-law changes, I am concerned by the proposals in Schedule 1 which relate to suspension of members who have been convicted of a 'serious criminal offence'.
The explanation says that a certain case 'highlighted the need for the ICE to act expeditiously to protect the public interest where a member has been found guilty of a serious criminal offence', and empowers the disciplinary board chairman to suspend him/her immediately for a period of three months.
I shall vote against this proposal for two reasons.
First, if the Institution feels it needs to 'act expeditiously' it should do so by calling an expeditious meeting of the disciplinary board rather than rushing to suspend a member.
It used to be that a person was given the chance to state his case before being sanctioned, and it is sad if the Institution is prepared to abandon that principle.
Secondly, when I received the voting papers I also by coincidence received my copy of NCE reporting on the Hatfield case. I note that the legal processes have so far taken almost five years. The idea that the Institution cannot wait two to three weeks for a member to have his say seems ridiculous.
G Tedbury, Scott Wilson Scotland, George.