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Subs rise by 1% above inflation

AVERAGE ICE subscription increases will be limited to 1% above inflation, Council agreed last week. This will mean a rise of £5 on the Members B rate subscription, to £144, an increase of 3.6% on this year's fee.

Fellows' subscriptions on the B rate will rise from £181 to £187.

All increases have been rounded to the nearest pound.

Most debate centred on the suggestion that the rise for Graduates and Affiliates should be kept to £1 to allow charges for Technicians to catch up and eventually overtake them.

Council was told that Technicians are professionally qualified and should be paying a higher rate. The benefit to Technicians of paying a higher subscription than Graduates would be to improve their standing within the Institution.

Rises in Technician subscriptions will be higher than other ICE grades until this happens. It had also been suggested that Graduate subscription increases should be lower than others to speed the catch-up process for Technicians.

The proposal before Council was that Technician fees should rise from £56 to £79 in 2000, and Graduate fees from £100 to £101.

But Council member Clive Musson said he did not see why Graduates could not bear the inflation plus 1% increase along with everyone else - a sum of £3.

President Roger Sainsbury felt it was a good proposal to help the budget, but Vice President George Fleming disagreed. 'I think the present proposal is well reasoned, well argued and equable. We should not change it now, on the hoof.'

Musson's proposal was carried by 18 votes to 17. Graduates will pay a £3 increase in their subscriptions for next year.

The President made a statement on the possible abandonment of a new membership database system which was said to be 'unacceptably slow'. The ICECOLD system has been under development for the last two and a half years and should have been going live about now.

He said: 'Preliminary trials have shown the system does not work as it should, and have cast doubt as to whether it ever will.

'The Chief Executive is engaged in a selection process for the appointment of a specialist consultant to investigate and advise. When this advice is received, we shall be able to establish the way forward, and to assess the amount of value in the work already done.

'It would accordingly be premature to give any statement regarding the amount of expenditure. There will be no effect on the Institution's balance sheet as the expenditure has been progressively written off as the work was done.'

Chief Executive Mike Casebourne said Council would be kept informed at every stage.

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