Saturday 18 November 2023

Address to RCGP AGM 2023

RCGP's 2023 AGM was unusual in that several resolutions proposing constitutional change were presented without first having been scrutinised by Council.

Mercifully, a strong attendance including many former Council members and Officers refused to pass the two most contentious resolutions.

I spoke against resolution 6 (which proposed that College members sitting on Trustee Board need not also be Council members):

Trustee Board needs to be more not less accountable to members, who frequently perceive they have little influence over decisions taken on their behalf in ivory towers. All members with greater influence in our college, whether Officers or members of Trustee Board or of the Governance Committee, should in my opinion have their personal mandate validated by election of faculty boards or members every 3 years, just like the majority of Council members.

My understanding is that it had initially been proposed to allow Trustee Board to choose its own chair, and to determine the term of Trustee Board members. This was concerning. Thank you, Michael for having clarified this matter.

Members and faculties elect representatives to Council in the belief

  1. that they can influence the membership value proposition, and
  2. that they might influence policy by presenting motions from their consituencies to Council. I am aware of one such motion that is currently being blocked by Officers.

Safeguards need to be maintained to ensure accountability of and accessibility to College Offices and boards and committees, including Council: I am concerned that there appears instead to be a desire to limit accountability and accessibility, illustrated in my view my resolution 6.

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