IHBC Council+ Meeting in London (6 December 2016)
Some 30 delegates from Belfast to Cambridge and from Cornwall to the Orkneys (via Skype) descended on St Andrew CoE, Holborn, for the second Council+ meeting this year. Inspired by the elegance of St Andrew Court Room with its Jacobean fireplace, the meeting pondered a range of burning issues.
President David McDonald opened the day with a note on apprenticeships (future need for HS2-related archaeologists etc.), Chairman James Caird gave a presentation about funding (who is left to pay for conservation in future?), Treasurer Richard Morrice talked about concessions and Secretary Jo Evans raised the issue of conduct. Following Director Sean O’Reilly’s update about the Corporate Plan (CP20) and a few words by the North West National Representative Crispin Edwards about the upcoming Annual School in Manchester in 2017, the meeting shifted towards the panelled oak splendour of the adjacent chamber for lunch and networking.
After reconvening, Mike Bown introduced the draft “Quality Assuring Local Planning Authorities – A model ‘Quality Mark’ scheme for IHBC ‘recognition’ of local government conservation services” and Dave Chetwyn talked about “Conservation Professional Practice Principles”. The meeting then split into a forum of four committees (Membership & Ethics, led by David Kincaid; Education, Training & Standards, led by Bridget Turnbull; Policy, led by Roy Lewis; and Communications & Outreach, led by Dave Chetwyn). Delegates were encouraged to play musical chairs between sessions to be able to contribute to each of the committee strands. Contributions ranged from questions about the effectiveness of LPA recognition vs. concentration on the person of the chief planner, to improving IHBC awareness in schools of architecture.
The meeting concluded with a variety of open mike contributions, regarding national issues such as partnerships with other built environment professional organisations (LI, RTPI, RIBA etc.) as well as international issues (importance of partnerships with European organisations in the new age of isolationism).
Contributed by Michael Asselmeyer