LI Future Directions EGM - Thursday 28 July 2016

Vote to support the changes to our regulations, by-laws and charter

Just over a year ago, Noel Farrer, president of the Landscape Institute made a commitment to changing the way in which the LI is governed in order to make it more democratic and more accessible to a wider range of landscape practitioners. In a letter to members, he explained:

‘The LI aims to be a democratic organisation but some of our structures make this difficult to achieve. The Institute needs a strong, large and diverse membership. We need to bring people into the Institute at the start of their careers, as well those who are now working at a professional level, and those working in other countries. We need greater democracy within the organisation, enabling everyone with a stake in the Institute to participate and have a say. I want to ensure that any systems or requirements we have in place that in effect discriminate on the basis of age are removed. And we need governance arrangements that are fit for purpose now and in the future, reflecting the world we operate in and demographic factors shaping future membership levels. The suggested changes reflect a direction of travel that is supported by the Board and Council.’

The past few months have seen a lot of people demanding your vote both in the LI and elsewhere. You may say, why bother with yet another vote. Yet this vote will have a hugely positive impact on the future development of the LI, opening up new routes to participation in the running of the organisation and further opportunities for a range of people to get involved.

The average age of a Chartered LI Member (CMLI) is currently 47, the average age of a Licentiate (non-chartered) Member is currently 37 yet a Licentiate is not allowed to vote on any aspect of the LI’s work or in any of the LI’s elections for board or council members. In addition to this, Licentiates cannot serve on the LI board of trustees – these are just two examples of changes we are making so that the LI better represents many of its members.

At an EGM held in July 2015, eleven of twelve motions debated received a high level of support from members. On the basis of this vote of confidence, the board undertook a detailed analysis with the help of three member-led working groups to work out exactly how to implement these important changes.

We are now nearing the end of this important process. The EGM in 2015 was designed to see which changes members supported in principle and the subsequent working groups have been looking at the detail of how to make the changes happen.  We have now drafted new governing documents that reflect the changes members have already shown they support. We now need members to formally pass motions that approve the new documents. The Privy Council will then give formal approval as we are a Royal Chartered body.

Here is a brief summary of the key changes that we are making:

  1. We will extend basic voting rights to Academic Members, Academic Fellows and Licentiates.
  1. We will include a clear obligation for all corporate Members to comply with the Code of Conduct.
  1. We will increase the number of Members required to requisition an EGM to 3%.
  1. We will provide a place for an additional Trustee to serve on the Board who will be a non-Chartered Member (a Licentiate or Academic).
  1. We will change references to ‘Landscape Architecture’ to ‘Landscape Practice’ throughout the by-laws and regulations, to reflect the language that is used in practice.
  1. We will create a new individual category of membership which will be referred to as ‘Affiliate’ membership designed for people with a professional interest in landscape. People in this category will not have voting rights.
  1. We will remove the prohibition on individuals who are engaged in landscape practice from being admitted as Honorary Fellows.
  1. We will make new provisions to allow Corporate Members to appoint a proxy electronically and to enable Corporate Members to vote electronically or by post on resolutions/motions at a General Meeting.
  1. We are updating our disciplinary procedures to ensure they demonstrate best practice and comply with current legal requirements.

Members vote for modernisation at EGM on Thursday 28 July

At an EGM, which took place on 28 July 2016, all four enabling motions to bring about the LI’s long- awaited governance changes were passed with an overwhelming majority.

The results of the EGM (see below) now mean the LI is at the forefront of modern, progressive, inclusive and democratic professional bodies.

The changes mean those with a stake in the organisation’s future have a say in it.Licentiate and academic members will now have voting rights and a seat on the Board. It also means:

  • experienced practitioners will now have a route to chartership
  • those working in landscape and related fields will be able to join as non-chartered members
  • the LI’s disciplinary processes now represent best practice across the sector
  • the trigger for members calling an EGM is now in line with similar bodies
  • the LI’s election and voting systems have been simplified to allow far greater online participation

All of the changes mean we can now focus on growing membership and representing the increasingly diverse range of interests and practices that make up today’s landscape world.

To enact changes to our governing documents the LI requires motions to be passed by a two-third majority of those voting. The votes for each motion are recorded below with each one being passed by approximately a 94% majority.

The new governing documents will come into force with Privy Council approval, which is expected during August 2016.

Results of each motion from EGM

Motion 1 Amendment of Royal Charter
For: 190     Against: 13     Abstain: 1     Percentage in favour: 93.6%

Motion 2 (Revised by-Laws)
For: 190    Against: 13    Abstain: 1    Percentage in favour: 93.6%

Motion 3 (Revised regulations)
For: 190    Against: 11    Abstain: 1     Percentage in favour: 94.5%

Motion 4 (Privy Council approval and implementation) (Parts A, B, and C)
A: The Board of the Institute be authorised to agree any changes to the wording of the amendments of the Royal Charter and the revised By-Laws which are subsequently required by the Privy Council…
For: 189     Against: 12     Abstain: 1    Percentage in favour: 94.4%

B: The amended Charter and revised By-Laws and the revised Regulations shall take effect at the date of approval by the Privy Council…
For: 187    Against: 11    Abstain: 1    Percentage in favour: 94.4%

C: The Board of the Institute shall have authority to approve transitional arrangements which it considers reasonable, necessary or desirable…
For: 187    Against: 13    Abstain: 1    Percentage in favour: 93.5%

Results: All motions carried.