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THE BVA Board/Members' Services subgroup on membership had considered the current position in relation to membership numbers and fees. Mr Nick Blayney (president-elect), introducing a discussion paper on the subject, said the group had also looked at different categories of membership, including new categories of affiliate and associate membership, and the possibility of automatic membership of territorial divisions for bva members.
Among other proposals favoured by the group was that membership of Council should be limited to a three-year term, renewable once. The aim, said the President, was to encourage wider participation for divisions and allow new blood into Council on a regular basis.
The Council disagreed with the proposal. Professor John Bleby (Central Veterinary Society), with 40 years' service the longest serving member of Council, said that he was always aware that his division could replace him. His division's system had stood the test of time ‘for over 140 years,’ he said, and there was no reason to change it.
Miss Christine Shield (North of England) said her division believed it was up to each division to select its representative; a core of long-serving representatives was useful. Mr Sam Duff (Scottish Metropolitan) instanced the value of retaining ‘corporate memory’ to a division of changing membership.
Supporting the proposal, Mr Chris Rea (British Equine Veterinary Association) pointed out that the corporate memory of a division was held by its officers. Divisional representatives, he said, tended to be elected through inertia; change stimulated new thinking. Miss Heather Niman (Association of Veterinary Students) commented that no representative of a division such as the avs could serve long enough to acquire a corporate memory.
After further discussion, Mr Blayney said the paper would be revised in the light of the views expressed, and brought back to the Council.
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