Established 1870
A Division of the British Veterinary Association

CVS logo

Minutes of a meeting of Council held on Thursday 15th May 2003 at the Athenaeum Club, 107 Pall Mall, London.

Present:  the President Prof. A. R. Michell, Prof. J. Bleby, Mr. R. Ewbank, Dr. M. Kerr, Mr. K. Meldrum, Mr. A. Muckle, Mr. M. Nelson, Mr. J. Oliver, Mr. A. Porter, Mr. H. Robinson, Mr. G. Tribe.

Apologies for Absence:  Mr. L. Gibson, Mr. B. Hoskin.

Minutes of the previous meeting on 20th March had been circulated and were approved.

Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere:  none.

Correspondence:  Eight emails from various BVA departments, all forwarded to Council and interested Fellows.  These included 9 consultation documents, 3 notifications of news digests, and information relating to an Overseas Association Workshop on transport animal welfare, the Competition Commission report, and more regarding the Media Training Course.

An untitled document dated 7th March, noted "Second Draft", relating to the future of the veterinary profession was received from Mr. Norman Leslie of Middlesborough and circulated to the meeting.  The Hon. Secretary was instructed to write to Mr. Leslie to say that Council had received his report with interest and asking him to keep us aware of further developments.  A letter was received from Mr. Robert Shield, BVA Membership Secretary, requesting a new list of office-bearers and our agreement to the principal office-bearers being included in a "members-only" section of the BVA web site.  The Hon. Sec. was instructed to reply in the affirmative, and also to write to request that we be supplied with a list of new BVA members in our region on a regular basis.

President's report:  The President reported that he had very much enjoyed chairing the meetings during the 2002-03 year, and congratulated Council on an excellent session.

Secretary's report:  Nothing further to report.

Treasurer's report:  The Hon. Treasurer circulated a written report detailing total assets of £6,161.61, and intimated that the audited accounts would be presented to the AGM.  Continued solvency was due to the annual membership subscriptions offsetting the small shortfall incurred on each meeting.

BVA Representative's report:  Prof. Bleby circulated a written report, and discussion centred on the "IAG Report" item on page 3.  Mr. Tribe queried the matter of the dinner given for the departing CEO by a number of past-presidents, and Prof. Bleby replied that this was a private matter paid for by the individuals concerned.  The perception that certain individuals may have "got away with" improprieties and irregularities concerning credit card transactions was discussed, but Prof. Bleby reported that credit card access had been stopped and that as remedial action was now underway the best way to deal with the matter seemed to be to draw a line under the events and move to the future.  It was noted that the CVS had been totally vindicated in its stance and actions.

The question was raised regarding who was going to run BVA now that the post of CEO had been abolished.  Prof. Bleby reported that someone was dealing with matters one day each fortnight, but that policy matters did tend to come up at inconvenient times.  The question of separation between the Company and the Association was emphasised.  There was further discussion regarding expertise and managerial structure.  Mr. Meldrum noted that the current situation represented a huge step forward.

AWF Representative's report:  Mr. Ewbank reported that he had received a reply from Kate Kerr, answering most of his queries.  21st May had been designated Animal Welfare Day.  Concern was expressed regarding the financial statements.  The last accounts published were for 2000, and 2001 should be available by 21st May, but 2002 was still absent.  However, Mr. Ewbank was uncertain of the date of the end of the Foundation's financial year.  It was suggested that a letter might be sent to Mrs. Kerr, as Chairman of Trustees, expressing concern regarding the apparent year's backlog and enquiring whether this was compliant with obligations to the Charities Commission and the Inland Revenue.

Membership:  Dr. Kerr circulated a written discussion document, as agreed.  It was suggested that Mr. Howard Hellig might be amenable to joining Council with the express remit to address this issue and advance the paper over the next 12 months, and it was agreed to approach him on the matter.  It was also suggested that those in appropriate positions might talk personally with the current CVO, the Director of the CVL and heads of other local institutions regarding promoting membership of the Society among their veterinary staff.  Prof. Bleby commented that much of this had been tried in the past, to little effect.

Competition Commission:  The meeting noted that the Commission's report had been published, and that there was widespread concern among the profession regarding its contents.  Mr. Muckle circulated a discussion document highlighting some potential Human Rights implications, and it was agreed to explore this aspect further.

Internet presence:  Prof. Bleby raised the question of whether it would benefit the Society to have a web site in place, and it was agreed this was an excellent suggestion.  Dr. Kerr offered to create a no-frills site hosted on Vetlab's server space, as a trial effort.  This would cost nothing and require no domain registration, and could be built on and/or moved as required.  It was agreed to accept this offer.

Council and Office-bearers for 2003-04:  Council approved the following, and agreed to propose these names to the Annual General Meeting.

Senior Vice-president
Junior Vice-president
Hon. Secretary
Hon. Treasurer
BVA representative
AWF representative
Hon. auditors
Mr. A. P. Muckle
Prof. A. R. Michell
Mr. B. D. Hoskin
Dr. M. G. Kerr
Mr. G. W. Tribe
Prof. J. Bleby
Mr. R. Ewbank
Mr. A. M. R. Nelson
Mr. A. P. Muckle
Ordinary members Mr. L. W. Gibson
Mr. H. Hellig
Mr. C. R. Herbert
Mr. P. R. Manning
Mr. K. C. Meldrum
Mr. J. J. Oliver
Mr. A. R. Porter
Mr. H. C. Robinson
Lord Soulsby

Any other business:  Mr. Muckle presented his full draft programme for the 2003-04 session, which was accepted with much appreciation.

Dr. Kerr reported that Mr. Jinman had informed her at the Sussex Veterinary Society meeting that responses and outcomes to all the discussion documents circulated by the BVA were posted on the BVA web site in due course.  It was agreed to write to Jane Virgoe regarding the possibility of email notification when such documents were posted.

Date, time and place of next meeting:  September 2003, details to be arranged.

Next month's Council minutes | Minutes index page | Home page