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Minutes of a meeting of Council held on 14th November 2002 at Le Café du Marché, Smithfield, London.

Present:  the President Prof. A. R. Michell, Mr. L. Gibson, Dr. M. Kerr, Mr. A. Muckle, Mr. M. Nelson, Mr. J. Oliver, Mr. A. Porter, Mr. H. Robinson.

Apologies for Absence:  Prof. J. Bleby, Mr. R. Ewbank, Mr. K. Meldrum, Mr. G. Tribe, Mr. B. Viner.

Minutes of the previous meeting on 10th October had been circulated and were approved.

Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere:  none.

Correspondence:  The President had received a letter of thanks from Mr. Norman Leslie for the tape of the October meeting, and Dr. Kerr had received a similar letter from Mr. James Smith.  Dr. Kerr reported that a typed transcript had been prepared from the tape, and a proposal to include that in the recorded minutes was agreed.  There was some discussion about the possibility of publishing this, perhaps in Veterinary Times, if the speakers' permission could be obtained.  The President had also received a letter from Mr. B. Viner, apologising for being unable to attend meetings in recent months, and expressing the hope that he would be able to attend more regularly in 2003.

The Secretary had received an email on 13th November from Karin Johnson, BVA Members' Services Secretary, regarding an earlier email received on 11th October (the day following the previous CVS meeting), concerning a request for issues the Division would like to raise regarding the BVA/RSPCA Memorandum of Understanding.  A reply had been requested by Wednesday 23rd October.  A follow-up telephone conversation discussed the difficulties of complying with such requests when the response dates meshed badly with arranged meeting dates, and the letter sent on 11th October to Jane Virgoe (see minutes of meeting of 10th October) requesting a meeting to discuss communication with external and internal bodies was raised.  Miss Johnson promised to raise the matter of that letter with the appropriate parties, but despite this, and the letter being copied to Mr. Peter Jinman at the request of Prof. Bleby, no reply has been received.

Further correspondence included two emails from Miss Jane Hern regarding the 'lock-out' at Horseferry Road on 10th October, a letter from Mr. Peter McCormack, editor of Off the Record, reporting his intention to include the report of the October meeting in his December edition, an email regarding the regarding the Quo Vadis 2002 survey, and assorted communications from BVA, both by email and post.  The email correspondence had all been forwarded to Council members.

President's report:  No further report.

Secretary's report:  A letter was sent to Jane Virgoe as determined at the previous meeting, but as reported above, no reply has been received.  A report of the October meeting was sent to Off the Record (and was published in the December issue).  Notices for all forthcoming meetings were sent to Kathryn Clarke who has promised to see that they are all inserted in the Veterinary Record at the appropriate time.  A letter was also sent to the RCVS regarding the incident on 10thOctober when a prospective member was unable to gain entry to the meeting due to our notice having been removed from the door, but no satisfactory explanation has been forthcoming.

Treasurer's report:  The Hon. Treasurer was unavoidably delayed, but submitted a written report.  This recorded net current assets as £6,203.81, made up of £5,437.07 in the Capital Reserve Account, £346.74 in the Current Account and £500.00 accruals, less £80.00 in uncleared cheques.

BVA Representative's report:  A telephone call was received from Prof. Bleby, who was unable to attend the meeting due to illness.  He requested information on whether the Victory Medal or the Centenary Prize were to be awarded this year (no in both cases); whether the matter of the cheque to the winner of last year's Centenary Prize had been dealt with (yes); and whether decorations were to be worn at the dinner in the House of Lords (no).  He also drew attention to the extra meeting of BVA Council on 11th December to deal with management issues, called as a result of Prof. Bleby and others' recommendations.  Finally, Prof. Bleby reported that his letter to the Veterinary Record (see minutes of 10th October) had not been published because legal advice indicated that it might lay BVA open to damages due to its critical content, and an agreement with the parties concerned not to comment on the affair.  However, the letter was published in Veterinary Times.

It was requested that Prof. Bleby should write to BVA to enquire about interim arrangements for senior staffing, also requesting information about the most recent consultations regarding the Competition Commission report.  The Secretary was requested to liaise with Prof. Bleby regarding wider distribution of BVA consultation documents by email to all interested CVS Fellows.

AWF Representative's report:  Mr. Ewbank had written to the secretary to record no report; saying that he had received no communication from the AWF for several months.

Membership:  There had been no change since the previous report.

Any other business:

  1. Mr. A. Muckle raised the matter of the meetings in 2003 in central London, and the possible effects of the new congestion charge, which will be in force for the March meeting and subsequently.  Would this pose a problem?  However, the charge is only 5 per vehicle, and depending on timing, it might only affect those attending Council meetings.
  2. Mr. Muckle raised the matter of the Competition Commission's deliberations, which had been circulated individually to all RCVS members.  He requested that the matter should be placed on the agenda for the January Council meeting if the Commission's proposals had been published by that time.
  3. Mr. A. Porter reported that he was in receipt of the newsletters of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), which he was happy to make available to members of Council.

Date, time and place of next meeting:  Thursday 23rd January 2003 at 6.00pm at the Athenaeum Club, 107 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5ER.

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