Cast your vote for a strengthened institute

The commitment shown by candidates standing for general assembly and junior vice-president deserves support, maintains Colin Haylock.

Last week's issue included the statements from all three candidates competing to become junior vicepresident in 2011 - the person to whom I will be handing on the baton and who will have to represent the profession in what will probably still be challenging economic and political times.

You will have received your ballot papers - not just for the junior vice-president election but also for the contest between 18 candidates for 14 places on general assembly.

The general assembly members form the electorate for the membership of the board of trustees, which has the responsibility for managing the institute's affairs. For them there is the added challenge of choosing from the 11 candidates standing for three places on the board.

That so many people keen to do more for the institute are offering themselves as candidates in these various elections is extremely encouraging. Fresh blood and fresh ideas are essential to the life of the institute and with many new candidates we should see this in general assembly and the board.

But candidates are only one thing in an election - votes are the vital other component. Please repay the substantial commitment of the candidates and their willingness to work for us all by a little commitment of your own.

Take some time to read their statements and consider what each can bring to the running of the institute. Voting ends on 30 November.

The three candidates each offer something distinctive in background and passions to bring to the presidency in 2013 and to the board of trustees in the run-up to this.

Of the 18 people standing for general assembly, some may be familiar from past service, while others may have done a lot for the institute through work with the regions or nations or on the education front.

All of them offer great expertise, commitment and enthusiasm. Make sure that you vote. Put high on your preference list those who you think have most to contribute to the institute in terms of their views, background and experience or whose declared priorities reflect your own concerns for the profession.

If on reflection there is no-one among the candidates who shares what you believe are important interests, then think what you could offer yourself and consider standing in next year's elections.

Finally, if we have your email address you will have been offered the opportunity to use electronic voting for the first time. On offer are more candidates, more reasons to vote and an easier process. Hopefully, through you we will have more people voting and a stronger institute.

Colin Haylock is RTPI junior vice-president and urban design director at Ryder Architecture.


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