Institute considers name change

Views sought for members on potential name changes.

The Institute of Groundsmanship is likely to change its name to Institute of Grounds Management if a proposal to be put to the membership next year gains favour.

At the annual general meeting in Milton Keynes, members were told in a report that views were being sought.

The new name would reflect the changing role of groundsmen, more widely seen as qualified staff with individual responsibilities.

"As science, technology and the application to the profession have developed and evolved so has the role of the groundsman, many managing in stand-alone positions or as part of a team undertaking roles that are very autonomous," the report states.

It was also announced at the meeting that the role of president was to be dropped in favour of a high-profile patron.

Derek Walder BEM stepped down as president this year to take up a paid position as site manager of IoG Saltex.

"The patron would be someone prominent from the industry to reflect the importance of the role," said IoG marketing manager Siobhan Harper.

Membership fees were increased from £37 to £45 from July this year with the corporate membership fee rising from £270 to £330.

Categories of membership were dropped from seven to three: full, associate and corporate. Full-time students will still get free membership but be classed as full members.

Although the proposed merger talks with BIGGA were not discussed at the meeting, it was made clear that if talks progress towards the end of the year then extra general meetings will be held in early 2008 by both bodies if firm proposals are on the table.

IoG chief executive Geoff Webb said: "The IoG is moving into a new phase of development and over the past 18 months has created strong foundations to enable this and the ongoing development of the organisation, its products and services."

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