LETTER: Engineers' council

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The Independent Online
From Mr Rowland Morgan

Sir: Michael Heseltine ("Heseltine ticks off engineers for their silence", 3 February) rightly blames the engineers for their failure as a profession to have an effective voice in the affairs of this nation.

The New Engineering Council is being heralded as some vibrant, democratic body capable of speaking out boldly on social, economic, human and political issues as they are effected by engineering. To use a medical analogy, the new council is trying to do the job of the General Medical Council and the British Medical Association rolled into one. It can never do the latter effectively because of its Royal Charter and charitable status.

For the ordinary engineer this new council is seen as remote, disinterested and of no consequence. It is, at best, unification of the engineering institutions, but at the expense of unification of the engineering profession.

If the Engineering Council is going to succeed in any way at all, it must become accountable to the rank and file of the membership and be seen to be owned by them.

Yours faithfully,

Rowland Morgan

Senior Lecturer in

Civil Engineering

University of Bristol

Bristol

7 February

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