RHS rule changes should be opposed

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The Independent Online
From Mrs E. A. Greaves Sir: The proposal to move the Lindley Library to Wisley is to be discussed at the annual general meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society on 21 February. Also at that meeting, members are asked to vote on a new set of by-laws stipulating inter alia that any resolution to an annual general meeting must be signed by 100 members. At present, any single member can put forward such a resolution. Which of us knows personally, or can contact, 99 other members? (The National Trust, withfive times the membership of the Royal Horticultural Society, requires only 10 signatures on a resolution.)

Had the council of the RHS announced its plans for the Lindley Library by September, any member could have put forward a resolution opposing the move. Next year, if the new by-laws are passed, such a resolution (always supposing the council has not already pre-empted the issue) will need 100 signatures. The new by-laws also increase the number of members' signatures required to call a special meeting from 50 to 500, thereby making it virtually impossible to force a vote on the Lindley Library issue by calling a special meeting.

I suggest that, to retain the democratic right to vote on the Lindley Library move, and on any other matters of future concern, members should vote against the proposed new by-laws. Postal votes have to be in by 17 February.

Yours faithfully, E. A. Greaves London, W5

5 February