The result was announced by Phil Bradley this afternoon: for the motion to halt the rebranding, 752 members, against 804, with 16 abstentions. At the time of writing, the Elections Panel report isn't yet on the CILIP website, but a press release is.
The motion commanded the overwhelming support of the people at the meeting, just under a hundred. The 52 vote majority was achieved with the proxy votes of those not present. I understand why we have proxy votes; a meeting at lunchtime on a working day in central London is not easy to attend. There's no doubt though, that the information members saw in advance of the meeting was heavily biased in favour of the majority Council position, although I asked for the chance to put the case for the motion.
I'm very grateful to everyone who spoke, who came to the meeting, who voted and who supported the original requisition.
What now? W(h)ither CILIP?
- the question of how the membership's voice can be heard in the organisation needs to be resolved. The current position is very unsatisfactory; even if the motion had passed, there was, it was claimed, no obligation on Council to comply with it.
- Council desperately needs to be more open in the way it conducts its business and the way it works with members. The Council blog hasn't been updated for a year. Most council papers are hidden from view than are available to members, and more business is conducted in camera than is healthy.
- we need better guidance about bias in communication with the membership in these situations
- the points made by campaigners such as Shirley Burnham need to be listened to. Why is CILIP perceived to have nothing to say about Lincolnshire or Herefordshire?
- some people are talking about resigning. Please don't. Stay in the organisation; it can be made better, more open, more democratic and above all, more of a force in the wider world. On today's evidence it will be a hard and painful to get there, but there are enough people who care about the organisation to achieve it
For what it's worth, here's my speech, the draft version, not quite as delivered: General Meeting speech [pdf]