06 November 1998
Back restructuring plan, SNFU urges farmers

THE Scottish National Farmers Union (SNFU) could be forced to lay off employees unless the leadership gets backing for its restructuring plan, union executive Ed Rainy Brown has warned.

Mr Rainy Brown said there was a possibility of redundancies if the plan did not win approval at the special general meeting on 18 November.

“We would lose credibility – and subscription income. We would have to take out about £200,000 in costs and probably the only way we could do that quickly is by removing staff.”

The proposals include dismantling 28 area executives and creating nine regions.

Mr Rainy Brown says the measures have support. But the plans have also attracted opposition.

The November meeting will be open to all members of the existing national council and members of area executives – a total of 800 people.

The reorganisation plan will be open to consideration but not to amendment.

The number of commodity committees is being trimmed from 17 to eight under the new proposals.

The branch structure is also expected to be slimmed down from the 116 at present to as little as half that number.

The membership of the national council will increase from 90 to 130.

The new council will be made up of all elected members of the nine regional boards.

It will be responsible for the election of the union president and vice-presidents and will also approve a business plan for the union each year.

The membership will be consulted on alternative methods of electing the president and vice-presidents, once the new constitution is in place.