14 July 1998
Scottish NFU tries to get back in touch

By FWi staff

THE Scottish National Farmers Union has unveiled plans to revamp its structure following complaints last year that it had fallen out of touch with its grass-roots members.

In January, the SNFU appointed an independent consultant to look at the unions administration at all levels. This was prompted by the December resignations of Sandy Mole, president, and Tom Brady, chief executive, who were berated by rank and file members for not taking a tougher stance against government.

Under a summary of the proposals, union resources are to be refocused away from headquarters and outwards across Scotland. Branches will continue to be an integral part of the new union structure and will remain unchanged. However, the unions 28 areas are to be amalgamated into eight regions. Three regional policy advisers will be appointed to work within the regions to provide policy advice and information to all members.

George Lyon, president, said: “Events over recent months have forced the union to look closely at the way it works. The structure hasnt changed in decades. But Scottish farming, and the needs of Scottish farmers, have. The union has to change too, if it is to succeed as an effective lobbying body, promoting the interests of its members.”

The proposals for change are to be discussed when the unions council meets on Wednesday 22 July. If agreed in principal by council, the proposals will then go out to union areas for consultation.