IHBC tests international waters: Inspired by our Council+ lead and advisory forum

The IHBC has held the latest meeting of our lead and advisory forum, ‘Council+’, where members of all categories can find out more on current operations and while the IHBC enjoys their guidance on how to develop and refine our work, this time exploring our burgeoning international strategy.

IHBC Support Officer Carla Pianese helps out Tom Hunter online from Eindhoven as he joins our Council + discussions in London on our international strategy

Fiona Newton, Council+ lead and IHBC’s Operations Director, said: ‘With a really good and very enthusiastic turnout Council+ once again met our aspirations under the ‘IHBC +’ programme by offering a wider and more welcoming route for members to get involved and volunteer with the IHBC.’

‘It was especially good to see our Branches so well represented, giving their members a chance to build skills, capacity and awareness of the IHBC across their local membership, and helping feed in directly to the IHBC’s current operations and future plans.’

Fiona writes:

To set the international theme IHBC trustees and our National Office heard from the experiences and expertise of Council+ delegates with relevant knowledge of issues in Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and more widely across the globe.

This set the context for how IHBC and its members can evolve a plan for the institute to take a more formal place on the wider international conservation stage.

Discussions covered:

  • What IHBC might do for conservation practitoners outside the UK and how to widen membership to include them
  • How the IHBC and its members might get involved in international projects
  • How the IHBC might assist in support for areas in crisis affecting their heritage
  • How the IHBC might assist members and others to gain CPD or take their own part in heritage tourism abroad.

Concluding the day, IHBC reports on internal business acquainted Council+ with snapshots of the work of IHBC trustees, committees and the National Office.  Varying from progress on Annual Schools – 2018 (Belfast), 2019 (Nottingham) and 2020 (South East Branch) – to a report of the recent successful Course Connection Day for students on conservation and relevant built and historic environment courses, and a cameo of the multifaceted role of busy IHBC Administrator Lydia Porter.

Opening the floor for free discussion on any subject, at the end of the afternoon, brought in subjects as varied as Historic England’s Enriching the List; the potential of Apps to help access to statutory lists; the future direction of Cadw, and appropriate standards and consistency across conservation professionals.

Concluding with informal networking, delegates were asked to bring along a photograph and details of their favourite international building saying where it is, what it is and why it is special to them, for our own International Top Trumps.  A bit of fun that turned out to be a fascinating piece of CPD, not only presenting previously unknown buildings to others – not least the non-Trump Casino at Marino in Dublin (the Directors’ pick) – but searching out the differing emotional and professional attachments that lead to their selection.

Council+ which is part of the IHBC+ the ‘experimental evolution’ of IHBC from 2015.  Following previous consultations, IHBC members of all categories told us they wanted a more democratic and accessible organisation in which it is easier to participate.  Council+ is one of our ways of working towards this.  Council + is open to IHBC members of all categories.  They can be appointed though Branches, the Board of Trustees or by application to address priorities such as themed content and diversity.

As ever, updates and developments informed by Council + meetings will be posted in the reports to Council+ delegates and attendees and through NewsBlog updates.

See more on Council+

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