Hodge may lose seat in shake-up

Failed presidential canditate Henry Hodge could see his council seat disappear if proposals by vice-president Robert Sayer to abolish unelected seats are approved.

Hodge, an outspoken critic of president Martin Mayers, would be the highest profile victim of the plan to replace the 14 unelected specialist seats on the council with seats directly elected by special interest groups.

Sayer unveiled the plan in the Law Society's hournal, The Gazette, last week, saying he would put forward a motion abolishing the seats at the December council meeting. He siad the move was a simple matter of “democracy” and “openness”. “It certainly isn't a means to try and get rid of people, we can't control who gets elected.”

Hodge, nominated for a “non-constituency” seat because of his legal aid experience, was unavailable for comment, but another specialist seat holder was unimpressed by the proposal.

David Yates, a former law professor appointed for hsi knowlege of educational matters, described the plan as “misguided and naive”. He said the society needed to ensure its council contained members with specific areas of expertise if it was not to become a trade union stripped of its regulatory functions.

Richard Henchley, a commerce and industry representative, was more sympathetic to the move but said it should not be rushed.