RCVS and VN Councils election candidates for 2020 announced

10 February 2020

The RCVS is today (Monday 10 February) announcing the candidates standing in the 2020 RCVS Council and Veterinary Nurses (VN) Council elections.

RCVS Council meeting picture

This is the first time that VN Council has held an election since 2017 – there was no 2018 election due to governance changes and there were too few candidates in 2019 – and a record 13 registered veterinary nurses have put themselves forward to compete for the two available places. These are:

  • Samantha Anderson RVN
  • Jessica Beckett RVN
  • Kirsten Cavill RVN
  • Rebecca Clark RVN
  • Dorothy Creighton RVN
  • Lindsey Anne Dodd RVN
  • Emma Foreman RVN
  • Racheal Marshall RVN (incumbent)
  • Megan Oakey RVN
  • Susannah Phillips RVN
  • Matthew Rendle RVN (incumbent)
  • Claire Roberts RVN
  • Cathy Woodlands RVN

For this year’s RCVS Council election, eight veterinary surgeons have put themselves forward to compete for the three available places. These are:

  • John Davies MRCVS
  • Dr Melissa Donald MRCVS (incumbent)
  • Dr Tom Lonsdale MRCVS
  • Professor Stephen May FRCVS (incumbent)
  • Dr Kate Richards MRCVS
  • Peter Robinson MRCVS
  • Dr Richard Stephenson MRCVS
  • Dr Christopher (Kit) Sturgess FRCVS (incumbent)

Both the RCVS and VN Councils elections are due to start in the week commencing Monday 16 March when the ballot papers and candidates’ details and manifestos will be posted and emailed to all members of both professions who are eligible to vote.

The voting materials will be sent by Civica Election Services (formerly Electoral Reform Services) which is running the election on behalf of the RCVS and the emails will contain a unique security code for each member of the electorate as well as a link to a secure voting website. All votes, whether postal or online, must be cast by 5pm on Friday 24 April 2020.

Prior to the launch of the election the RCVS has uploaded each of the candidates’ biographies and election statements on to its website. The statements for RCVS Council candidates can be found on its 2020 election webpage and those for VN Council candidates can be found on the equivalent webpage.  

As with previous years, the RCVS is also inviting members of both professions to get a better idea of why each candidate is standing by taking part in ‘Quiz the candidates’ and submitting a question which will then be put directly to the candidates. Each candidate for both elections will be invited to choose two questions to answer from all those received, and produce a video recording of their answers.

Recordings will be published on the RCVS website and YouTube channel on the week the election commences. Please note – only one question can be asked by each person and any questions that are deemed offensive, inappropriate, misleading, libellous or otherwise unlawful will, at our discretion, not be distributed amongst the candidates.

Vets should email their question to vetvote20@rcvs.org.uk or send it to our Twitter account @theRCVS using the hashtag #vetvote20 by midday on Friday 28 February 2020. Veterinary nurses should email their question to vnvote20@rcvs.org.uk or tweet to our Twitter account using the hashtag #vnvote20.

Eleanor Ferguson, RCVS Registrar and Returning Officer for both elections, said: “After two years without an election for VN Council it is fantastic to see that a record number of veterinary nurses have put themselves forward as candidates. It demonstrates that there is a desire amongst the profession to engage with VN Council and the important issues it decides on around veterinary nursing education, continuing professional development and registration. It is also the first year that the number of veterinary nurse candidates has outnumbered the number of vets standing for RCVS Council.

“We look forward to launching both elections next month and hope to see record turnouts in both elections. In the meantime please make sure to engage with the process and scrutinise the candidates and their views by submitting a question about an issue of interest to you.”


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