Liverpool Society President Geoffrey Piper said that while he applauded Dame Sheila's efforts to position the profession for the 21st century, he was concerned about the implications of some of the present proposals.
Piper said he understood thorough research showed an overwhelming desire for a strong local presence.
'I trust that our District Societies will emerge stronger than ever, and will continue their vital role of delivering valuable and essential services for Institute members throughout England and Wales,' he said.
Dame Sheila spoke of the need for senior, experienced managers to work more closely with young colleagues adept at maximising the benefits of information technology. She also raised doubts over the future for middle managers.
'There is a vast untapped pool of expertise in the youngest members of your businesses,' she said. 'They have grown up with technology. It comes naturally to them. They have instincts about the future that our generation has not.'
Dame Sheila went on to say that it may cause problems with the great mass of middle managers, but that, she said, was a problem for another day.
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