A crucial meeting on the future of the Institute of Builders’ Merchants has been suspended because members were not given enough notice.

Plans are being made to merge the IoBM with the Builders Merchants Federation, which need to be approved by IoBM members before they can be implemented.

The matter was due to be discussed at the Institute’s recent annual general meeting, but a legal document was revealed just hours before the meeting that meant it had to be adjourned.

At 4pm the day before the AGM was due to be held, an IoBM members brought the document to the attention of President Allan Durning (pictured). It said that 28 days’ notice should be given before an AGM. As only 14 days’ notice had been given, the validity of the meeting was called into question.

This rule had been created by a previous board of governors, none of whom were still on the board, and so the current governors were not aware of it.

The governors were advised by the IoBM’s lawyers to immediately adjourn the AGM. The lawyers are currently reviewing the document to check its validity.

Governors present said the situation was unprecedented.

There was some frustration from attendees who had travelled to the meeting, but Durning stressed that the proper procedures should be taken so as not to nullify the result of the vote. He said: “I’m as disappointed as you are.”

The meeting will reconvene at a later date following an adjournment period of 30 days. Votes already cast will be counted at the next meeting, and the result will be announced.

Durning said: “Thanks to the due diligence and swift action of an IoBm member, we were able to take the decision to reschedule the AGM on a legal basis. The board of governors is still keen and working with the BMF to get a strategy delivered to give the IoBM a successful and strong future.”