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Board abolition is not the be all and end all


David Rothmire's letter (AJ 24.2.05) alleged that Ian Salisbury did not represent 'the vast majority of serious architects'.

Rothmire does not give any basis for this supposition and dismisses those with similar views as 'Salisbury's apologists' (AJ 10.3.05).

The profession decides who represents them in the ARB board elections. The result is the most relevant measure of the strength of support for a particular view. I welcome the broadening of the debate to include non-architects, but support for the ARB from those who are not subject to its rule or finance its activities can only have limited value.

In referring to Salisbury's election statement, which was only sent to those on the register, readers could have understood that Rothmire was claiming to represent the silent majority within the profession. Am I wrong to highlight that the strongest public supporters of the ARB are not on the register?

If disclosing this is 'laughable' and 'damaging to the profession', Rothmire might have done so himself and saved me from betraying my 'beleaguered' and 'marginalised' position.

Having responded to his request that architects declare their support for Salisbury's campaign to restrain the activities of the ARB, I would request that if there are any architects who share Rothmire's views, they do so on these letters pages.

In doing so, we should not be distracted from the substance of the debate by assertions that the issue is the abolition of the ARB and the Architects Act. This outcome may be the regrettable conclusion of the failure of the ARB to work within the act, but it is not the objective of those who question its extraneous activities.

Mark Benzie, London EC1

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